Returning England seamer James Anderson admits his side have a rescue mission on their hands after India dominated with the bat on the opening day of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
Centuries from skipper Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara put India in control after England had made early inroads to reduce the hosts to 22-2, retaliating to reach the close in a commanding position at 317-4.
The tourists’ spin department failed to fire and it proved a tough day in the field for England, although Anderson, playing his first Test since August having recovered from a stress fracture to his right shoulder, claimed 3-44.
“We need to have a good day with the ball [on Friday] and an extremely good go with the bat,” said Anderson.“I’m not sure the pitch will stay together as well as Rajkot [in the first Test], there are signs of it keeping low. There will be more variable bounce. We have seen a few spin, so we are in a tough position.
“The two guys [Kohli and Pujara] went about their business and showed they are world class players. They made it very difficult to bowl at them. Hopefully we can pick up more wickets in the morning with the new ball.”
Anderson, the country’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was relieved to reprise his role as the leader of England’s attack and smoothy continue his penchant for snaring opposition batsmen following a three-month injury lay-off.
“I have missed playing and missed taking a wicket. It’s a feeling you can’t get in any walk of life, or at least I struggle with it,” said the 34-year-old.
Nottinghamshire’s Stuart Broad and Anderson struck early to dismiss openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay to leave India reeling, but thereafter it was the Kohli and Pujara show as the duo shared a 226-run stand for the third wicket.
Pujara was eventually dismissed having amassed 119, while Kohli ended the day’s play unbeaten on 151 – his 14th Test century. Ajinkya Rahane was the other wicket to fall, also to Anderson.