Anderson Is on the Brink; England in Charge as Jimmy Nears McGrath Haul

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), September 9, 2018 | Go to article overview

Anderson Is on the Brink; England in Charge as Jimmy Nears McGrath Haul


Byline: Lawrence Booth WISDEN EDITOR AT THE OVAL

JIMMY ANDERSON was closing in on history as England took control of the fifth Test but not before his demonic pursuit of Virat Kohli threatened to land him in hot water. England's attack leader disposed of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to move within two wickets of equalling Glenn McGrath's Test haul of 563, the most by any fast bowler. And he will surely overhaul him before the series is over.

But to his obvious irritation, the wicket of Kohli Moby Dick to his Captain Ahab remained elusive, as it seems destined to in this summer of playing and missing.

The flashpoint came with Kohli on 16 and India 94 for two in reply to an England total of 332, which owed plenty to Jos Buttler's restorative 89.

Anderson produced a beautiful inswinger and let rip with an lbw shout that might have been heard north of the river. Kumar Dharmasena remained unmoved, however, and the review suggested umpire's call on impact. In other words, not enough of the ball had hit Kohli in line with off stump, though he would have stayed out had Dharmasena raised his finger.

It was more than Anderson could bear. Statistical experts CricViz calculated it was the 46th false shot India's captain had played against him this series, without losing his wicket. It is an uncanny sequence. Anderson decided someone was going to get it in the neck.

He made what looked like a tart observation to Dharmasena, who was unhappy to have his judgment queried and spoke to Joe Root. Inevitably, Kohli piled in. This may be a dead Test, England lead 3-1, but Anderson and Kohli would fall out over a game of shove ha'penny.

In the event, England got their man when Kohli, one run short of a sixth score of 50 or more in a series that has brought him a total of 592, prodded Ben Stokes to second slip, where Root clung on and celebrated with a pair of clenched fists. …

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