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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 13:33 GMT
Anderson savours dream comeback
James Anderson
Anderson has had a long wait for another chance in Tests
England seamer James Anderson admitted it felt great to return to centre stage after 14 months in the Test wilderness.

The Lancashire bowler took 4-40 and ran out Mahendra Dhoni as England dismissed India for 279, a lead of 121.

"It has been a long time since I've played. For my first game to have gone that well I'm really pleased," he said.

"It's frustrating, but I've been in the squad and it is just nice to stay in the set-up and get the chance when it comes. I'm very pleased."

Anderson's last Test came against South Africa in January 2005 when, after another series spent on the sidelines, he was called in for the final Test and returned forgettable figures of 2-149.

He was forced to watch on the county circuit as England won the Ashes but insists last summer was a crucial stage in his return to the form that saw him handed a Test debut in 2003 at the age of 20.

Asked if he is now a better bowler Anderson, now 23, said: "Definitely. The season I had in county cricket last summer helped me a great deal and hopefully I can continue to improve."

His four-wicket haul included the prized scalps of India's two premier batsmen and Anderson said: "Tendulkar was a great wicket to get, obviously, and Dravid as well. But all wickets are great and the run-out was a bonus."

Wicket-keeper Geraint Jones was England's other hero on day three, finishing the innings with five catches, two of them spectacular.

"It's nice when they stay in and especially in such a crucial Test," he said. "It's my job to take the catches when the bowlers set them up for me.

Geraint Jones embraces Jimmy Anderson
I hate dropping catches and it is speculated about a lot so when I do take them I enjoy them
Geraint Jones, England wicketkeeper

"It was a funny five-for because there weren't too many regulation ones. To get Rahul [Dravid] was a big wicket. He's been a bit of a nemesis for us all trip."

Jones has received plenty of criticism in the past for some untidy work behind the stumps and admitted he had enjoyed proving some of the doubters wrong.

"I hate dropping catches and it is speculated about a lot so when I do take them I enjoy them," he said.

"It is part of cricket, you do drop catches and for me it is making sure I don't dwell on them too much because I know how well I can keep and I showed that again today."

But Jones admitted England, who reached stumps on day three on 31-2 in their second innings, a lead of 152, still have plenty of work to do.

"We have a huge amount of hard work ahead - we have done well to get that lead as it's a fairly placid wicket," he said

"But it is stopping a bit with the new ball and the ball is standing up, it's also getting a bit dry so the spinners should come into it.

"The fourth day is always a crucial one. So we need to push on, get a good lead - 350 or around there - and leave us enough time to bowl them out.

"It is all to play for. Our aim is to level this series and then we can walk away with our heads held high."

Interview: England bowler James Anderson

Interview: England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones


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