- Written by Stefan Schimmelt
- Visakhapatnam's chief cricket writer
James Anderson says India are nervous about England giving another chase in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
England finished the third day with a score of 67-1 in pursuit of 399, a record for England and against India and any team in this country.
England overhauled 378 against India in 2022, one of five successful 250-over chases in the last two years.
“The nerves were there to see,” Anderson said. “They didn't know how many were enough.”
England were excellent with the ball and on the field on Sunday, taking the last six wickets from India for 44 runs to bowl out the hosts for 255 in the second innings.
India stumbled to tea after Shubman Gill was dismissed for 104.
“They were very cautious, even when they had a big lead,” added fast bowler Anderson, England's best-ever bowler.
“The coach's conversation last night was that if they get 600 goals, we're going to go for it. That shows everyone we're going to try to do it tomorrow.”
England have become accustomed to scoring quick goals and daring chases since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum took charge.
Anderson believes England's style affects the way teams play against them.
“There were moments that made us think we were doing something good because of the way the teams responded,” Anderson said. “Going back to last summer, Australia had a point bowler on the borderline for the first ball of the Ashes.
“I don't know if intimidation is the right word, but it puts different thoughts in the minds of the opposition. I definitely felt that today.”
England made more than 100 just twice in the fourth innings to win a Test in India. No visiting team has reached 300 in the fourth innings in this country regardless of the result.
Although history is on India's side, Gill said it was only “70-30” in his team's favor that tied the series 1-1.
“We were in a good position and could have scored more goals, but overall it was a good effort,” Gill told TNT Sports.
England are awaiting the fitness of Joe Root, who injured his finger during the warm-up on Sunday morning and again during play in the first hour. Root left drinks work for the first session and did not return for the rest of the day.
“His finger is not big,” Anderson told BBC Sport. “It's just making sure he's as good as he can be when he bats. Hopefully he'll come in tomorrow and be OK holding the bat.”
England will resume on Monday needing another 332 runs, with Zak Crawley unbeaten on 29 and Rehan Ahmed on nine.
Ahmed, who took 3-88 due to his leg spin on Sunday, has been promoted from eighth to third to take on the 'Nighthawk' role previously held by the retiring Stuart Broad. Ahmed, 19, has reached two milestones since the end of the day.
“I think the captain and coach would have asked him to do it if he hadn't already told the captain, as we were walking off the field, that he wanted to put his pad down and hit a three,” he said. Anderson.
“He was advertised as a night watchman over the tanner, but he definitely wasn't. We saw that last time when he wanted to register the border.”
Anderson, 41, is playing in his first Test since a disappointing Ashes series experience, when he managed just five wickets in four Tests.
He bowled beautifully on his return, with three wickets in the first innings and two in the second. The Lancashire man became the oldest fast bowler to play a Test for India and the oldest to take five wickets in a Test since 1923.
He attributes his improvement to the fitness work he did during his time away from the game. Anderson even rented time at the public athletics track near Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.
“I felt really strong there, in a really good place,” Anderson said. “When your body is in good shape, you can fully focus on what you want the ball to do.
“In the summer, I probably let it get away from me a bit and I wasn't as good as I could have been from a fitness point of view, but now I'm feeling absolutely fantastic and hopefully I can keep it going.”
“Coffee trailblazer. Passionate thinker. Creator. Hipster-friendly internet enthusiast.”