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Anderson gives England a fighting chance

By Chris Stocks

Published 18/11/2016

Relief: James Anderson took three wickets against India
Relief: James Anderson took three wickets against India

James Anderson spoke of his relief and joy at taking three wickets on his return to the England team on the opening day of the Second Test against India.

The hosts closed on 317 for four after centuries from captain Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, meaning England have a fight to get back into the match.

But Alastair Cook's team would have been in an utterly hopeless position were it not for Anderson striking to remove Murali Vijay, Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in his first game back in three months following injury.

The 34-year-old's entire winter was in doubt when the injury to his right shoulder blade, first sustained in the first series of the summer against Sri Lanka, flared up again during the final Test against Pakistan in August.

However, England's record wicket-taker has battled back after initially being left out of the squad for this five-Test series and looked close to his best.

Anderson, who only arrived in India 12 days ago, said: "It was great to be back. I have spent the last two months working really hard to get back into the side. It's been frustrating at times but it's been worth it.

"Getting back out there with the lads was a great feeling in itself but to get a few wickets on the board made it even better.

"I have missed it, I have missed playing and taking wickets. That sort of feeling you can't get in any other walk of life - at least I struggle with it - so to get some wickets meant a lot.

"I always thought I would get out here for some part of it, but it was a surprise to a lot of people I got out here this early."

He added: "The rehab has gone well, and when I came back to bowling I progressed really quickly. They thought it would take time get back to full pace but it took me less time and that's why I came back."

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