Jimmy Anderson makes a delicious omelette

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Photo by Sarah Ansell

We stand by everything we said yesterday. We never said England lacked eggs, only baskets. There have always been plenty of oeufs in the new ball basket and Jimmy Anderson is adept at using them. Take three wickets for one run and additional receptacles seem superfluous  – particularly if you then produce three additional eggs, in the form of catches and run-outs. Just don’t ask where he was keeping them.

The most impressive part of the Tour de France doesn’t take place in the mountains with thousands of pissed-up Dutchmen bellowing into the leading contenders’ faces. It takes place the next morning when they set off again. At the top of a climb, faces haggard, breathing ragged, the cyclists are tired but at least have the finish in sight. The next day, they do not. They have hundreds of kilometres to go, perhaps the same sorts of climbs again, and they’re carrying all that fatigue from the previous day’s efforts.

There is something of Jimmy Anderson in this. It’s not just the fact that he roused himself to action with England only a fifth of the way to dismissing West Indies and no guarantee that they’d actually reach their intended destination, it’s also the sheer physical resilience of the man.

Innings after innings he at least matches and usually exceeds the workloads of the other pace bowlers. But then, making use of the fourth new ball he’s had his hands on in this match, he bowls as swiftly and as effortlessly and as skilfully as at any point before, almost as if the first Test and the first 30-odd overs he’d bowled in this Test hadn’t happened. Then he balletically plucks one out of the air during a rest between overs. Then he moves like a cat and throws like the complete opposite of a cat to dismiss someone else. Then yet another catch.

When does he rest? He’ll rest when he’s dead, presumably, and looking at England’s fixture list, the ECB will have executed him by the end of the year. Wherever will England keep their eggs then?


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    1. Like batsmen only having a certain allotment of runs to score, bowlers (Dale “Unholy Freak of Nature” Steyn aside) only have so many wickets they can take before they stop again. Jimmy Anderson was saving his wickets from the last 2 matches just for that moment yesterday when the game seemed dead and buried to strike.

  1. Jimmy’s celebrations remind me of a sculpture up our way, but with a twist for batsmen everywhere – he is the Angel of Death!

    1. Your avatar appears to be a turd wearing a Zorro mask and dancing to Saturday Night Fever.

    2. A Christmas tree turd.

      This isn’t very welcoming, but you do seem to have been given an unusually unflattering avatar.

  2. Still think he’s approaching the end of the line. Can’t see him lasting much beyond end of this summer.

    1. Positive thoughts, there.

      He should outlast Broad, at any rate.

      Can’t we just enjoy him while he’s still playing, and not think about an attack based around Stokes, Woakes and other blokes?

  3. Top player. He changes the result of matches more often than anyone else in this team, which is why he is the best of them all. Root was Man of the Match – lord only knows why.

    Your post raises two other issues though. Firstly, that is a tremendously insightful comment about cyclists. Dig into any sport and you find where the real heroism is, and it is rarely in out-and-out talent. My own sport of Rugby League has open play and dazzling skills, but there is nothing like the sheer honest effort and bravery of a prop making forty tackles a match.

    Secondly, the opposite of a cat. This is a tricky one. What are the main characteristics of a cat that need to be reversed to make the opposite of it? It would seem we are looking for a loving, placid, amiable creature, able to do simple calculus, very much disliking of fish and fish-related produce, and distinctly not indifferent to cricket. Oh, and not possessed by a demonic spirit hell bent on the destruction of the universe one piece of furniture at a time. To paraphrase David Baddiel, that’s me that is. I am the Anti-cat.

  4. Your avatar looks like a green turd, Chuck. I hate Ryder, the fat oaf got both Sangakarra and KP out today because they were watching his wobbly belly and not the ball.

  5. Speaking of the England fixture list… Has anyone else spotted that the Barbados test finishes a week tomorrow (Tuesday) and England are playing Ireland on the Friday of the same week? A soupcon of fixture congestion there!

    1. What better incentive to win by an innings inside three days? Also several of them, not least the openers, will get a break as it’s an ODI against Ireland.

  6. He is a brilliant fast bowler and a great player of swing bowling. He played important role to all out West Indies on the last day of 2nd test and bring win to England in overseas after a long time.

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