Fond memories for Anderson
James Anderson’s England career reignited in India seven months ago - so he is pleased to be back on the sub-continent after a summer of injury frustration.
Lancashire fast bowler Anderson, 24, was on the periphery of the international set-up for the 12 months leading up to last winter’s trips to the sub-continent.
He had played a solitary Test and not a single one-day international when he arrived in Pakistan last December and, though he made a couple of outings in the limited-overs series, it was not until after Christmas that things clicked.
Recalled to the Test side due to a raft of injuries, Anderson led the attack superbly and his six wickets shaped England’s emphatic win over India in Mumbai.
He was also England’s stand-out bowler in the one-dayers that followed and celebrated 50 caps in the tour finale.
But then came the big downside when it was found he had been playing for a couple of matches with a stress fracture of the back.
“Things seemed to come together for me here earlier in the year,” Anderson said.
“For a one-off Test, having not played much cricket before it, I was really pleased. I felt really good throughout the one-day series and it was just unfortunate what happened.
“It has been the most frustrating time I have had as a cricketer, having to watch the guys on TV and not be able to do much.”
Anderson, who spent six weeks in a corset to heal the fracture, made a sensational start to his England career when he emerged in the heat of the last Ashes tour.
Plucked from relative obscurity at the age of 20 - he had played only three one-day games for Lancashire the previous summer - there was no looking back and his star was in the ascendancy throughout the 2003 World Cup.
It happened so fast that a dip in form, particularly on the tour to South Africa two winters ago, hit hard.
Time has been a great teacher, however, and Anderson said: “Technically I am a very similar bowler but mentally I am different. I feel experienced.
“Obviously, I am not that experienced but there are a lot of things I can look back on and they can help me out now. I am a much better bowler.
“For all bowlers it is just getting games under your belt. Bowling in international matches you can’t do anything but learn, not just the game of cricket, but your game as well.
“I have played 50 one-dayers and that has helped me a great deal to improve myself.
“Another thing about the games I have played is they have been quite well spread out around the world.
“It teaches you to bowl on different pitches and when we came out here last time I developed a couple of balls, cutters and things, I didn’t have before. Now I can use them with confidence.”
Anderson faced the prospect of surgery had the corset treatment not been successful but the rehabilitation has proved smooth and he met the target of bowling for Lancashire before the season was out.
“Since then I have not felt a thing in my back. I have worked hard in the gym on my core fitness,” he said.
“In the back of my mind, when I started bowling, I was left wondering what it was going to feel like but it has been fine.
“Fitness won’t be a problem, it is probably getting overs under my belt that will be the biggest thing,” Anderson said.
“If I can do that I will be keeping my fingers crossed.”
England underwent a more extensive net session at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi on Tuesday before heading to Jaipur, where they will prepare for their opening match with hosts India on Sunday.