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    James Anderson recalls career moments
James Anderson recalls career moments
James Anderson. Source: Cricket Addictor

James Anderson recalls career moments

James Anderson is set to conclude his historic England career after the first Test against West Indies at Lord's next week. In a special episode of the Tailenders podcast, Anderson shared insights about his cricketing journey for the first time since announcing his retirement from international cricket.

Becoming a Fast Bowler - 'Breaking Bats That Winter'

James Anderson's introduction to cricket came through his father, Michael, who was the second-team captain at Burnley Cricket Club. Anderson recalled that he was decent at both batting and bowling until one winter changed everything. He remembered the time he began bowling faster, though not the exact moment it happened. Returning to winter nets at 15, Anderson noticed a significant increase in his bowling speed, breaking a couple of bats in the process, which made him feel like something had changed.

People were excited, and the team captain encouraged him to bowl as fast as possible. However, the sudden change in pace led to some wild deliveries, including a beamer that hit Australian batter Brad Hodge, who was playing for Ramsbottom. Anderson remembered an incident at Burnley where he bowled four wides in a row, but then bowled the batter out with the next delivery. It was an inconsistent but exciting phase.

James Anderson. Source: ZAP Cricket
James Anderson. Source: ZAP Cricket

The Call-Up - 'Nasser's Influence on Me'

Anderson made his England debut as a 20-year-old in a one-day international in Australia in 2002, following a series of injuries to senior fast bowlers. He recalled hearing that Nasser Hussain's father had seen him play Championship cricket and recommended him. Anderson was called to join the team in Sydney and was told by Hussain on the outfield in Melbourne that he would play the next day. Anderson appreciated Hussain's intense captaincy style, which provided the firmness and instruction he needed at that stage of his career.

Early Struggles - 'Tweaking My Action'

Anderson's early England career was challenging. He played only one Test between August 2004 and March 2006 due to tweaks in his action and a stress fracture in his back. The bowling coach at the time, Troy Cooley, was focused on biomechanics and suggested changes to Anderson's action to prevent injury and potentially increase his speed. However, the changes led to an injury and a year of poor performance. Anderson credited his wife, Danielle, for helping him regain confidence. He eventually returned to his old action with support from Lancashire's Mike Watkinson and England's Kevin Shine.

Favourite Test - 'The Ashes at Trent Bridge'

Anderson will end his career with 188 Test caps, the most by any England player. He named the first Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2013 as his favourite, where he took 10 wickets in a 14-run win. Anderson recalled a 13-over spell on the last day, using all his skills to secure the victory. The memorable moment came when they reviewed the last wicket, and the team celebrated like a flock of geese.

James Anderson. Source: The Cricketer
James Anderson. Source: The Cricketer

Skills and Regrets - 'The In-Swinger and Hat-Trick'

Anderson described the evolution of his skills, particularly his ability to bowl an in-swinger to right-handers and an out-swinger to left-handers. It took him about four years to feel confident with the in-swinger, which changed his approach to left-handers. He expressed a couple of regrets, including never taking a Test hat-trick and missing out on a Test century, with his highest score being 81 against India in 2014.

Building a Bowler - 'Admiring Pat Cummins'

When asked about the attributes of the perfect bowler, Anderson mentioned Glenn McGrath's accuracy, Dale Steyn's wrist position, and Wasim Akram's action. He admired Pat Cummins' action, recalling a moment in Galle, Sri Lanka, when he imitated Cummins' action and got a wicket.

James Anderson. Source: Business Standard
James Anderson. Source: Business Standard

Looking Ahead - 'Future Plans'

Anderson has been part of the Tailenders podcast since 2017 and has worked as a TV and radio pundit and a newspaper columnist. After his final Test, he will join the England coaching team as a bowling mentor. He is still undecided about continuing to play for Lancashire. Anderson reflected on the uncertainty of his future but expressed a desire to try different things and find a new path.

Anderson's career has been marked by significant achievements and contributions to English cricket, and his departure marks the end of an era for the sport.

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