Am going to miss Alastair: Anderson
James Anderson's journey with Alastair Cook began in India back in 2006, when the latter made his debut in Nagpur. Anderson, by then, had already featured in 12 Tests, beginning his Test career nearly three years prior to Cook's debut. But 12 years later, it was the pacer who witnessed the latter bidding adieu to the game in a majestic manner.
- Published 12.09.18
Calcutta: James Anderson's journey with Alastair Cook began in India back in 2006, when the latter made his debut in Nagpur. Anderson, by then, had already featured in 12 Tests, beginning his Test career nearly three years prior to Cook's debut. But 12 years later, it was the pacer who witnessed the latter bidding adieu to the game in a majestic manner.
Anderson himself too created a record on the last day of the final Test against India at The Oval by being the highest wicket-taker among pacers, overtaking Glenn McGrath's haul of 563 wickets. But he couldn't overcome his emotions as he will never again share the England dressing room with his former captain.
In fact, noticing Anderson get teary-eyed, Sky Sports' Ian Ward - also a former England medium-pacer - preferred to be considerate and cut short the post-match interview.
"He (Alastair) is my best mate and I'm going to miss. He has been brilliant and has been there for me all the time," Anderson, trying to stop his tears with smiles, couldn't say anything more thereafter.
Before he got overwhelmed talking about Cook, Anderson, now the fourth-highest among wicket-takers in the longest version, had said: "I was really happy to see that Cookie was on the field to see that (564th) wicket of mine.
"Yeah, it's been a tough week, but honestly, I wasn't even thinking about the record. When they (Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant) were building a partnership, I think it looked that India would get close.
"My job was to try and hold one end. Having bowled some 14 overs or so, I was going through a good rhythm and thankfully, Joe (Root) let me take the new ball. And eventually, it gave me half a chance to get that wicket."
Rattling the stumps of Mohammed Shami, Anderson finished as the highest wicket-taker of the series as well with 24 scalps. Now, the major bonus for England in this series has been the arrival of Sam Curran, who breathed new life into the team, being the perfect back-up for all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.
The youngster, though, was honest enough to admit he wasn't expecting the Man-of-the-Series award. "I didn't expect to get this award, to be honest. But it was really nice to be involved in a great series.
"I tried my best and luckily it came off in some situations... Great to win the series 4-1 and to send Cooky off that way was perfect.
"I'm just trying to jeep it as natural as possible. It has been a great learning curve for me. Playing with Jimmy, (Stuart) Broad and Stokesy has been pretty awesome and so was watching Jimmy becoming the leading wicket-taker among pacers."