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 maiden century put the hosts out of sight on the way to a 2-0 Specsavers series lead.
But after Anderson finished with match figures of nine for 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 eight for 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, 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,” added Root.
“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.”
l James Anderson’s 100th Test wicket at Lord’s gave England a great start in their pursuit of victory on the fourth day of the second match of the series against India.
Anderson had Murali Vijay caught behind for a duck as the tourists’ second innings began in familiar fashion, becoming the first man to take a century of Test wickets at the home of cricket.