James Anderson never thought much of himself as a batsman. Scoring his maiden Test fifty in a record-breaking last-wicket partnership which gave England an unexpected first innings lead might make him begin to think otherwise.
The number 11 ended on 81 as alongside Joe Root he guided England to a 39-run lead after the first innings.
With the hosts resuming 105 runs adrift, not many of the packed Trent Bridge crowd expected the first session to finish with both men still at the crease.
However, Anderson revealed the pair executed their overnight plan to perfection, going on to set a Test match record stand of 198 for the final wicket.
“We had started well the night before in the sense that Joe would take the majority of the strike and then I would have a couple of balls at the end an over,” Anderson said.
“We stuck to the same plan this morning as we had work to do to eat into both the time in the game and their lead.
“It was great to build that partnership with Joe and he played with great experience to help me through my knock.”
The left hander's 81 broke the record for the highest score by a number 11 for England, but fell just short of Ashton Agar’s world record 98, at the same venue last year.
And Anderson believed his knock was possible after seeing how the pitch had played in the previous three days.
“We have seen people bat on this pitch and if you apply yourself then you can bat for a long time, which is what I was trying to do,” Anderson said.
“Not much is expected of me down at the bottom of the order but I have had some triumphs in the past which have helped save matches.
“However, getting to 81 was never something I expected, but if it was going to happen anywhere it would have been here on this pitch.”
Application with the bat is one thing but the Test has also been a struggle for application with the ball and taking wickets.
However, Anderson was pleased with how the bowlers went about business in the second innings and expects further hard work tomorrow.
“Once again we came out and bowled well by putting it in the right places and taking three wickets,” he said.
“We will need more of the same tomorrow morning to pick up a few early wickets and hopefully put some pressure on their batsmen.”
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