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‘Still very hungry to play’ – James Anderson

James Anderson
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

James Anderson, the England seamer, returned figures of 4-33 on day one of the first Test against West Indies at the Kensington Oval, and has now reached a combined 1,000 Test scalps with Stuart Broad.

While Anderson impressed in Barbados on Thursday, January 24, Broad was left out of the squad to bring in all-rounder Sam Curran.

“It makes you feel old,” Anderson said of the joint milestone with Broad. “(We have) played for a long time together. It’s amazing to think we’ve taken that many wickets together. It’s a shame that he wasn’t out there today but hopefully he’ll get a go at some stage on this tour.

“We are still pretty hungry to play and we’ve all seen the amount of work Stuart has put in. I’ve loved it today…while we’re enjoying it who knows how many we can take.”

Anderson said that he enjoyed bowling on the pitch in Barbados, which was flat but still had a “bit of swing” to offer. The pacer was at the forefront of England’s bowling attack on the day, thus playing a major role in restricting the hosts to 264-8.

“I’ve always enjoyed the challenge away from home, but it’s often been difficult to get to grips with conditions,” he added. “I guess it’s getting to know my game and getting my skills and confidence up. Now I feel I can bowl on most pitches – though you could probably take Sri Lanka out of that. Tours like that make you appreciate when there’s a bit of something for you. There was a bit of swing here even though the wicket was pretty flat.”

The decision to leave Broad out was met with surprise from many, but Anderson said that it is the captain’s purview to make tough calls like this, especially on overseas tours.

“Of course it causes conversation. It’s a massive decision (to leave Broad out). A guy who has played 124 Tests but then you have a really talented all-rounder (in Sam Curran). In that respect, it shows how strong our squad is,” said Anderson.

“It’s tough for Joe (Root), but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks. It’s Joe and Trevor’s (Bayliss, the coach) job. As players, we just turn up and prepare to perform. We know there will be tough calls.”

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