England captain Joe Root on Tuesday warmly praised the fitter and more capable than ever James Anderson for his match-winning spell against India in the opening stage, saying that having the veteran out of the way puts him in a “very comfortable position”. Root said Anderson’s dismissal of Indian hitters Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane in the space of three balls in the game, which England won by 227 runs on Tuesday, reminded him of Andrew Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes. Flintoff had Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer fired at once in the second Test to revive the hope of England and their Ashes campaign.
“It kind of reminded me of (Andrew) Flintoff in 2005 (Edgbaston Test) and the impact of that on (Ricky) Ponting and (Justin) Langer to some extent. In the context of this game it was huge,” Root said in the press conference. after the match.
“When you see someone like Jimmy Anderson, you naturally expect that from him,” he added.
Flintoff had scalped Langer and then Australian captain Ponting during the same period as England won the Edgbaston test to tie at 1-1 before taking a memorable Ashes victory.
Root was effusive in praise for 38-year-old Anderson.
“He seems to be getting better and better. The skill level is getting better … his work pace is as good as anyone I’ve ever seen. And his fitness is the best he’s ever been in his entire career,” he said.
“It’s an asset to English cricket. That’s a great example for all English players. When you’re under pressure and something needs to be done when you get it in your arsenal, it’s a very comfortable position to sit in,” added Root to it.
Root praised his side for capturing all the great moments in the match.
Ben Stokes is coming and taking the wicket from Virat Kohli … They are great players and they get up and do special things. It’s a great example for the young guys to go and see (and say) that I’m the one. wants to be who does that, ”he said.
“It’s those big moments that you have to seize. And if you want to win the series in these conditions against a side as good as India, then these are the things you have to do well,” he added.
Regarding the lack of an audience in the first test, he said the England team was missing its traveling fans.
Spectators would be allowed to enter the stands with 50 percent of the stadium’s capacity during the second test starting on February 13.
“Well, we definitely miss our fans, the traveling fans and their support. Obviously, it’s a big loss by the end to enjoy a week like this next to the guys playing,” said Root.
“It could be very different next week if there are a few people in the ground, and I’m sure that will improve the aesthetic of Test cricket even more,” he added.
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