Prolific English pacer James Anderson revealed he wasn't sure if he was good enough to play international cricket when he made his debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's 2003.
James Anderson is one of the greatest Test bowlers the world has ever witnessed. The talismanic pacer is the highest wicket-taking fast bowler in the history of Test cricket, with more than 600 scalps to his name.
Anderson made his test debut at Lords in 2003 where he claimed his first test wicket against Zimbabwe. Later in 2018, the pacer became the most prolific seam bowler in test cricket, where he surpassed Glenn McGrath's tally of 563 wickets, against India at The Kia Oval.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, James Anderson revealed that when he made his debut for England he felt that he was not good enough to make it at the highest level. He added that started with a no-ball and leaked runs as he was nervous.
"I thought I wasn't good enough. I thought it was a huge step up from county cricket. I remember Nasser [Hussain] 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.
"I think I cleaned up the tail in that game. Until you play against the best players in the world and you've got them out, only then do you feel like you can compete and belong there,” James Anderson told ESPNCricinfo.
Anderson said that the stress fracture he suffered was a changing button in his life as he felt comfortable and more consistent after that. He admitted that he’s proud that he overcame all the hurdles which made him stronger.
"The stress fracture was like hitting the re-set button I guess. I'd gone through a lot of changes in my action before that and that stress fracture was probably a Godsend.
“It made me go back to my old action and since then I've felt comfortable and got more consistent. That's really helped me and makes me feel proud I got stronger from that and never looked back,” he said.
Anderson remarked that Peter Moores, who was England’s coach during 2007-08 showed a lot of confidence in him and Stuart Broad giving them the responsibility and leaving out two senior bowlers from the side.
"We both look back on that Test with great fondness. I think it was a proper starting point in our Test careers. The fact that Peter Moores, the coach at that time, showed that confidence in us because he left out two senior bowlers who'd been extremely influential in the England side up until that point.
"He brought us in and gave us that responsibility, showed that faith in us. We still look back on that with great fondness and we've enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully, there will be a few more memories to come,” he said.
James Anderson further pointed out that playing and performing against South Africa, Australia and India made him feel like he can perform at the highest level. He further admitted that it took him few tours to make him think that he could do it.
"It took a few years. I think it was about 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," he concluded.
James Anderson will become the highest capped England player in Tests with 162 caps to his name if he gets picked for the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston.