‘I don’t think any­one who doubts him is very sen­si­ble – he is so world class’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Second Test - By Tim Wig­more

Sam Cur­ran said that he was “shocked” by the crit­i­cism that James An­der­son re­ceived in the build-up to the sec­ond Test at the Ageas Bowl.

An­der­son took two wickets to help Eng­land dom­i­nate a trun­cated first day as Pak­istan, who had won the toss, closed on 126 for five. “I was pretty shocked with all the kind of stuff that was go­ing on about him,” said Cur­ran, who was se­lected for his sec­ond Test of the sum­mer, with Jofra Archer rested.

“He’s ob­vi­ously such a world­class bowler and I don’t think any­one who doubts him is very sen­si­ble – be­cause he proved again how world-class he is.”

An­der­son’s wickets took him to 592 in Test cricket, leav­ing him just eight away from be­com­ing the first quick bowler, and just the fourth man ever, to 600.

Cur­ran, who dis­missed Abid Ali for 60 in an im­pres­sive re­turn to the side, also cred­ited An­der­son with help­ing him de­velop his swing bowl­ing. “I think it helped hav­ing Jimmy out there to­day, there’s a few spells where you just keep chat­ting to each other – just keep it patient, very hu­mid con­di­tions. The ball prob­a­bly started swing­ing a bit more as the day went on.

“I’m just en­joy­ing hav­ing him around and try­ing to learn from him as well. He was out there to­day, help­ing me through my spells, and just pick­ing his brains is great for me. He showed his class and I’m sure he’ll prob­a­bly go on to get a five-fer and hope­fully creep up to 600.”

Cur­ran said that Eng­land were happy with their day as they over­came an in­dif­fer­ent start and a se­ries of in­ter­rup­tions for rain and bad light to claim five wickets.

“I thought we bowled re­ally well as a group – ev­ery­one chipped in there,” he said. “It was a good day in gen­eral.”

Cur­ran ad­mit­ted that it had been a chal­lenge be­ing in­volved in the biose­cure bub­ble as a squad player, rather than be­ing re­leased to play county cricket. “It’s a tricky sit­u­a­tion when you don’t play,” he said.

“You don’t get to go out and per­form for your county. You don’t get se­lected and you are back to your ho­tel room. Things like that are very dif­fer­ent, but we’ve got such a

great squad at the minute, we link to­gether nicely and the boys are lift­ing the guys that are not play­ing and keep­ing them in­volved.”

Pak­istan opener Abid said that An­der­son re­mained a huge threat. “An­der­son is one of the best in the world – a top-class bowler,” he said. “I took it as a chal­lenge to play him.”

With an un­cer­tain forecast for the days ahead, Eng­land will tar­get a sub­stan­tial first-in­nings lead to set up the pos­si­bil­ity of win­ning even if overs are lost in the game. “Hope­fully we can push on and get ahead in the game,” Cur­ran said.

Hu­mid­ity, and the ex­pec­ta­tion of swing, meant that Eng­land pre­ferred Cur­ran to Mark Wood.

Mop­ping up: Ground­staff sweep wa­ter off the cov­ers dur­ing a rain break at the Ageas Bowl

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.