England in India 2012-13 November 29, 2012

We believed we could cause an upset - Anderson


James Anderson has said a desire to prove their critics wrong was at the heart of England's improved performance in the second Test in Mumbai. Anderson, a member of the team that was beaten by nine wickets at Ahmedabad before winning by 10 wickets in Mumbai, accepted that England had "slipped up" in the first Test but felt that the motivation to "prove a point" had inspired them in the second.

"The confidence was always there," Anderson said. "We just slipped up in the first innings at Ahmedabad, which cost us the game. We performed much better in the second innings there and that gave us more confidence moving forward to Mumbai.

"The fact is we really wanted to prove a point as well. It was quite easy for everyone to say we were going to lose 4-0 after that first Test, but we kept believing that we could actually cause an upset in this series. We needed a couple of guys to stand up, and we had three or four who really stood up and gave a great account of themselves in Mumbai and ended up winning the game for us. Moving on, we definitely feel like we can keep improving. I know a couple of guys made the majority of our runs at Mumbai, so hopefully throughout the series more people can contribute. Maybe the seamers will take a couple more wickets, too."

Anderson rated the Mumbai win as memorable an overseas victory as he had experienced in his time in the team. Not only did it show that England could bounce back from a dispiriting defeat, but it showed they were coming to terms with their issues against with spin bowling and their issues playing in Asian conditions.

"We were written off after the first Test," Anderson said. "You looked on Twitter and everyone was saying 4-0, it's going to be 4-0. We knew it was going to difficult. Then we lost the toss on a pitch that should have suited them down to the ground - and we out-batted them and out-bowled them. I thought it was an incredible effort. It's certainly up there for me as one of the best we've ever had.

"The victory in Adelaide in 2010 was good. But that pitch had a little bit of seam movement in it, which has been our strength over the past few years. We're not supposed to be able to play spin, we're not supposed to be able to play on the subcontinent, and we proved to everyone that we can do it. It feels better than Adelaide. And it even feels better than the Test we won here in 2006. The guys involved - guys like me and Monty Panesar and Kevin Pietersen say it feels better than that. Now we can really use it as a springboard and hopefully push on for the rest of the series."

Anderson also admitted that he had tried to offer some encouragement to his fast-bowling colleague, Stuart Broad. Broad has failed to take a wicket in either of the first two Tests and could well lose his place to Steven Finn for the third Test at Ahmedabad. But, whatever his current form, Anderson remains a believer in Broad's ability.

"It's difficult," Anderson said. "If you're not on top of your game out here, you're going to go for runs and that's what's happened to Broady. But he's a strong character. He's been through this before - we've all been through it - but he's a strong enough character to bounce back.

"We knew it was going to be tough series for seamers. Anything outside off stump is pretty much a free hit for them. But we've got to try to stay positive about it. We know we can still play a part in the series and we've got a job to do, even if it's just holding an end up for a spinner. We've still got a job to do."

England fly to Kolkata on Friday where they will be joined by Ian Bell, who has returned to India after a spell of paternity leave, and James Tredwell, who has joined the squad as cover for the two senior spinners, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann. Stuart Meaker, who has been with the Test squad as cover, will rejoin the England Performance Programme squad after Finn proved his fitness playing for an EPP match.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shanmugam on December 1, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan, what about Swann, who picked up 8 wickets, then? Or, Compton who, even though he didn't get the big scores, held up one end and ensured England didn't lose a quick wicket at the top. Besides, cricket is a team game and if a player is not contributing with bat or ball, he is motivating the others to do well. A great piece of fielding, a great catch, they all contribute. Anderson got things going for England with the first wicket off the third ball of the match. It is not like India where individual records are celebrated above the team's victories (cue: Tendulkar's '100th international ton' when India lost to Bangladesh).

  • Alex on December 1, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    India problem is lack of bowling options. He is grinding out Ojha. Ashwin started struggling with pressure. Bhajji non existanct. I think rahul sharma is better bowler than bhajji. I need need house cleaning in Bowling department. Ishant sharma , Yadav , Dinda ..all are at best can take 1 or 2 wickets. How india going to win with any of these Ouch it hurts bowlers?. Zaheer khan carried india for few years. Once he is not getting wicket ...bowling really got exposed. Dhoni start wondering how do i gona get next wicket. He ran out of ideas when KP was going guns blazing. That said i am cool with dhoni asking rank turners. Indian curators should shut up and do the work like other countries. Unfortunately indian curators independent. Once indian curator gave green pitch in nagpur completely boosted aussie bowling and negated indian spinners. That was treason. But in India anything can happen. its a confused democracy.

  • Geoffrey on December 1, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    @Aakash Balani- Actually, the ICC were calling them the best team in the world according to the official rankings. Secondly, hardly anyone beats India at home, such a victory is practically unheard of from England since 1976. Give credit where credit is due mate.

  • John on December 1, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    @Aakash Balani on (November 30 2012, 12:01 PM GMT), that's a bit of a distortion. Whoever is #1 at the moment, noone is good enough to be as dominant as Australia were in their heyday and even they had trouble beating India in India. If you understand cricket then you know that the conditions in India are about as different to those in England as possible so it's a different game. The fact that England didn't play two spinners in the first Test shows just how unused to the conditions they are. England played two spinners in Mumbai and they took 19 wickets between them. That will just never happen in England, showing just how different conditions are.

  • Mike on December 1, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    England will win the series and within a year be world numero uno again. Hopefully lmao.

  • Ali Asghar on December 1, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    I'll say one thing, I'm glad my team isn't playing IPL, And i wish they never will..otherwise they'll become a fast track bullies as well just like all Indian batsman excluding Dravid!!!

  • Shanmugam on November 30, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    Bell should not be selected. Patel should also go. I would retain Bairstow and give a chance to Root or Morgan. Of course, the coach-captain know what to do but one decision which I am certain they will make is replacing Broad with Finn. Send Broad back to England and let him prepare himself for the NZ tour. That would mean he misses the T20Is and ODIs which is fine. We should always play the best XI regardless of past reputations.

  • david on November 30, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    ravikb perhaps if india had given england a pitch and some spinners to bowl at them they may have done a little better in the 1st test. but there was no spirit of cricket on hand.

  • david on November 30, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    finn in, play 3 spinners, bell in i suppose. an win a toss for a change

  • Steve on November 30, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    @Aakash Balani (and others) England weren't calling themselves "number 1 ranked test team" 6 or so months ago! They WERE ranked by the ICC as the number one team.... understand the difference? BTW it looks as though they could soon be back at the top with SA struggling against the Aussies and England looking like they MIGHT pull off a series win in India. We'll see though and I for one think the rankings are pretty meaningless. COME ON ENGLAND!!!

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