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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Joe Root calls James Anderson a 'special commodity' after Lord's Test win over India

England captain pays tribute to veteran fast bowler after nine-wicket haul sends hosts to 2-0 lead in five-match series

England fast bowler James Anderson reached the 100-wicket landmark at Lord's. AP Photo
England fast bowler James Anderson reached the 100-wicket landmark at Lord's. AP Photo

Joe Root has every right to be optimistic "special commodity" James Anderson can stick around to keep helping England win Test matches after his nine wickets at Lord's overwhelmed India.

England's 36-year-old all-time leading wicket-taker was pipped for the man-of-the-match award by Chris Woakes - whose comeback first century put the hosts out of sight on the way to a 2-0 series lead.

But after Anderson finished with match figures of 9-43 in a superlative all-round bowling performance which also included star turns from Stuart Broad and Woakes, captain Root made no secret of his delight to have such skills at his disposal.

England prevailed by an innings and 159 runs on the fourth evening of a rain-ravaged match, as India were bowled out for 130 - and Anderson and Broad shared figures of 8-67.

Asked about evergreen record-breaker Anderson, Root said: "He's a special, special commodity, isn't he?

"He's something that doesn't come along very often, and we've got to enjoy him while he's around. Time and again, he puts in fantastic performances. For him to be performing as he is, is something else."

Anderson shows quality

Broad chips in, too

Anderson, who has become the first bowler ever to take 100 Test wickets at Lord's, is showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

"There's been chat about his longevity, but at the minute he's bowling better than he ever has," Root added. "Even though the conditions suited you've still got to ask the right questions of the batters.

"Throughout the whole game he did just that."

Root warns, however, England must not assume their world No 1 visitors are washed-up in a hectic five-match series which will resume at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

"India are doing everything they can, but...we've given them nothing. I don't see any lack of fight, or lack of trying [from them].

"Obviously, it would be a dream to put in five complete performances and have five wins. But it's important we don't get complacent, arrogant.

"If you get too far ahead of yourself, this game has got a funny way of biting back at you."

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Read more:

Bit-part role: There is no bowling, no batting, no catch for Adil Rashid in England's rout of India

Chitrabhanu Kadalayil: India batsmen must replicate Kohli mindset for Test success in England

Graham Caygill: England need to have more settled side to become force in Test cricket again

Chitrabhanu Kadalayil: Mixed emotions could well turn to despair if India are beaten at Lord's

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India captain Virat Kohli suffered backaches during Lord's Test match. Reuters
India captain Virat Kohli suffered backaches during Lord's Test match. Reuters

Root's opposite number Virat Kohli has his own aches, pains and concerns about how to galvanise his team.

Kohli spent time off the field because of a bad back.

"As of yesterday it was not great," he said. "The back is one thing that can be very tricky...but the good thing is I have five days before the next Test. We are confident I should be ready."

As for India's other ailments after a match in which No 8 Ravichandran Ashwin top-scored in both innings, Kohli added: "It's our job and our duty to play for the country, and we should be better than that.

"Unless you accept that, you can't improve and compete. We have to accept what we did wrong - mistakes have been made - and not repeat again."