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India vs England 2021: From Kolkata 2012 to Galle & Chennai 2021 - The Best of James Anderson in Asia

It took a sensational over from James Anderson to change the match on its head and put England in the driver's seat.

India vs England 2021: From Kolkata 2012 to Galle & Chennai 2021 - The Best of James Anderson in Asia

As much as the Day 5 Chennai wicket crumbled and turned and bounced if not for a great spell of bowling by one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time the series may still have been 0-0. It took a sensational over from James Anderson to change the match on its head and put England in the driver's seat. The veteran fast bowler gave a lesson in reverse swing with a match-changing spell inspiring England to a massive and rare win in India.

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Anderson is the leading wicket-taker amongst fast bowlers in Test cricket history and is only improving with age. At 38, he has produced two memorable back to back performances in two great wins for his country at two Asian venues not too far from each other - Galle and Chennai. It is a testimony of his skill, temperament, mental toughness and fitness to be able to win matches for England in hot and humid conditions in the sub-continent.

We look at 5 great performances by Anderson in Asia.

1. 3-17 in 11 overs vs India, Chennai, 2021

Anderson was the difference between a fighting draw by India and a stunning and rare win for England in the series opener in Chennai. Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill were looking comfortable at the crease and had both hit some delightful boundaries in their 34-run stand for the third wicket before Anderson in his very first over of the day produced a reverse-swinging snorter to go through the defences of Gill.

He almost had Ajinkya Rahane trapped leg before with the fourth delivery of the over - the ball again reversing to hit the batsman on his pads. The England bowler had the India number 5 off the very next delivery as he went just wide of the crease and burst through the defences of Rahane with another reverse-swinging shooter. Anderson had changed the course of the match in the space of four deliveries. He wasn't done and saw the back of the dangerous Rishabh Pant having him caught at short cover. India had lost three quick wickets and were staring at defeat at 110 for 5. It was not a spinner who had changed the match on its head but the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket history!

2. 6-40 in 29 overs vs Sri Lanka, Galle, 2021

James Anderson picked up his 30th fifer in Test cricket when his spell of 6/40 in 29 overs restricted Sri Lanka to 381 in the first innings of the second Test in Galle ultimately paving away for a comprehensive win for England and with it a successive series sweep in the island nation. Anderson again showcased his tremendous work ethic, fitness and skill in hot and humid conditions not necessarily suited to swing and seam bowling.

He persevered bowling an impeccable line and length getting a hint of seam movement, a little extra bounce and a fraction of reverse swing - all just enough to trouble the Sri Lanka batsmen and keep his team in the match despite losing a crucial toss. Anderson gave his best performance (in an innings) in Asia in Galle. Not only did he pick 6 wickets, 5 of them of the top-middle order, but was also brilliantly restrictive bowling as many as 13 maidens and conceding at an economy rate of just 1.38.

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3. 4-40 in 19.1 overs vs India, Mumbai, 2006

Anderson saw the back of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, effected the run-out of the highest scorer of the innings, MS Dhoni and then also got two more lower-order wickets to bowl out India for 279 handing England a massive first innings lead in the third and final Test in Mumbai in 2006. He also got the wickets of opener, Irfan Pathan and Virender Sehwag in the second innings as India were routed for 100. England went on to register a thumping 212-run series levelling victory.

4. 3-89 in 28 overs & 3-38 in 15.4 overs vs India, Kolkata, 2012

Anderson produced a series-defining performance against India at the Eden Gardens in 2012 where he returned with three wickets in each innings. He exploited the reverse swinging conditions brilliantly getting the big wicket of Tendulkar with a reverse outswinger in the first innings. Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were the other big wickets he picked in the match playing a pivotal role with the ball in England's historic series win over India - their first in India since 1984!

5. 3-62 in 22 overs vs Sri Lanka, Colombo (PSS), 2012

Anderson produced a series-levelling performance against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2012. He gave England a great start getting rid of the first three Lankan wickets to fall in the first innings. Anderson dismissed Dilshan, Sangakkara and Thirimanne to reduce the home team to 30 for 3. It was a fine response by the visitors after losing the toss and fielding in tough conditions. From thereon England had the ascendancy in the match. They bowled out the hosts for 275 in the first innings, put up a big score and went on to win by 8 wickets to level the two-match series at 1-1.

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