James Anderson’s spat with Ravindra Jadeja was one of the most stressful incidents in his career, the England seamer has revealed.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Burnley-born Lancashire star said his attempts to become more intimidating to batsmen appeared to have backfired spectacularly when he was accused of a Level Three offence.
‘Overstepping the mark’
“I feel like I need to be aggressive on the field because I’m not a big presence on the field, like Chris Tremlett or Stuart Broad.” he said.
“But I’m very aware of the boundaries and of overstepping the mark – and if I’ve ever been close the umpires are straight on it.”
Tensions came to a head in the England-India series – which the Three Lions eventually won 3-1 – when Anderson was charged with verbally abusing and pushing Jadeja, but he was later cleared by an independent panel following a six-hour hearing.
The 32-year-old has certainly become one of the most fear-inspiring seamers in the international game, but because of his outstanding statistics. Together with Stuart Broad, England have created a formidable bowling attack.
However, doubts remain about their ODI abilities, particularly following their mauling by India, after they had shown such promise in the Tests.
Anderson is one man who is virtually certain of a place on the plane, though it remains to be seen how the rest of the line-up will take shape as head coach Peter Moores continues to experiment.
The fall-out from his tunnel-sparring with Jadeja – who was also investigated by the ICC - threatened to interrupt his rhythm this summer, but England were clearly right to keep selecting him. The severity of the initial charge meant that he could have faced a four-game ban.
He has thanked the ECB for their backing while the case continued in the background, and he remained a part of the team for the duration.
“Everyone dealt with it brilliantly. The ECB … backed me all the way and I’m very grateful for that.”
Eyes on the ICC
The length of the process in particular riled Anderson, and the high-profile nature of the case has led to questions from both camps at the unnecessary complications surrounding such incidents – which could simply be handled by the umpires at the time.
“It could have been dealt with on the day”, he said.
Anderson is now just four wickets away from becoming England’s highest Test wicket-taker, and could overtake Sir Ian Botham’s record in the winter.