Record-setting England pacer James Anderson relishes the challenge of getting the best batsmen out and is looking forward to a tough contest against Virat Kohli when his side travels India next year.
Anderson, who recently became the highest Test wicket taker among pacers with 600 scalps during the home series against Pakistan, and Kohli have had some intriguing battles over the years.
“It’s always tough bowling at batsmen of that quality. It will be a tough battle but that’s something I do enjoy. You want to get the best players out,” Anderson told the Test Match Special podcast.
When India toured England in 2014, Anderson was Kohli’s nemesis with the right-arm pacer dismissing the India skipper on four occasions. Kohli could score just 134 runs in his 10 innings.
But Kohli came back to England an altogether different batsman in 2018 as he finished the Test series as the top run-scorer with an impressive 593-run tally with two centuries and three fifties to his name.
Virat Kohli had a brilliant outing with the bat when India toured England in 2018. – AP
“I had some success against him in 2014 and then he came back a completely different player in 2018 and was incredible,” the 38-year-old Anderson, who is currently in the fourth place among all-time highest Test wicket-takers, said.
Asked what changes he saw in Kohli’s batting in 2018, Anderson said, “He left the ball really well in 2018. The first time he came over (in 2014), when I was bowling out-swingers he might chase it early on and that brought the edge and the slips into play.
“He left it a lot better and he was a lot more patient (in 2018). He waited for you to bowl at him and then he’s very strong off his legs so he could score freely,” said the star England bowler who has played 156 Tests since 2003.
Asked about the techniques he would use on continental pitches, he said, “We have had our success. We tried to roll fingers down the side of the ball, just try to make it grip on the dry surface.
“Having skills like that really helps. We enjoyed bowling (in India).”