anderson

James Anderson has seen many highs in a Test career spanning 138 matches, chief among them being part of four Ashes-winning squads, but the record-setting England fast bowler also counts beating India in India as a major highlight.

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Speaking to PTI, Anderson singled out the 2012 tour when Alastair Cook’s team rallied back from 0-1 to win the series 2-1 in what was the first such success by England in India since 1984-85. Anderson bowled excellently during that series, even though his returns show just 12 wickets in four Tests, and rated that victory as equal to his Ashes wins.

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“We have played against South Africa when they were number one in the world and that was a good test, and India is exactly the same for me … 2012 was one of the best series I have ever played in, for me, in India. As a seam bowler, you go to India and everyone says that the spinners will take wickets so you want to prove to people that you can succeed in those conditions,” said the 35-year-old pacer ahead of the five-Test series against top-ranked India starting August 1 in Birmingham.

“So for me that was a really proud series of my career. You always want to play against the best and do well against the best. That always inspires me to try and push myself and play as well as you can.”

Anderson is England’s leading Test wicket-taker with 540, and if he lasts all five matches against India this summer is in line to surpass Glenn McGrath’s mark of 563 to become the most successful fast bowler of all time. England have lost their last three Test series and Anderson called on himself and his senior team-mates to deliver against the No 1 side.

“This summer we have felt that we have a bigger responsibility to the team in putting in good performances. We are the senior players. I have a good partnership with Stuart Broad and we need to show that in our responsibilities because we are the senior players,” he said. “I think there has always been a good healthy rivalry between India and England. Every series I have played in, whether it was one-day or Test cricket, it has always been really competitive and a really high standard of cricket.”

AndersonGetty

Anderson was quick to admit that beating Australia to claim the Ashes on four occasions was the “pinnacle” of his Test career. In 2009 he took 12 wickets from five Tests, followed by 24 from five in 2010, 22 from five in 2013 and 20 in three Tests in 2015. He has had the most success against Australia, claiming 104 wickets in 31 Tests, followed by 82 in 19 matches versus India.

“For me, for an Englishman, the Ashes, it is the pinnacle. If you ask the Australians, they will probably say the same,” he said. “It is the biggest series in Test cricket, the one that you look forward to the most and the one that you want to win at any cost. But for me, playing against the best teams is also what you want to do.”