James Anderson confident Sri Lanka won’t ‘crush’ him again
The teams begin a three-match series at Headingley on May 19, the ground where, two years ago, Sri Lanka clinched a dramatic 1-0 win in what was then the second of a two-Test campaign when Anderson was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the match.
“To get within two balls I did feel crushed at the end of it,” said Anderson. “It had been a long game and we came so close.”
England, thanks mainly to Moeen Ali’s maiden Test hundred, nearly saved the game having seen Sri Lanka cling on for a draw at Lord’s.
But the damage at Headingley had been done on a fourth day where Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews made a superb 160 and, significantly, shared a stand of 149 for the eighth wicket with tailender Rangana Herath.
Cook’s tactically naive ploy of feeding Mathews runs in order to get at Herath backfired spectacularly.
The England skipper repeatedly stationed four men on the rope for the first four balls of an over only for Mathews to respond by going on the offensive, with 16 of his eventual 25 fours coming off the last two balls of an over.
At the end of a draining match, Anderson had to choke back tears while afterwards Cook, whose approach was widely criticised, especially by Australia great Shane Warne, pondered resigning the captaincy.