The all-rounder powered Joe Root’s side to a 1-0 series lead over India at Edgbaston with a stirring three-wicket burst that included the prized pelt of Virat Kohli but now sits out the second instalment given his long-awaited trial for affray begins in Bristol on Monday.
Anderson would have had him for just 21 in his first-innings 149, though, if Dawid Malan had held a regulation slip catch – and England’s all-time leading wicket-taker is keeping the faith he can get his man before India make the 84 runs they need to win here after reaching 110 for five.
England were earlier dismissed for 180 in their second innings as Ishant Sharma claimed his eighth five-wicket Test haul. But Anderson removed Karthik in the first over of the day and later Stokes got the better of Kohli and Pandya.
It very quickly got worse for the tourists at 141-8 after Stokes struck again in the same over with Mohammed Shami caught behind.
Adil Rashid ended Sharma’s innings.
Two balls later, he got Ben Stokes and then dismissed Jos Buttler in the same over.
The duo put on 29 runs for the seventh wicket with Pandya looking the more aggressive of the two, hitting Stuart Broad for two consecutive boundaries in one over.
Allrounder Stokes said “beating a team like India has probably closed a few mouths (of critics)”.
“When the focus is on the larger picture, these things don t matter – you are able to bat longer than you would ve done otherwise and the ability you have inside just unleashes because you re not focused on your personal milestones”, added Kohli, who has now scored 5,754 Test runs at an average of 54.28.
The left-arm seamer ran through India’s top order to leave it reeling at 76 for 3 on the second day of the just concluded Edgbaston Test before bringing up his maiden Test fifty in the second innings to help the host to a competitive total.
“Kohli was phenomenal in this game”.
And on the contrary, Virat Kohli was everything that his other batsmen weren’t.
But England’s lead ultimately prove to be too much as Hardik Pandya (31) nicked one off Ben Stokes to Alastair Cook at first slip. Revealing what he told his teammates before the start of play, Root said, “I spoke to the boys at the start, and said “Just go out there with that belief, desire that you have done the previous two days in the field” – and they didn’t disappoint”.
Kohli was one of three wickets Stokes took in the final throes to give him innings figures of four for 40.
Anderson took 2-50, Broad 2-43 and Rashid 1-9.
In the short term, after Stokes bowled so well across the entire match, we are left to wonder how England will cope without him for the second at Lord’s, which starts on Thursday.
The Lancashire swing bowler added: “It´s a really exciting place to be, because you know we could do something special tomorrow by winning this”.
Edgbaston has been England’s favourite venue – they have won 28 Tests and lost only eight here.
But Root brought Adil Rashid back into the attack – a fearless move given the match-situation – and he trapped Ishant Sharma leg before. Their win-loss ratio here is the third-best for any team at a venue in which they have played 25 or more Tests.