Mumbai: James Anderson took two wickets in both India A innings in the tour game at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and was impressive at most times, maintaining discipline and bowling as well as an experienced campaigner like him would be expected to. And at the end of the match, Anderson said that the entire team was happy with the workout it got.
"It was always going to be tough after the flight and playing so soon after landing in India, but I think we got what we wanted to get out of the game," said Anderson at the end of the drawn encounter. "The bowlers got a decent workout and we had a couple of batsmen getting decent hits, so that’s pretty much what we wanted."
The workload on Anderson and Tim Bresnan, the two frontline pacemen, obviously increased once Steven Finn limped off early on the first day. Between them, they bowled 37.1 overs in the India A first innings. "It's not ideal because you want to be able to choose from your strongest squad, but injuries do happen and it’s unfortunate for Steven Finn," said Anderson. "We're lucky we have a number of bowlers who have done a great job for this team. We’ve got Graham Onions who should get a chance in the next couple of games to show what he can do."
None of the Indian Test team regulars were up against the English team in the game, but a few of the players England met might just appear here and there as the series wears on – especially the batsmen. Anderson said he was impressed with what he saw, adding, "They (Abhinav Mukund, Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane) played really well against us. They were obviously familiar with these conditions. It was a good batting pitch and they made the best use of it."
But Anderson wasn't as effusive in his praise when it came to the Indian bowling – not even Yuvraj Singh, who returned figures of 5 for 94. “"e got a couple of guys getting hundreds, a couple of fifties and the lower order chipped in with some useful runs as well and that's what we have to do if we want to win Test matches here," said Anderson when asked if Yuvraj, not a specialist spinner, picking five wickets was a bad sign for the English batsmen. “"pinners are going to get wickets against us, especially on day three on a turning track."
Anderson also gave his thumbs up to Samit Patel, the Test team contender who gave a great account of his usefulness by scoring 104. "Samit was outstanding and showed great temperament. He was calm and controlled and played at his own tempo while (Alastair) Cook was playing at his own tempo, which is very different. He is a good all-round cricketer."