London: England fast bowler James Anderson on Sunday lauded fellow pacer Stuart Broad for answering his critics by taking four wickets, including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar, during the first Test at Lord's. (Agencies)
“Kevin Pietersen was not the only one to prove a few critics wrong at Lord's. Stuart Broad bowled magnificently having been under huge pressure over the past few weeks,” said Anderson.
“Grabbing the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar with a beautiful out-swinger was possibly the most eye-catching aspect of his display but he bowled wonderfully from start to finish as we all knew he would if given some slack,” he said.
“The key was the length he bowled. Some of our batsmen told us this was a difficult wicket to drive, not just because of the swing in the air but also due to the slow pace off the wicket,” he added.
“That encouraged all of us to pitch the ball well up - me, too far as it happened - and Broady suddenly looked the he'd been for England before his recent lean spell,” he added.
Anderson, who took two wickets for 87 during the first innings, said Broad could have taken more wickets had the fielders latched on to the catches.
“He deserved more and would have had six wickets had our fielders been able to catch,” he said.
“Actually, that's a bit harsh on skipper Andrew Strauss because the one he shelled did seem to wobble in the air just as it came to him. But I've never made excuses for Graeme Swann...and I don't intend to start now!,” he added.
Anderson , who will turn 29 this Saturday, also praised Pietersen for making a comeback with an unbeaten 202 during the first innings against India.
“Kevin was given a fantastic welcome back to the dressing room after his undefeated 202 ¿ deservedly so as it was almost the perfect innings. The way he laid the foundations for the innings was the best I've ever seen from him,” Anderson said.
“To be 20 not out from 70-odd deliveries, which was most un KP-like, showed his determination. His skill in leaving any ball he didn't absolutely need to play was outstanding. After having shown such patience and restraint, he made sure he earned his rewards; when given the chance to score, he did just that, and when the tail came in and he needed to accelerate, he showed pretty much every shot in the book. It was great to see Kevin smiling again ... He has gone through bits of bad form but he has worked so hard in the nets that we all felt it was only a matter of time before he came good,” he added.
Anderson also endorsed former Australian skipper Steve Waugh's idea that players should take lie-detector test but felt making it voluntary would not serve the purpose.
“I'm with Andrew Strauss in that I would be happy to take one, but one thing worries me: if you believe the test is going to produce conclusive evidence why make it voluntary? Surely people who are innocent will volunteer and people who aren't, won't,” he said.
Anderson considers the current four-Test series against India as the biggest assignment after 2009 Ashes and said England will look not to repeat the same mistakes which they committed two summers ago.
“We take the idea of becoming the best team in world cricket very seriously. We've tried not to get ahead of ourselves, but we've never made any secret that is our aim, and that we think we are capable of achieving it. India are No 1 and are a great side. This has to be the biggest thing here since the 2009 Ashes ... we will be making sure of is that we don't repeat what we did then if the case arises,” he said.
London: England fast bowler James Anderson on Sunday lauded fellow pacer Stuart Broad for answering his critics by taking four wickets, including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar, during the first Test at Lord's.