James Anderson is arguably the greatest fast bowler to have graced the game. However, the 38-year-old recently recalled the moment when he started doubting his cricketing abilities as a bowler.
James Anderson, who has bagged 616 wickets in 161 Tests, so far, initially felt he wasn’t good enough to belong on the international stage. He further stated that playing for England seemed like a huge step up for him.
Anderson made his Test debut at Lord’s in 2003 against Zimbabwe under the captaincy of Nasser Hussain. He conceded 17 runs in his first over. Recalling his Test debut, Anderson told ESPNCricinfo:
“I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought it was a huge step up from county cricket, I remember Nasser [Hussain] didn’t have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs. My first ball was a no-ball as well so there were a lot of nerves there and I did feel like this was maybe a step too far for me at that point.”
However, he made a strong comeback and scalped a five-for, thereby earning the first of his six entries on the Lord’s honours board.
“I think I cleaned up the tail in that game. Until you play against the best players in the world and you’ve got them out, only then do you feel like you can compete and belong there,” he added.
The veteran pacer is expected to overtake Alastair Cook in terms of most appearances for England in the purest format. If he features in the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, it will be his 162nd Test appearance, the most by an Englishman.
Interestingly, Anderson, who has bagged a total of 903 wickets in international cricket, so far, also revealed that a stress fracture in his back in 2005 made him go back to his old action, which, in turn, elongated his career.
“The stress fracture was like hitting the re-set button I guess. I’d gone through a lot of changes in my action before that and that stress fracture was probably a Godsend. It made me go back to my old action and since then I’ve felt really comfortable and got more consistent,” he further stated.