James Anderson has now become the most-experienced England Test cricketer having featured in the playing XI for the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston. Looking back on his career that started against Zimbabwe in 2003, Anderson expressed a sense of pride in himself having played for an ‘incredible 15 years.’
"It's been an incredible 15 years really. Knowing how much Cooky [Alastair Cook] played it, makes me very proud I've actually got to this point," Anderson said.
He also expressed the lack of self-confidence he went through on his debut Test at Lord’s that left him with a feeling that he was not good enough as the level of international cricket was ‘a step too far’ from him from the level of county cricket.
"I thought I wasn't good enough. I thought it was a huge step up from county cricket. I remember Nasser 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," Anderson recalled.
However, with more and more game and performances against India, Australia and South Africa—sides he rated ‘better’ in international cricket in his playing days helped him grow in confidence that he could ‘actually do it.’
"It took a few years. I think 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," Anderson.
James Anderson also prided on wining many hurdles over a long career that saw him getting to the top of the pile as the highest wicket-taker by a pacer in Test cricket. He called the stress fracture a ‘godsend’ in his career that demanded him to go back to old action and in turn helping him gain more consistency.
"I'm proud of the fact that I've overcome little hurdles throughout my career and they've made me stronger. The stress fracture was like hitting the reset button I guess. I'd gone through a lot of changes in my action before that and that stress fracture was probably a Godsend," he said.
"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 616 Test wickets to his name from 161 Test matches and England would want him to stay fit and keep going this year keeping in mind an all-important Ashes series at the end of the year and a home series against India.