As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything. To think it’s been almost a year since we last made that joke. How time flies.
James Anderson has a bit of a reputation for – and you have to use these exact words – ‘spraying it around’. While this is fair on the face of it, we don’t think it tells the full story.
We’ve watched James Anderson play for Lancashire a heap of times. Not once has he done any spraying. Not even to mark his territory, like a cat. Generally speaking, Anderson’s Lancashire spells are characterised by a lot of playing and missing from the batsman, the occasional wicket and not a great deal else.
Remember when he bowled that ten over spell that only went for 12 runs against Australia. In 40 degree heat. In a one-day match. James Anderson can keep it tight.
Maybe it’s the white ball. Maybe it’s playing for England. Maybe it’s playing for England knowing you’re due to get dropped quite soon. Whatever it is, Anderson’s a more accurate bowler than you might think.
Yesterday he seemed to bowl a few too many deliveries that the batsmen could comfortably leave. But if you looked at the old pitch map that shows where the ball’s been landing, you saw that all the deliveries lined up between his arm and off stump. They were just different lengths and for some reason James Anderson deliveries swing a lot more once they’ve pitched, so the shorter ones end up quite wide.
We made a noise when he cleaned up Matthew Bell. We haven’t often made noises at wickets this winter. Bell might have played a crap shot, but some of his colleagues played straighter to similar balls and still got out.
More of this kind of thing, Jimmy. More of this kind of thing!
New Zealand v England, second Test at Wellington – day two
England 342 (Tim Ambrose 102, Paul Collingwood 65, Mark Gillespie 4-79, Jacob Oram 3-46)
New Zealand 198 (Ross Taylor 53, Daniel Vettori 50 not out, James Anderson 5-73, Paul Collingwood 3-23)