Anderson does not want to see England lose yet another Test series in India
Despite having an immense amount of respect towards iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, England pace bowler James Anderson has warned his team-mates not to show the ‘Little Master’ too much respect when playing against him out in the middle.
England’s Test tour of India began horrendously with a huge loss at Ahmedabad, but they soon turned their fortunes around at Mumbai by thrashing the Indians in a comprehensive 10 wicket victory.
In a column for the Daily Mail, Anderson wrote: “I do enjoy bowling against him as testing yourself against the best is what playing at this level is all about. And there is no question in my mind that he has been one of the best batsmen – if not the best – for 20-odd years. But we have to make sure we do not treat him with too much respect in the middle.”
Anderson stated that he does not want to see England lose their “competitive edge” while bowling against Tendulkar.
“I do know that people have said they love watching him bat and maybe too much of that kind of admiration could dull your competitive edge,” Anderson said. “I’ve never been aware of succumbing to that myself but maybe subconsciously, because you respect him for what he has done in the game – 100 international centuries is some achievement – and the way he has conducted himself, you want to get him to respect you back.”
Anderson also noted that playing in front of Indian fans, who uphold Tendulkar to the same level of God in some instances, can be extremely daunting.
“Sachin getting out is the signal for a mass exodus,” Anderson added. “I heard of one game where he was due to come in next but, unbeknown to the crowd, had dropped down the order. When the batsman walked out to the wicket and the crowd realised it wasn’t Tendulkar they booed the other guy all the way to the crease, then cheered when he was out.”
However, having only taken two wickets over the first two Test matches, Anderson knows that the pressure is on him to send more Indian batsmen back to the pavilion early into their innings.
“I will be seeking to make myself pretty unpopular with the locals in the weeks ahead,” Anderson said. “The bottomline is that we treat everyone with the same respect, whether they’ve played one Test or 100 – and that goes for trying to earn their respect, too.”