• Tuesday, March 05, 2024


England may open with 2 spinners in India Tests, says veteran James Anderson

The Three Lions will play a five-match series starting on January 25 in Hyderabad.

England bowler James Anderson in action. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

VETERAN England pacer James Anderson has said that his team might open bowling with two spinners in the five-Test series against India starting in Hyderabad on January 25 as the visitors look to tackle the traditionally spin-friendly conditions in the subcontinent.

The Three Lions led by Ben Stokes have picked four spinners in their squad — Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. Among them, Leach is the only one to have experienced playing the longest format in India. The likes of Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood — all pacers — will also guide the spinners since they have experience of playing Tests in India.

“There are only four seamers going, so we will not be expecting to bowl a huge amount of seam. It is just a slightly different role,” Anderson, the seamer with most number of Test wickets (690) and the third highest wicket-taker overall after Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708), told The Daily Telegraph.

Read: England in India: When players of both teams got bicycles after a Test in Chennai in 1993

“You might not bowl the overs you do in England, but they are still important. It probably puts more importance on spells you do bowl. These are the things we will pass on to the guys.

“Reverse swing will play a big part. There might be occasions where we don’t open with a seamer. We might open with two spinners,” said the 41-year-old.

Read: India win history’s shortest-ever Test against South Africa to level series 1-1

Anderson has a good record in India, having claimed 34 wickets in 13 matches.

Although he did not have an impressive outing during the Ashes at home last year, he still feels he has something to contribute to the side.

“The training I have done this winter, I feel like age is just a number,” he continued.

“…people will always look at my age when it comes up on the screen when I come on to bowl, but for me, it is irrelevant. It is how you feel as a cricketer, and I know I can still dive around in the field and put a shift in with the ball just like I have done for the last 20 years.

“I feel the last five-six years have been the best of my career. Although the Ashes did not go as well as I wanted it to, there have been many series when I have not bowled well throughout my career, and it is just a case of putting in the hard work to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he concluded.

England last won a Test series in India in 2012-13, while their previous tour in 2021 saw them lose the four-Test series 3-1, having won the opener in Chennai.

The Three Lions are currently undergoing a training camp in Abu Dhabi.

(With PTI inputs)

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