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'Virat can rub people the wrong way'

By Rediff Cricket
August 25, 2021 11:47 IST
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James Anderson and India players have a verbal exchange at stumps on Day 3

IMAGE: James Anderson and the Indian players have a go at each other at stumps on Day 3 of the Lord's Test. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Jimmy Anderson has given his version of what happened between him and the Indian players after the final session on the third day of the Lord's Test.

Anderson, the last man in, had an animated chat with Jasprit Bumrah after Boom Boom unleashed a barrage of bouncers at the No 11 batsman.

With Bumrah bowling no-ball after no-ball, it ended up a 10-ball over and despite getting hit on the head, Anderson came out unscathed.

After that, tempers flared and verbal volleys were exchanged between both teams thereafter through the remainder of the match.

'About halfway through the ten ball over from Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli walked up to the stumps to speak to me. He said, "You can't be enjoying this, can you?" He was right. I said to him, "Obviously not", Anderson wrote in his column for The Telegraph, London.

'I've faced a lot of short-pitched bowling. It is no secret I don't play the bouncer very well. Mitchell Johnson steaming in around the wicket in Perth was pretty tasty, for example,'Anderson added

'But the over from Bumrah was up there for intimidation. Everyone had been saying it was a slow wicket. When I walked out to bat, Joe Root was at the other end. He said when it is banged in it is quite slow so you can see it quite easily,' Anderson recalled.

'But the first ball I faced I didn't see at all. The first I knew of it was when it hit me on the head. Bumrah had obviously picked up his pace and from then on I just wanted to get through it unscathed and stay at the crease for Joe,' Anderson, who is now the fast bowler with the most number of Test wickets, explained.

Jasprit Bumrah dispatches a short ball off the bowling of Jamie Anderson to the boundary 

IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah dispatches a short ball off Jimmy Anderson to the boundary on day five of the Lord's Test. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Anderson accepted that emotions got the better of him.

'I was angry at the end... I felt bad for doing that because it drew attention away from Rooty celebrating an amazing inning as he came off the field. I apologised to him afterwards for that, but the emotion got the better of me. It happens sometimes,' Anderson conceded.

'There was a bit of us wanting revenge when Bumrah batted on the last morning and we got carried away, but we were genuinely trying to bowl them out... We got the balance of bouncers and fuller balls wrong,' he added.

'We played four days of great cricket, put ourselves in a good position through lots of hard graft. To then have it turn around so quickly was hard to take. It was a reminder that one bad session can lose you a game of cricket,' he said.

'You have to play for five days unbelievably well, especially against a team like India.'

Joe Root intervenes as England bowler James Anderson and India captain Virat Kohli exchange verbal volleys.

IMAGE: Joe Root intervenes as Anderson and Virat Kohli exchange verbal volleys. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Joe Root's philosophy as captain is to keep the chatter down, Anderson revealed in his Telegraph column.

'We as a team, and Joe is keen on this, have to focus on just playing good hard cricket and letting our skills do the talking. We don't want to be shrinking violets, but it is a balance. When you come across someone as animated as Virat on the field, he can rub people up the wrong way.'

'You come across all sorts of characters in cricket and there are many, many more I have played against who are more competitive than him and I have managed to deal with them, so it is just a case of trying to put a real focus on the cricket rather than the noise that comes with it.'

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