Root hails Anderson as 'the GOAT of English cricket' after Chennai masterclass

By Sports Desk February 09, 2021

Joe Root hailed James Anderson as the "GOAT of English cricket" who is "ageing like a fine wine" after England's leading Test wicket-taker produced another masterclass of seam bowling in an emphatic win over India.

The magnificent Anderson produced one of the great spells before lunch in Chennai on day five of the first match of the series, putting the tourists well on their way to a 227-run victory.

Anderson generated huge reverse swing, taking three wickets for six runs in five overs during the morning session, and India could not contend with his skillset as the 38-year-old finished with brilliant figures of 3-17.

Impressive spinner Jack Leach took 4-76 as India were bowled out for 192 after lunch, half-centuries from captain Virat Kohli (72) and Shubman Gill (50) proving to be in vain.

It was a dream 100th Test for Root, who made a sublime double century and was named man of the match after matching Michael Vaughan's record of 26 victories as skipper for England in the longest format.

Root paid tribute to the ageless Anderson after his final-day heroics.

The in-form batsman said: "He is the GOAT of English cricket. He finds ways of constantly challenging himself and getting better.

"At 38 to still be getting better and be as fit as ever is fantastic - he is a great role model. His skill level is as good as anyone you'll ever see."

Root added: "He just keeps getting better and better, like a fine wine. His skill levels are as high as ever and his fitness levels.

"He sets a great example for all the younger bowlers in our squad and I can see him playing on for many more years, which is very exciting."

On England's overall performance, Root said: "It's been a fantastic five days with the way we came back and executed the game plan, it was really, really pleasing and we'll enjoy this before getting ready to come back again."

Related items

  • Chahar marks half-century in style as CSK crush Punjab Kings Chahar marks half-century in style as CSK crush Punjab Kings

    Deepak Chahar produced career-best Indian Premier League figures to inspire Chennai Super Kings to a dominant victory over Punjab Kings.

    Making his 50th appearance in the competition, Chahar helped ensure Punjab's innings never got going as they were restricted to 106-8.

    He finished with 4-13 from four overs, including one maiden, Punjab never getting to grips with a challenging surface in Mumbai.

    Faf du Plessis (36 not out) and Moeen Ali (46) combined for 66 to help CSK ease to their target with 26 balls to spare, winning by six wickets.

    Mayank Agarwal went for a two-ball duck to Chahar in the opening over, misjudging a wondrous delivery that pinged the top off-stump.

    A direct hit from Ravindra Jadeja saw KL Rahul run out before the West Indian pair of Chris Gayle (10) and Nicholas Pooran (0) each fell to Chahar before the end of the powerplay.

    Deepak Hooda tamely chipped to mid-off for Chahar's fourth wicket, leaving Punjab on 26-5 in the seventh over.

    Shahrukh Khan's 36-ball 47, which included two sixes, at least made sure Punjab had something to defend, but a lack of support from the lower order meant the target was always one well within CSK's grasp.

    Moeen and Du Plessis extinguished any hopes of Punjab claiming an unlikely win, their second-wicket stand allowing the Super Kings to coast to victory despite a 15th-over blitz from Mohammed Shami that saw Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu dismissed.

    Chahar makes mark on landmark appearance

    Chahar let out a huge roar when he castled Agarwal and he had every right to do so after producing a delivery that nipped away from middle stump to deceive the opener.

    The subsequent dismissals owed more to a fine catch from Jadeja to get rid of Gayle and batting errors from Pooran and Hooda, but nothing should be taken away from Chahar after he tilted the game firmly in CSK's favour.

    Moeen gets things moving

    Moeen and Du Plessis showed Punjab how to bat on the surface with an excellent partnership, the England all-rounder's 46 coming off 31 deliveries, his strike rate of 148.38 the best in the contest.

    He recorded seven fours and one maximum, with Du Plessis' sole six coming off a scoop shot in the fourth over. The South African was still in at the end when Sam Curran wrapped things up after a brief wobble.

  • Fakhar and Nawaz help Pakistan fend off South Africa for series triumph Fakhar and Nawaz help Pakistan fend off South Africa for series triumph

    Pakistan sealed a 3-1 triumph over South Africa in their Twenty20 series despite almost matching a wretched batting collapse by the hosts in the Centurion finale.

    The Proteas slumped from 109-2 to 144 all out amid a display of artless batsmanship to set Pakistan just a modest victory target, yet the chasing side almost threw away the match with an implosion of their own.

    Eventually they won by three wickets with one ball to spare, Fakhar Zaman smashing 60 from 34 balls and Mohammad Nawaz clinching victory with a six when just two runs were required.

    Babar Azam's century had spurred Pakistan to a nine-wicket win in the third game of this four-match series, but where that contest, also at Centurion, was a run-fest, with both teams topping 200, this time South Africa were masters of their own downfall.

    Aiden Markram came into the match behind three successive T20 fifties, attempting to be only the third player, after Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle, to make four in a row.

    He was the first batsman to be dismissed, however, lbw to Nawaz, and although Janneman Malan (33) and Rassie van der Dussen (52) then put on 57 for the second wicket, there was little other resistance to be found among the South Africa batsmen.

    Faheem Ashraf tormented the top order for figures of 3-17 in four overs, while Hasan Ali rebounded well from being carted for 29 in his opening two overs, finishing with 3-40.

    In Pakistan's reply, Fakhar came to the crease after Mohammad Rizwan slumped to a first-over stumping, and the left-hander soon set about the home attack, crunching five fours and four sixes before being caught as a wild swipe at Lizaad Williams sent the ball skywards.

    His departure triggered the second heavy flurry of wickets in the match, Pakistan sliding from 92-1 to 129-7, needing someone to find some composure.

    Nawaz was that man, first punishing Sisanda Magala for delivering two consecutive no-balls in the penultimate over, flogging his second free hit over the ropes. In a nervy final over, Nawaz (25 not out) picked off Williams from the fifth ball, pulling square over the boundary for the winning runs.

    Chaos reigns

    A contest littered with chaotic cricket was perhaps best summed up by the first delivery of the ninth over in Pakistan's reply. Tabraiz Shamsi's delivery was short, sat up and called for severe punishment. Even so, Fakhar looked sure to miss out on a boundary as George Linde moved to sweep up inside the boundary. Yet Linde inexplicably failed to get his body in the way of the ball. Really rather poor all round.

    Hasan heroic

    While Faheem and Haris Rauf (2-18) kept it supremely tight throughout their spells, the same could not be said for Hasan, who came in for some brutal early treatment. It takes sporting courage and skill to rebound from two horror overs, and he demonstrated such attributes by taking three wickets in his next two sets of six, including that of Magala from his final delivery.

  • Stokes out for up to 12 weeks, set to miss New Zealand & Sri Lanka series' Stokes out for up to 12 weeks, set to miss New Zealand & Sri Lanka series'

    Ben Stokes is set to be sidelined for up to 12 weeks, the ECB has confirmed, with the England all-rounder facing surgery on a broken finger.

    Stokes was ruled out of the remainder of the Indian Premier League season after suffering the injury when he ran in from the boundary to claim a low catch and dismiss Punjab Kings batsman Chris Gayle in the Rajasthan Royals' first game of the tournament, which they lost by four runs on Monday.

    An ECB statement read: "England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be out for up to 12 weeks after a repeat X-ray and CT scan on Thursday revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. 

    "Stokes, who is currently in India with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, will fly home tomorrow [Saturday]. He will have surgery in Leeds on Monday."

    That timeline means Stokes will miss England's two-Test series with New Zealand in June as well as Sri Lanka's limited-overs tour of the country.

    However, he could play some part in the ODI and T20I series with Pakistan, while he is scheduled to recover in time to face India in a five-match Test series starting August 4.

    England get their summer schedule under way against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.