Any doubts around England quick Jimmy Anderson’s value at Test level were dispelled on day one of the Second Test against Pakistan in Southampton on Thursday.
Anderson, who claimed only one wicket in the First Test leading to calls for his omission, took 2-35 from 15 overs on a rain affected first day.
Pakistan faced 45.4 overs on the first day, finishing at 5-126 with opener Abid Ali top scoring with 60 from 111 balls.
Anderson claimed the first two wickets of the day’s play, dismissing First Test centurion Shan Masood for 1 and visiting skipper Azhar Ali for 20.
The 38-year-old quick is homing in on 600 Test wickets, with his two wickets on Thursday taking him to 592 and teammate Sam Curran, who dismissed Abid, praising the veteran.
“Really, I was pretty shocked with all the stuff that was going on about him,” Curran said.
“He’s obviously a world-class bowler and anyone who doubts him isn’t very sensible.
“He showed his class. I’m sure hell go on to get his five-for and then hopefully creep up to 600.
“I’m just enjoying having him around and learning from him. He was out there helping me through my spells and picking his brains is great for me.
“It helps having Jimmy out there.”
Curran was in the England XI after Jofra Archer was dropped, with England wanting to cover Ben Stokes’s absence with an all-rounder reinforcement.
Zak Crawley effectively came into the side for Stokes as a specialist batsman at number three, while Mark Wood missed selection with a minor injury concern too.
England captain Joe Root said at the toss: “More than anything we wanted to the lengthen the batting.
“Sam’s obviously performed brilliantly with us down the order in the recent past and gives us a bit more depth in that department.
“Woody’s bowled very well but it gives him another week to be completely ready.”