James Anderson says he didn’t assume he was “good enough” for Test cricket when he made his England debut 18 years in the past.
However, England’s main Test wicket-taker, 38, is poised to overhaul former captain Sir Alastair Cook because the nation’s most capped Test participant.
Anderson joined Cook on 161 appearances in final week’s drawn first Test towards New Zealand, with the second Test beginning on Thursday at Edgbaston.
“Knowing how much Cooky played I’m proud I’ve got to this point,” he stated.
Anderson made his Test debut for England towards Zimbabwe at Lord’s in 2003.
Despite taking a five-wicket haul within the first innings, he says it felt like “a huge step up from county cricket” and it took him “a few years” to understand he may carry out on the highest stage.
“My first ball was a no-ball and there were a lot of nerves there,” he stated.
“I remember Nasser Hussain didn’t have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs.
“No disrespect to Zimbabwe however taking part in towards groups like South Africa, Australia and India, as soon as you place in performances towards the highest groups on the earth, that is if you assume you’ll be able to carry out at that stage.
“It did take a few years and a few tours around the world to make me think I could do it.”
The Burnley-born bowler is fourth on the listing of all-time wicket-takers in Test cricket with 616 dismissals at a mean of 26.58.
He has taken extra wickets than some other seamer on this historical past of Test cricket, and wishes 4 extra to overhaul former India spinner Anil Kumble in third place.
Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne (708) is in second place with Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan topping the listing with 800 wickets to his title.
Lancashire’s Anderson can be six dismissals away from reaching 1000 first-class wickets.