When England cricket fans woke on Tuesday morning, many of them will have been rueing the fact they didn’t set their alarm for the start of play at 4am.
If they had – or indeed did – they would have seen arguably one of the greatest overs in modern-day Test cricket.
India were going well: chasing a world record 420 to win the first Test in Chennai, they looked in control of the moment.
Shubman Gill raced to 50 not out in eye-catching style while captain Virat Kohli, looking majestic while batting in a cap, was putting pressure back on the England bowlers.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man: enter James Anderson, the world’s most successful bowler in Test cricket.
The 38-year-old produced a stunning display of reverse swing.
He bowled Gill with his second ball – sending the off stump flying into the Chennai dirt with a perfect inswinger.
His fourth ball was a repeat and new batsman Ajinkya Rahane narrowly survived an lbw appeal.
A ball later, Anderson took the umpire out of the equation by bowling the India vice-captain with another inswinger.
“They were excellent tactics to hold Anderson back until the ball was likely to reverse swing, and he produced two absolutely perfect deliveries,” said BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew. “It was incredible skill.”
England’s greatest bowler looks to have played the decisive hand.
How one of the great overs unfolded
- Ball one: Full with a hint of reverse swing into Gill who defends.
- Ball two: Gill’s off stump is sent cartwheeling as Anderson finds more reverse swing to sneak the ball between bat and pad.
- Ball three: New batsman Rahane leaves his first ball – another full delivery outside off stump – alone.
- Ball four: Huge appeal for lbw as Anderson bowls another vicious inswinger which also keeps low. England review the umpire’s not out decision but Rahane narrowly survives.
- Ball five: The stumps are splattered again. Anderson repeats the previous delivery and the ball beats bat and pad. Vice-captain Rahane is dismissed for a three-ball duck.
- Ball six: Anderson goes round the wicket and Rishabh Pant defends his first ball.
One for the ages – what you said
- Thomas Watts: This over from Jimmy Anderson is one for the ages. One to say you watched live.
- Aadam: Oh Jimmy that should be illegal. One of the naughtiest overs you’ll ever see.
- Sam Brookes: This is up there with the Flintoff over to Ponting. Jimmy has the ball on a sixpence!
- Charlie: Flintoff to Kallis, Flintoff to Ponting. Anderson to Gill and Rahane. Best pace bowler in history.
- Rob Allen: Oh Jimmy Jimmy!! Simply put: the greatest seam bowler to have lived.
- Chris: Marrying my wife and waking up in time for that Anderson over are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made.