Seamer admits India won mental battle during tense Lord’s Test
Anderson maintained that England’s over-riding aim was to bowl India out rather than exact revenge, but he admits the hosts had got it wrong, particularly when Bumrah returned to the crease for India’s second innings.
“Potentially then the emotion can get the better of you at times,” Anderson said. “But I thought the way we bowled in the second innings was pretty much the opposite: we took the emotion out of it, we just focused on the process of bowling them out, keeping the runs down. They didn’t go anywhere the whole of the fourth day and then we got the rewards towards the end of the day with a few wickets.
“That was the sort of, ‘right, it’s time for him have a taste of his own medicine’ type of thing rather than trying to get him out. You could keep me on and just me trying to just get him out normally and see if he plays any big shots whereas he went with Mark Wood straightaway.
“They are a passionate side, they use emotion differently to how we use it. They channel it well. We saw it on the last day. So that’s something we’ve got to think about going into the last three games.”
Bumrah’s 10-ball over to Anderson, which featured four no-balls and a plethora of bouncers, sparked a chain of events – and emotions – that shaped the rest of the game.
As the players left the field on that third evening, tensions were high and Virat Kohli kept the war of words going while batting against Anderson on the fourth day.
But it was the physical manifestation of the animosities, when England persisted with a tactic of short-pitched bowling delivered chiefly by Wood and which Bumrah and fellow tailender Mohammed Shami navigated safely, that contributed to the hosts’ downfall.
In his column for the Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday, Anderson revealed some of what was said between himself and Kohli during that Bumrah over, with Kohli saying, “you can’t be enjoying this can you?” to which Anderson replied, “obviously not”. Anderson also said that, despite often being targeted by the short ball through his career, Bumrah’s over was “up there for intimidation”.
“I was just trying to survive really,” Anderson wrote. “I was angry at the end. The emotion got the better of me and I felt I had to say something. I felt bad for doing that because it drew attention away from Rooty celebrating an amazing innings as he came off the field. I apologised to him afterwards for that but the emotion got the better of me. It happens sometimes.
“Potentially there was a bit of us wanting revenge on them when Bumrah batted on the last morning and we got carried away but we were genuinely trying to bowl them out. Sometimes wrong get it wrong as a bowling attack. Rooty has taken the brunt of the blame for it but as a bowling attack we have to be good enough to take those last few wickets. We got the balance of bouncers and fuller balls wrong… it was a reminder that one bad session can lose you a game of cricket.”
Anderson also recognised that the make-up of the England team had changed over time, which in turn influenced how matches would be played from a mental perspective.
“If you go back to 2010-11 and look at the England side we had then it featured guys at the peak of their powers,” he wrote. “They were a bit more outgoing and different characters to what we have now. They were similar to Kohli in some respects. They liked the battle on the field.
“Now we go about our cricket in a different way so I have to remember that when I am on the field. It is pointless just one person getting into a fight with someone.
“We as a team, and Joe is keen on this, have to focus on just playing good hard cricket and letting our skills do the talking. We don’t want to be shrinking violets but it is a balance… we have to remember Virat is averaging 20 in the series, proving we have bowled well at a great player – but I would rather he was averaging 80 and we were 1-0 up.”