England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 5th day July 14, 2013

It was Jimmy who done it

Forget edges, infrared technology, and umpiring errors, James Anderson won this Test
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William Herschel just beat Australia. He died in 1882 but it was he who contorted Brad Haddin's face, encouraged the England players to cheer and forced Marais Erasmus to tell Aleem Dar he'd made a mistake.

William Herschel was the man who discovered infrared. It was infrared and quality stump microphones that beat Australia. That and Jimmy Anderson.

When he's showing you what he is doing, Anderson is really good. When he is hiding what he is doing, he's terrifying. Statistically he was half of England's wicket tally. In person he was almost all of it.

Anderson took down the great Ashton Agar. He delivered him the kind of ball that you save for people who can ruin your life. Around the wicket, close enough to make you play, moving the prefect amount, and taking the right amount of edge. Without a sterile room and a scalpel, this was about as perfect as surgery gets. Australia's Skywalker was gone.

Three innings ago Mitchell Starc made 99 in Mohali. In the middle of a 4-0 whitewash, in a match Australia would lose by six wickets, he smashed the ball everywhere and all but pulled off a hundred from No. 9. Like many Aussie tailenders, he couldn't convert his start into a hundred. This time Jimmy was clearly not looking for any fun from Starc. Starc couldn't have looked any less comfortable facing Anderson if Jimmy was operating a flame thrower.

Peter Siddle's batting usually has two things, solid full-faced defence and the occasional stylish stroke through the offside. He doesn't make many runs, but he isn't easy to get out. Off Broad he took two boundaries, when he tried to do anything resembling that to Anderson he lost his wicket.

Anderson only had eight balls to James Pattinson, mostly in his 13th straight over. His pace was down. On one ball, that Pattinson hit for four, it looked like Jimmy was dragging a washing machine through the crease with him. He had bowled himself into the ground; he produced the sort of spell that ends fast bowler's careers, while making them legends. Shortly after he limped off the ground like he had a chastity belt made of concrete around his waist.

That was when this became an actual game. Without Jimmy, Australia fought back. Brad Haddin embarrassed Steven Finn. Pattinson embarrassed the techniques of most of his top order. Finn dropped a catch. Swann bowled full tosses. Australia edged closer.

A nine-wicket cricket match is not like other sport. Your brain does not know how to understand it. It can be over at any stage. Your ears make up noises. Your eyes can't be trusted. It's like watching a tortoise cross a ravine on a tightrope.

A bump ball can make you make you cry. You hear noises that can only be bails falling off. Every other single noise is an edge behind. A skied catch can take 17 years to find a hand. Every single defensive shot could spin back off the pitch into the stumps. You actually stop breathing and at any point you can't see the ball. That all happened to me. It was like the game hijacked my senses.

Every time Pattinson leaned forward with a perfectly straight bat to defend, I saw an edge. A skied shot from Haddin just went missing in the sky; I kicked my desk trying to find it - I am still positive I saw the ball drop safely into Finn's hands.

But what actually happened is that tortoise happily moved across the ravine, getting closer and closer, until Jimmy came back into the attack.

It doesn't really matter if Anderson is the most skilful bowler on earth, or even the Grand Poobah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes, he's just really good. Anderson won this Test. Forget edges, infrared technology, and umpiring errors. Remember Jimmy Anderson.

Remember him taking the wicket of Australia's bravest warrior, a man who was ignored for years, underperformed for a time, and worked like a possessed man for that one last chance. A man who had pushed Broad aside. Mocked Finn. And kept out Swann. A man who had dragged the corpse of the Australian batting line up within 15 runs of victory.

A man who stood his ground even when he knew he was condemned. Because he just couldn't walk off. He couldn't leave until they made him. He wasn't made to leave by infrared, stump mics or Erasmus. It was Jimmy who done it. He was the man who shook the tortoise off, and the reason it was there in the first place.

Jarrod Kimber is the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • aniketgade on July 15, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    "Anderson delivered Agar the kind of ball that you save for people who can ruin your life" - Hillarious. Another good article by Jarrod.

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    great piece, loved the last little summary of Haddin especially, he is a true fighter

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Real fine piece of writing Jarrod, enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    Haddin should have walked ('*,) - saying that England are too over reliant on Swann and Jimmy is like saying Aussies were too reliant on Warne and McGrath - even if it's true its beside the point. If you've got a choice between using a bazooka or a knife when aiming to take out your opposition you may as well use the big guns. Eng would be wise to blood some young talent like Broad and Finn and just stick with them giving them full confidence that they are the future of the England attack. As Australia are doing with Pattinson, Starc (and hopefully Cummins)

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Australia need to have a number 3 that can adjust to the state of the game. Brad Haddin may have put his and up today. Why is no one talking up maddinsons chances?? Anyone would be better than Cowan at this point.

  • Chris_Howard on July 15, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @Roger Menzies, if Broad should have walked, so should Clarke and Haddin (who both spun around to see if the catch was taken - a fairly reliable sign of a nick).

    And if Broad should have walked, Trott should have stood his ground, coz he knew he wasn't out. Oh, hang on, it only works one way...

    Broad's wasn't as clear as people think. The big deflection everyone keeps seeing was off Haddin's gloves. Off the bat the ball went as straight as the one off Haddin's bat at the end.

  • Chris_Howard on July 15, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Broad was still carrying a shoulder injury, but the real problem was Finn. He's the type of bowler who likes the short stuff. On this pitch, that got carted by number 11s. England should have went with Bresnan, who has a very good record there.

  • amir_nirvana on July 14, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    Top drawer stuff this article especially the bit about Haddin. Terrific stuff from Australia and they really did act like professionals in the face of everything with Broad and the decisions they got. Can't help but feel that they deserved it a bit more than England did though.

  • dummy4fb on July 14, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Great article as usual Jarrod, but the very same William Herschel also was the discoverer of the planet Uranus in 1781, which would make him dying in 1882 highly improbable! No, he died 60 years earlier in 1822.

    In other matters, occasionally with his black hair flopping down over his forehead, Anderson looked positively Trueman-esque... "It's Anderson wot won it!"