Reverse swing keeps bowlers in the game - Anderson

Kolkata: England seamer James Anderson today revealed that he started practising the art of reverse swing after watching Zaheer Khan's have success with it during India's tour of England back in 2007. "I remember a few years back, in the last tour in 2007, Zaheer did get a lot of reverse swing. That's when I started practising it. There is a shiny side, and if the batsman knows which side it is, it makes it a lot easier for them. It proved to be a good skill," Anderson, who got three wickets including Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, said.

Asked about the reverse swing, he said: "We had hints of it in the last two matches. I saw the pitch and said let's go ahead. Reverse swing is crucial for seam bowlers because it keeps you in the game. I felt pretty good whole day. I think I bowled reasonably well with the new ball first thing. And enjoyed it as much as I could."

Anderson is one of those bowlers in world cricket who has got a brilliant success-rate against Sachin Tendulkar having dismissed him around eight times in longer version. "It's always good to get Sachin's wicket. Once I retire, it will be nice to tell others that Sachin's was a big wicket. When I got him out, it looked like he was set. He was bit scratchy to start with but was happy to get him out when I
did."

James Anderson was England's best bowler on the opening day of the third Test. PTI

Asked about the Jonathon Trott low catch that dismissed Gambhir, he said: "Really difficult to field in the slips and hold onto these low catches. Luckily, he caught onto it in the end." The seamer seemed happy with the Eden Gardens' 22-yard strip. "This pitch is very abrasive. Reverse swing is a tricky art to practise. But we were able to swing the ball. There is a bit of dew because of the early start and that helps."

Asked to compare the wicket with the rank turner at Wankhede, he replied:"I don't know really. This wicket seams a little more, it's harder. You can get a little more out of it, if you are a seamer and willing to bend your back. There were a few that kept low but they were wide."

Anderson also said they were delighted to dismiss the inform Pujara early. "Obviously, when someone is in the form, that he is you want to get himearly. We were delighted to get him cheaply. Hope we can keep doing that."

Meanwhile Gautam Gambhir said be believes Zaheer Khan will be able to emulate Anderson's performance with the ball. "We have got Zaheer and Ishant who can reverse the ball really well. If they are on song, it's going to be difficult for England as well," Gambhir said. "Zaheer Khan is a master of reverse swing. If he gets going I think it would be worrying for England. Hopefully, Zaheer and Ishant can do the job for us and play a big role for India. This is a wicket which will have something for everyone. It has carry, and sometimes the ball remains up and down," he added.

Gambhir said Anderson was hiding the ball well as he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Ravichandran Ashwin with reverse swing. "He didn't give loose deliveries. It was reversing and he was hiding the shine as well. It really gets difficult when someone hides the ball as you're not able to see the shine of the ball and don't know which way it would go. Ultimately you have to play the ball late."

According to Gambhir, the match is currently evenly poised and if India were able to post a total of 330 plus tomorrow, it could turn out to be a good contest. "I think we have lost two wickets more. The way Ashwin was batting, we could have continued a bit more. But it's part and parcel of the game. It was an even day... can't really say it can go England's way. If we can put 330-350 on the board it would be a good contest," he said.

Gambhir conceded that Virender Sehwag's run out for 23 was disappointing from the team's point of view. "I thought that was not a situation for a third run. The ball was in his hand and I thought it would be risky going for a third. But after watching replay I thought there was a third run. We lost an important player. He was hitting the ball well. If he could have continued and we had a bigger start, we would have been a different position.

"When that kind of a dismissal happens, it starts playing on your mind because you've done all the hard work putting 47 runs on the board and he was playing well. Things would have been different if he had continued playing. It's disappointing from the team's point of view," he said.

PTI

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