James Anderson Reveals One Rule he Would Banish From Cricket

Last Updated: March 14, 2023, 16:47 IST

James Anderson is the third highest wicket-taker in Test history. (AFP Photo)

James Anderson is the third highest wicket-taker in Test history. (AFP Photo)

England returned from the New Zealand tour after the hosts drew the series 1-1 by winning the second Test in dramatic fashion

In the history of Test cricket, there have been just four occasions when a team has won a match after being asked to follow-on. As per the available data, there have been 296 Tests where a team has enforced the follow-on and a whopping 232 of these have resulted in victories while 60 have ended in a draw.

England have been part of three matches where the team enforcing the follow-on didn’t go on to win. Twice England have won after following on while once they have finished on the other side of the fence.

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James Anderson, the pacer with most wickets in Test cricket, was part of the contest where England lost despite asking New Zealand to follow-on. In fact, he was the last wicket to fall as the Kiwis completed a stunning turnaround for a one-run win to draw a two-match series 1-1.

Naturally, Anderson would have been crestfallen. So much so that he has branded follow-on as the ‘worst invention’ ever in cricket history and if he had his way, the rule would be banished.

“The follow-on is just the worst thing… the worst invention ever. If I could make a change, I’d just banish the follow-on,” Anderson said on his Tailenders podcast.

“I think we did 210 overs in the field, straight. We knew historically the pitch at Wellington just gets better and better, so we thought that no matter what they get ahead of us, we could chase. It was still doing a bit as well, they just played a lot better in their second innings … it was just hard work,” he added.

Anderson was caught by the wicketkeeper off Neil Wagner and he feels that the ball before his dismissal should have been given as a wide.

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“I watched (it) sail over my head,” Anderson said. “I looked at (the) square leg (umpire), then I looked at Rod Tucker the umpire … and I was like ‘That’s gone a foot over my head’ and he was like ‘Don’t be silly mate, it’s not gone a foot over your head’. Any other time in the game, that’s given a wide.”

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