England hold advantage over India with James Anderson not being bannned, says Steve Harmison
James Anderson was on Friday exonerated by the judicial commission set up by ICC for allegedly pushing Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test © Getty Images


By Chetan Narula

Manchester: Aug 2, 2014

Former fast bowler Steve Harmison feels the advantage rests with hosts England in the remaining two Tests with James Anderson managing to escape without a ban for his Level 3 charge in the Trent Bridge incident.

Anderson was on Friday exonerated by the judicial commission set up by ICC for allegedly pushing Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test in Nottingham that was drawn.

India had then won the second Test at Lord’s by 95 runs, before England levelled the series with a 266-run win in the third Test at Southampton.

“I am not being biased here. Rather I am talking from the series’ point-of-view. It is set up so well, with both teams in good nick, batting and bowling well. The score is at 1-1 after three Tests and we have two beautifully set-up matches to look forward to,” he said. “It would have been a shame if Anderson would have been banned as it would have disturbed the balance of the contest between these two sides in the middle of the series,” said Harmison.

Anderson has won two man-of-the-match awards in the last three Tests, posing a threat with both bat and ball, and as such, this verdict has probably swung the momentum towards England who were desperate to avoid suspension for their talismanic bowler. “If Anderson would have been banned, it would have put a lot of pressure on Broad especially with his fitness concerns.

But they are both available now, so maybe yes, England do have the upper hand. It adds spice to the remaining series, although we could have done without this distraction. The series is set up to be a humdinger already without external additions,” he added.

Talking about the 266-run win for England, their first in 11 Tests stretching back to the home summer of 2013, Harmison said the match could have been fairer if DRS was put in place or indeed closer if India held their chances.