England’s pacer James Anderson knows a way of winning the first Test of the series and that way is to get Virat Kohli’s wicket as early as possible.
Cricket news: The duel between James Anderson and Virat Kohli has been the talk of the series
The first three days of the Test match has been utterly compelling and when India walks down to the middle on the fourth day, the target will be very clear as India will need 84 runs while England will need 5 wickets.
Anderson admitted that if they get the wicket of the Indian skipper, they will win the match. “We’ll go to bed dreaming about getting Kohli out first thing,” admitted Anderson.
The duel between England’s leading wicket-taker and India’s only ray of hope has been the talk of the entire series.
Anderson believes if Kohli shows his form like he did in the first innings, when he scored 149, the game will definitely go to India’s way. Kohli will begin his innings on 43 on Saturday.
“We need five wickets, simple as that, fairly quickly – otherwise, they’ll get the runs,” said Anderson. “We’ve just got to give it everything we’ve got in the morning for the first 15-20 overs – leave absolutely nothing out there. It’s a really exciting place to be, because you know we could do something special tomorrow by winning this. It’s such a close Test match.”
On the other hand Anderson has also lamented England’s poor catching in the slips which has dragged the match this far and has kept it on the knife-edge.
Kohli was dropped twice by Dawid Malan, once on 21 and the later on 51, which proved to be very costly. So far England have failed to hold on to four catches in this match.
“It’s an area where we’ve struggled for two years now,” said Anderson. The English pacer is not wrong as since the beginning of 2016, England have missed 81 catches and out of those 44 has been dropped in the slips.
“The personnel in the team has changed quite a lot, so it’s been difficult to get a set cordon. But we’re just going to have to keep working harder and harder, pushing ourselves to be better, because you can’t keep creating the chances we are and not taking them. You can’t drop Virat Kohli on 21 (Anderson was the bowler) because he’s one of the best players in the world, and he’ll capitalise on that – which he did.
“We’ve spoken about it because of the amount of drops in the last two years, maybe even longer. When I was in the team that got to number one in the world, we caught everything. We had an amazing cordon, very fortunate, that was settled. At the minute, we’re struggling a little bit. All we can do is work extremely hard at it, and hope to improve.”
Anderson also believes that there has been equal amount of excitement and frustration over these course of three days on his 139th Test. He believes one last push should be made to make this Test a memorable one for the English fans.
“What’s been great is the way the momentum has shifted, Test cricket at its best – the way we dominated the first two sessions of the match, then India wrestled back the momentum, then it was our job to go out and bowl well.
“To be a part of it is great, and tomorrow we’ve got a really good chance of winning the game.
“If we recover well tonight and come back fresh in the morning, we know it’s going to be 25-30 overs max one way or the other – so we can give it all we can.”