Anderson double leaves India reeling in second Test
James Anderson struck twice to leave India 11 for two at lunch after a rain-marred opening session on the second day of the second Test against England at Lord’s on Friday.
After rain washed out Thursday’s first day without a ball bowled, England captain Joe Root decided to field when he won the toss.
Although the skies above Lord’s were then blue and sunny, they soon clouded over and combined with a green-tinged pitch made conditions favourable for England’s pacemen and in particular swing specialist Anderson.
England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker started this match needing just six wickets to become the first bowler to take 100 wickets in Tests at Lord’s and he needed just five balls to more closer to that landmark.
The 36-year-old Lancashire star struck in the first over of the day. Murali Vijay, aiming legside as the ball moved in towards him in the air, was undone by late outswing and bowled for a duck to leave India nought for one.
His exit brought in Cheteshwar Pujara, recalled after India dropped struggling opener Shikhar Dhawan.
Pujara may be sixth in the Test batting rankings but he averaged a meagre 14.33 in 12 innings for Yorkshire this season with a top score of 41.
But Pujara could only watch an Anderson dismissed KL Rahul (eight), who pushed forward defensively and got a thin edge to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.
Rahul might have left the ball but, with Anderson bowling from the Pavilion End, there is always a concern for right-handed batsmen that the ball can come down the slope that runs across the ground and hit the off stump.
India were 10 for two in the seventh over, with Anderson having taken two wickets for five runs in 15 balls.
But two balls later, after new batsman Virat Kohli, the India captain, had added a single, the umpires took the players off the field for rain.
Pujara and Kohli were then both one not out.
Lunch was brought forward to 12:40pm (1140 GMT) in the hope the match could restart at 1:20pm.
Both teams made two changes after England’s 31-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston — a match that, despite star batsman Kohli’s first Test century on English soil, left the home team 1-0 up in a five-match series.
Ollie Pope, a 20-year-old Surrey batsman, made his England debut after Dawid Malan was dropped.
England were without Ben Stokes because of his ongoing trial on a charge of affray in Bristol.
Fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes replaced Stokes.
For India, Pujara replaced struggling opener Shikhar Dhawan and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who troubled England with 14 wickets in the preceding limited overs series, was selected for just his third Test after paceman Umesh Yadav was omitted.
Earlier, former England captain Ted Dexter rang the Pavilion bell to signal five minutes before the start of play.
That honour would have gone to India great Sachin Tendulkar had the match started on Thursday. AFP