England fast bowler James Anderson predicts that the pitch for the upcoming third Test against England will not be much different from those on offer at Chepauk for the first two matches. The pitch has a nice cover of grass on it at the moment but Anderson, who packs a rich experience of 158 Tests, reckons that by the time the day of the Test arrives, it will be gone. Also Read – India vs England Pink-Ball Test | Jofra Archer is Number One Among the Young Bowlers in Past 2-3 Years: Ashish Nehra
England won the first Test by 227 runs but India bounced back in the next game with a record 317-run win on a track where batting proved to be a challenge especially for the visiting batsmen with the spinners dominating the exchanges. Anderson would be happy if there’s some help for fast bowlers in Motera, the venue of the third Test, but says as a bowler he will be prepared for every condition. Also Read – Umesh Yadav Clears Fitness Test, Added to India’s Squad For Last Two Matches Against England
“The pitch, it has got grass on it but I am pretty sure it’s not going to be there when we turn up on the match day,” Anderson said with a wry smile during a press conference on Monday. “So we have to wait and watch. As seam bowlers, we have to be prepared to bowl as best we can in any given condition. If it swings, it’s great and if it does not, we still have a job to do,” he said. Also Read – World Test Championship is Like a ICC World Cup For me: Ishant Sharma
However, he’s unsure how the conditions will be for the contest. “Look this is the second pink Test in India and first in February so we don’t know how it would behave,” the 38-year-old said.
England have stuck to their rotation policy that saw Anderson being rested for the 2nd Test despite taking a five-for in the series opener. In his stead, Stuart Broad was given a go but Anderson won’t mind bowling alongside his fellow veteran in the day-night match.
“That has definitely crossed my mind. Ideally, we would get into a position where there will be times – a crucial game potentially – when they want the experience there of both of us and that might get called upon,” he said.
He has also defended their policy to rest players even if it means the best players do not take the field consistently. The likes of Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood sat out from the opening two matches but are back in the squad with the series currently locked at one-all.
Jos Buttler, who kept the wickets in the first Test, is back in England. Kevin Pietersen has been one of the vocal critics of the policy but Anderson reckons that this is necessary keeping in the mind the challenges thrown by the coronavirus pandemic that requires players to remain in a bio-bubble.
“You have got to try and look at the bigger picture. The idea was if I missed that one, that would give me the best chance of being fit and firing for the pink-ball Test,” Anderson said. “I am feeling good and fresh and ready to go again if called upon. It’s frustrating to an extent but I can see the bigger picture with the amount of cricket that we have got.”
“It’s the same for all bowlers, not just me. We’ve got 17 Test matches this year and the best way of getting your best players firing for as many of those as possible is to take little rests every now and then. It’s not a case of shielding, it’s just a case of trying to make sure you’re not wearing someone out until they completely break in half,” he added.
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