England’s James Anderson talks to Nasser Hussain about his illustrious career as he becomes the country’s most-capped Test cricketer of all time
James Anderson is celebrating becoming England’s most-capped Test cricketer this week as he plays in the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston.
Talking to his former captain, Nasser Hussain – who gave him his first Test cap back in 2003 – the 38-year-old Anderson said he still loves the game and has the hunger to keep going even longer.
Click on the video above to watch the chat in full and read on below…
💬 To see someone break that record is huge; for him to do it as a fast bowler shows his skill level & ability over a period of time 💬@Root66 is in awe of @jimmy9 as the seamer prepares to become England's most capped Test cricketer 👍#EngvNZ 10am Sky Sports Cricket 📺📱💻
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) June 10, 2021
On record 162nd Test cap:
“It has been an incredible journey I’ve been on over the last 18 years.
“I can remember my debut as clear as anything – and then there has been some amazing memories all the way through that period. I can’t believe I’ve got to where I have today.”
Early Test career:
“I was very insecure as a kid, growing up. I had a lot of doubts.
Anderson says it took a few years for him to feel like he belonged on the international stage
“It’s not until you perform against the best teams, and the best players in the world, that you feel like you actually belong there.
“It took some consistent performances over the years to build my confidence and make me believe that I actually belong here.”
Breaking Sir Alastair Cook’s record:
“He rang me last night to congratulate me. It’s incredible to go past someone like him, who I look up to so much and have so much respect for.
“We’ve been close mates for many years and it’s just a shame he’s not here to share the experience with.”
Secrets to his longevity:
“I think a lot of it is luck. I’ve been born with a body that can cope with the pressures of bowling.
James Anderson is playing in his 162nd game for England this week in the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston
“I work hard at my fitness and it’s about trying to stay hungry. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give the game. I feel like I can still take wickets.
“So it’s about turning up every day and having that hunger to improve and get better. Hopefully that will help me carry on for a little bit longer.
Focus on fitness:
“Certainly the older I’ve got, the more I’ve got to focus on the fitness side of things. I’m very conscious of my diet now as well, and I probably drink a lot less than I used to – the game, in general, has changed in that way. We’re very much more focused towards nutrition and fitness now than we ever have been. It’s great to be a part of that.”
The ‘King of Swing’:
Check out some of Anderson’s highlights in an England shirt
“It’s something I’ve worked tirelessly on. The outswinger I learnt when I was about 18 from Mike Watkinson at Lancashire, while the inswinger took probably the best part of five years to get to where I felt confident to bowl it in a Test match. It took so much practice to get that right.
“Certainly in the early part of my career, I had some quite intimidating captains! And I didn’t want to let them down by bowling a bad inswinger down the legside, so I kept it hidden for a long time.
“Fortunately now, having put that work in, I really enjoy playing around with my skills when I’m out in the middle.”
How much longer can he keep going?
“I honestly don’t know. I love this game, love playing, love bowling, taking wickets. And I enjoy the other stuff as well, not just the pretty stuff out in the middle, I enjoy the hard work behind the scenes.
Anderson is hungry to take part in the Ashes this winter but is not looking too far ahead with plenty of cricket to play before then
“As long as I’ve got that enjoyment and that hunger to keep improving, I’ll keep going. And as long as my body holds up which, so far, touch wood, it has.
“I love it so much, I just want to keep going.”
Watch continued coverage of the second Test between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket.