England cannot expect to bully a much-improved India captain Virat Kohli in their five-match test series that begins at Edgbaston on Wednesday, pace bowler James Anderson said.
India’s struggles with the bat on their last tour of England four years ago was reflected by Kohli’s patchy form in their 3-1 series defeat. The batsman was dismissed four times by Anderson in that series.
Asked if he could have a similar impact against Kohli when the two teams face off again, Anderson told Sky Sports: “Not really… it’s a long time ago, a lot of cricket has happened since then and he’s improved as a player in that time.
“You can’t pay any attention to that at all… it’s not about what’s gone on in the past, that’s not going to help me get him out this week, it’s about what I do and what the team does in the next six weeks.”
Anderson, who picked up 25 wickets when the two teams met in England in 2014, could beat Australian Glenn McGrath’s record for most test wickets by a fast bowler should he replicate that form. Anderson currently has 540 wickets, 23 shy of McGrath.
However, the Lancastrian was keen to stress that his focus was on suppressing India’s talented batting line-up led by Kohli as England look to win their first test series in four.
“We’ve got to perform brilliantly, Kohli is an outstanding player, he just gets better and better every year. To be honest, they’ve got a brilliant batting line-up and we’ve got to be on top form to be able to beat them,” Anderson added.
England won the one-day international series between the teams 2-1 and lost the Twenty20 competition by the same margin earlier this month.