England fast bowler James Anderson, who is continuing his recovery from a calf injury which he sustained during this year’s Ashes has said that the lengthy lay-off has only increased his appetite for the sport, and he will play the next Ashes two years later if he is still feeling as fit as he is.
Anderson will travel to Potchfestroom, South Africa in a few days with fellow seamers Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson in a bid to make it back into the England squad that will take on the Proteas, and he spoke to the Daily Mail about the changes in technique which he hopes will help prolong his career.
“When I felt the calf go, it was in that first three or four paces of my run-up, trying to get up to speed really quickly," Anderson said. “Lengthening my run-up just gives me that little bit extra time to gradually build up the pace rather than pushing off too quickly and putting too much pressure on it.
“I’ve changed the running technique a little bit, too, to use my legs a bit more to generate more momentum up to the crease.
“The biggest thing to come out of that (the rehabilitation process) for me was actually the hunger. I found I had to try to get fit again because it would have been quite easy for me, especially after the third time I injured my calf trying to get ready for the Old Trafford Test, to say, ‘Sod it, I can’t do this anymore’.
“I guess when you get to a certain age you start thinking about the next chapter. And people have always said to me that you just know when it’s time to finish.
“But I went away that week, on holiday with the family to Corfu, just to get away from it because I was feeling quite low having worked hard to get back fit. And at the end of it, in conversation with my wife Daniella, she was like, ‘Why would you stop?’
“It’s not as if I’m unfit. Getting injured is just a thing that happens and as I get older, yes, there might be the odd extra muscle injury that I’ve got to deal with. But my injury record’s been pretty good and I’m still in the top 10 bowlers in the world, even though I’ve not played for longer than six months."
Anderson also spoke about his desire of wanting to be involved with the England setup, and said that he was eager to not only make an impact on the team with his own performances, but also pass on the wealth of experience he has garnered over the years.
“I know everyone’s talking about the Ashes in two years’ time, which is a long way away, and I’d be 39 by then," he said, “but if I still feel like I do at the minute, if I keep working as hard as I am in the gym and at my game, then I don’t see any reason why I can’t make that trip.
“But whether I do or I don’t, I still feel that in the near future I’ve got something to offer this team, both in performances on the field and around the group.
“We’ve got young lads coming in, some fairly inexperienced players who might need some guidance. I feel like the more experience you’ve got around the group, around those younger players, the better really."