After James Anderson revealed that he will be using a new run-up in England’s upcoming five-game Test series against India, former pacer Darren Gough believes that it just shows about the veteran fast-bowler’s desire to carry on playing the longer format of the game.
Anderson training for a new run-up
Earlier this week, Anderson revealed to The Telegraph that he has used a public running track next to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and gone through speed drills to perfect his new bowling run-up. Anderson had a torrid time in the Ashes at home last year, picking up just five wickets from four matches at an average of 85.40.
"It just goes to show the desire to carry on playing. The only thing is when you’ve been doing something so long as Jimmy has, when you start quickening up you bring more injuries into play, more hamstring, calf, groin-type injuries.
"When you start having injuries they tend to follow you. He’s such an athlete. But changing your run up? It could be absolutely brilliant but like anything when you change your dynamics it could set off injuries.
“Let’s hope not because I think even at his age he can perform. Everybody talks about his age but with Jimmy you have to take age out of it. If he keeps taking wickets he keeps playing. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t, it’s that simple," said Gough to inews.co.uk.
James Anderson vs India
Anderson has a good record in Tests in India, picking 34 wickets at an average of 29.32 in 13 games since 2006. But with him at the twilight of his career, Gough, who took 229 Test wickets at an average of 28.39, thinks he might have a tough time playing the Test series in India.
"He surprises everyone every year he keeps going, especially now his partner Broady has gone. I think everybody expected them to go together. It’s not happened. He’s put himself up for a very difficult tour, it tends to be for a fast bowler when you go to India. But if he has a good series he can do one more (summer).
"If he doesn’t what’s he going to do? Keep going because he wants to go out on a high? England might have to make a decision. But you always think with Jimmy he can make that decision because he’s been such an amazing performer for many, many years. When you consider he didn’t average 30 until he got 300 Test wickets it’s crackers."
Gough backs Anderson to take 700 Test wickets
Gough, who is now managing director at Yorkshire, was playing when Anderson was taking early steps in Test cricket and is astonished at seeing his longevity. “I don’t think anybody thinks somebody will get 700 Test wickets, which he’s going to get. I think we all thought he’s an immensely skilful bowler.”
"Some of the games he played as a real youngster he swung the ball really late. When you have that kind of skill you’re going to take wickets. You always develop as a bowler and 26 or 27 is when you’re at your peak. But he’s done the opposite – he’s peaked after getting past 30. He’s just so accurate.”
"Look at the best bowlers of the last 20 years – Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock, Anderson, Broad – they’re all bowlers that just bowl wicket to wicket and have control of the ball. They’ve been the best. McGrath and Pollock were ridiculous and Anderson and Broad have followed that up.