'Can't get too ahead of myself' - Anderson
As he grew older and progressed through age-group and first-class cricket, shoulder and groin injuries almost robbed Anderson of his dream. But on Wednesday, he took a firm first step to claiming the allrounder's spot in the New Zealand side, helped by the maiden hundred in only his second Test.
"It took me a lot longer in first-class cricket," Anderson said, "But I guess I have learned my trade. To get it this early is satisfying, and obviously a good feeling to score a hundred for your country. I still had a little bit of luck today, a few edges and misfields. To have it this early on, it has put me in a good head space. It feels like you belong, but I can't get too ahead of myself."
On the third day, Anderson walked into a situation that Bangladesh were looking to exploit. After play on the second day, Shakib Al Hasan had mentioned the importance of dismissing Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson as Bangladesh sought to take control.
One half of that plan worked out early in the first session on the third day when Shakib dismissed Taylor with the score at 127 for 4. The other half depended on how quickly they could remove Williamson, or manage to isolate him by taking wickets at the other end. Anderson, after struggling early on, ensured that New Zealand were safe for the rest of the session.
"They bowled well, so Kane had to adjust and soak up the pressure," Anderson said. "I wasn't feeling that I was stuck. I thought the runs will come after a little while. Once you started playing a few shots, the field started moving around. It felt like we were going on top as the day went on. It's good to have a position where we have ended up."
He hit his first boundary off the 33rd ball he faced having scored five until then. By lunch, he had moved to 75, dominating the partnership with Williamson, New Zealand's leading run-getter on the tour. The Northern Districts team-mates put together 140 runs for the fifth wicket and Williamson kept calming Anderson down during the stand.
"We are in Northern Districts together, so it was nice batting with someone with whom I bat often," Anderson said. "He's a good player; he helps you through every over. He told me what I needed to do. I am someone who gets carried away when I am hitting the ball. He knows me well enough to mention a couple of things, and rein me back in."
As he moved closer to his hundred, Anderson coped well with the weather conditions. There was no sun of course, making it easier for him than it was in Vizag last month, when he scored a hundred for New Zealand A against India A, and Anderson said that acclimatisation had helped.
"Having a warm-up in India was perfect," he said. "It was very hot in Vizag when I got that hundred. Even though it was humid here, it wasn't quite as hot. It held me in good stead that I went through a decent amount of time."
A century from a New Zealand allrounder draws comparison with some of the country's memorable names. For Anderson, the goal is to emulate Cairns as the go-to guy for his team.
"Chris Cairns was always my idol as I was growing up," he said. "I based my game around him. I always wanted to be Chris Cairns when I played in the backyard. It was postponed for a long time with my injuries, but now my body has started to mature. I want to put my hand up and be that allrounder in that squad. If I can get runs and take wickets where I can, I will be happy."
New Zealand have had a few performers on this tour and it's a good sign for the team. On previous tours, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum had done well. On this tour, audiences in Bangladesh are learning about Williamson, Peter Fulton, BJ Watling, Trent Boult and, now, Anderson.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here