James Anderson will need to carry this England attack for the rest of the series.
England have conceded a one-nil lead in the currently ongoing five-match Test series against India. Not only have the hosts struggled with the bat, but their bowlers have also not been able to provide regular breakthroughs.
England’s troubles began with the absence of Ben Stokes, leaving their side well-short on players to strike the right balance. On top of that, Stuart Broad being ruled out of the series has only put more pressure on their bowling ace, James Anderson.
To make matters worse for the hosts, Mark Wood also suffered a shoulder injury in the second Test at Lord’s and will have to be assessed ahead of the third Test at Leeds. Lancashire bowler Saqib Mahmood has been added to the England squad, alongside the likes of Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson, as the hosts try to find the right balance and replacements for their side.
With England thin on experienced fast bowling resources, let’s take a look at the three current bowlers who have the most wickets against India in Test matches.
3) Sam Curran
Sam Curran celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli in the second Test.
Often regarded as India’s kryptonite player in his young career, Sam Curran is third on the list with just 12 wickets to his name against the visitors. This perhaps highlights just how thin England are in their bowling resources.
Sam Curran’s been rather erratic on a number of occasions in the series and will need to find his best form to keep his side alive in the series. He has a bag of tricks under his sleeve and has the knack of taking crucial wickets, like he did in the second Test, accounting for Virat Kohli on day four.
The likes of Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood aren’t far behind on the list, with nine and five wickets against India respectively. While the former has been impressive, the latter might miss a couple of Tests due to injury, which could open the door for Saqib Mahmood. England will be counting on their new-age bowlers to come good in this series and provide some inspiration to inspire a fight back to turn the series around.
2) Moeen Ali
England v India – Second LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Two
Right then. This is where the list gets fascinating. With Stuart Broad out of the equation, England are currently well short on experienced bowlers to carry the workload with Anderson. Moeen Ali is next on the list with 52 wickets against India.
It’s worth noting that England have omitted Jack Leach, a specialist spinner, to add Moeen Ali to their squad for his all-rounding abilities. Hence Moeen is expected to take wickets shall the wicket assist the spinners.
With England already short on bowling options, they’ve got to rely on their all-rounder to find some inspiration and produce the goods to carry the workload.
1) James Anderson
Jimmy Anderson celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli in the first Test.
There’s little doubt that James Anderson is already one of the greats of the game and England have to be heavily reliant on their 39-year old pacer to keep producing the goods consistently. Anderson recently leapfrogged Anil Kumble to become the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, scalping 626 wickets.
The legendary pacer is the joint-highest wicket-taker for England in this series, alongside Ollie Robinson with nine wickets. He recorded his 31st Test fifer at Lord’s, making it his fifth five-wicket haul against India, also recording his 127th wicket against the same opposition in the process.
With the likes of Broad and Stokes missing from the series and Wood struggling with a shoulder injury, England need Anderson to carry an inexperienced bowling attack against a formidable Indian batting line-up.