James Anderson bowled with consumate skill for England on day one of third Test in Kolkata, says Mike Atherton
James Anderson bowled superbly, says Mike Atherton, as England seized the initiative against India.
Last Updated: 10/12/12 9:04pm
That's the view of Sky Sports pundit Mike Atherton after he watched the 30-year-old seamer and the rest of England's bowlers reduce the hosts to 273-7 at stumps in Kolkata.
Anderson (3-68 off 21 overs) sent Virat Kohli (6) and Ravichandran Ashwin (21) back into the hutch, while he also claimed the prize scalp of Sachin Tendulkar (76), and along with Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, has now removed the Little Master the most times in Test cricket (8).
Former England skipper Atherton was impressed by the visitors' four-pronged bowling attack - to which Steven Finn was reinstated in place of Stuart Broad - but reserved special praise for Lancashire quick Anderson.
"All four of England's bowlers were outstanding, and [Monty] Panesar wheeled away with great control," Atherton, who watched the action unfold at Eden Gardens, told Sky Sports News.
"But Anderson showed what a skilful bowler he is, taking two key wickets with the old ball and getting it to reverse, and then getting one in the penultimate over of the day with the second new ball."
"The key wicket was Tendulkar because he was set and looking ominous and that will give Anderson most pleasure; he produced an absolute ripper and it was through no fault of Tendulkar that he got out to it [by edging behind to wicketkeeper Matt Prior].
"Everything was in the home team's favour after they won the toss for the third consecutive match in this series on a very dry and cracked pitch, so England have had a fantastic day."
Atherton says England - who could have made earlier inroads into the India line-up had Finn run out Ahswin when the score was on 232-6 - must now polish off the home side's innings and then assemble a mammoth total in their first knock - on a pitch less conducive to spin.
"It's a pretty good surface to bat on and is more abrasive than the surface we had in Mumbai [for the second Test] so the pace bowlers come into it more and there is not as much spin," he added.
"The pitch is not going to change over the next day or two, so England's aim now is to get rid of [MS] Dhoni, knock India over quickly for 320-odd and then get a big first innings score.
"The game will hinge on England's first knock and they ought to look to get 400-450+ and get a big lead, as they did in Mumbai."
To hear more from Athers, hit the video at the top of the screen.