New Delhi: Former India-cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has cast his foresight, predicting that seasoned James Anderson would present a more formidable challenge to the Indian batters in the second Test in Visakhapatnam than Mark Wood did in the previous Hyderabad Test.
England revealed their playing XI on Thursday for the second Test, opting for the experienced Anderson over Wood, who went wicketless in the opening match of the five-match Test series.
Manjrekar, voicing his insights, affirmed that Anderson's inclusion would bolster England's bowling prowess, citing the seamer's impressive record on Indian soil -– 34 wickets from 13 matches.
“There’s no doubt about the fact that he will do a little better than Mark Wood, who went wicketless in the first Test. So, that actually adds to the strength of the English bowling attack,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.
The decision to bring in Anderson, however, was not the sole alteration to the English lineup. Jack Leach's injury paved the way for the debut of young Shoaib Bashir, adding a fresh dimension to the team. Manjrekar highlighted the relief this change would bring to Joe Root, who shouldered an extensive bowling load in the first Test, sending down 48 overs.
“It is also good in a way for England as Joe Root had to shoulder the burden when he bowled 29–30 overs. Whether it had some impact on his batting is something England need to consider,” Manjrekar added.
Reflecting on England's 28-run triumph in Hyderabad, where they claimed a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series, the spotlight now shifts to the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam for the second Test match which commences on Friday. IANS