James Anderson Wasn't Sure If He Was Good Enough To Play Int'l Cricket
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James Anderson Wasn’t Sure If He Was Good Enough To Play Int’l Cricket

James Anderson is set to be remembered as one of the best fast bowlers of this generation, but the England pacer has revealed he wasn’t sure if he was good enough to play international cricket when he started off in May 2003 against Zimbabwe at the Lord’s.

The 38-year-old James Anderson, already England’s most successful Test bowler with 616 wickets — the most by any pacer in the format — has had the far more physically demanding task of leading the attack.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Thought He Wasn’t Good Enough To Play

James Anderson drew level with retired former captain Alastair Cook’s mark of 161 Tests after playing the 1st Test against the Kiwis.

“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,” he said as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“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.”

The senior campaigner feels the hurdles that have come in his long career have only made him stronger.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve overcome little hurdles throughout my career and they’ve made me stronger,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

“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. That’s really helped me and makes me feel proud I got stronger from that and never looked back.”

James Anderson has played 161 Tests and is the 7th most-capped Test player only behind Sachin Tendulkar (200), Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (168), Jacques Kallis (166), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rahul Dravid (164).

James Anderson And Stuart Broad Looks Back On The 2007-08 Tour

The pacer believes the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington during the 2007-08 tour was one game that deserves a special mention. That is where his partnership with Stuart Broad began.

“We both look back on that Test with great fondness,” he said. “I think it was a proper starting point in our Test careers. The fact that Peter Moores, the coach at that time, showed that confidence in us because he left out two senior bowlers who’d been extremely influential in the England side up until that point.

“He brought us in and gave us that responsibility, showed that faith in us. We still look back on that with great fondness and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully there will be a few more memories to come.”

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broa. Photo Credit: AFP.

James Anderson admits that his growth from a good bowler to someone who could win games did take some time and it helped after he put in strong performances against the top teams.

“It took a few years. I think it was about putting in some performances against the better sides in the world. No disrespect to Zimbabwe, but playing against teams like South Africa and Australia and India, once you put in performances against the top teams in the world, that’s when you can feel like you can actually perform at that level. So it did take a few years and a few tours around the world to make me think I could actually do it,” he pointed.

Stuart Broad was named England’s vice-captain for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s which ended in a draw. Pacer Stuart Broad picked up his first wicket in Test cricket after going 81 overs without it. Stuart Broad picked up the wicket of Tom Latham on Day 5 of the first Test at Lord’s. He picked up his first wicket of the match and first since January 2020 when he got the wicket of Angelo Mathews in Sri Lanka.