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George Dobell at The Oval
August 17, 2014
'In the last few games, I have concentrated more on being aggressive with the ball rather than my mouth'
James Anderson accepted he may have benefited from the increased scrutiny of his on-field behaviour as England wrapped up the Investec Test series with a crushing victory at The Oval.
Anderson was charged with a Level Three offence under the ICC's Code of Conduct following an alleged incident with Ravi Jadeja during the first Test. Although Anderson was subsequently cleared, he conceded that the increased focus may have prompted him to re-assess the way he conducted himself on the pitch.
After bowling as well as at any time of his career in the final three Tests, he ended the series with 25 wickets at an average of 20.60 and was named Man of the Series.
But, while he was insistent he had been no less aggressive with the ball since the Jadeja incident, Anderson did admit he may have been a little less vocal with the batsmen.
"Possibly, in the last few games, I have concentrated more on being aggressive with the ball rather than my mouth," Anderson said. "I think I tried to be as aggressive. Whether I tried to say any less, I don't know. But I think the Jadeja incident made me more determined to perform on the field.
"At Southampton, when the stuff was going on around before and after the game, we were so focused on winning that game, and since then we've not let India back into the series."
But Anderson remained adamant that the aggressive on-field persona that has become familiar over recent years was a key part of his success. Anderson finished the match, his 99th Test, with 380 Test wickets. Only Sir Ian Botham, who claimed 383, has taken more for England.
"The reason I struggled, I think, in the early part of my career is because I was the timid, shy character that I am off the field when I was on it," he said. "That didn't help me. And working with people to try to get the best out of me, we found that it was best if I tried to be aggressive.
"What's helped me in the last five or six years is the fact I've been aggressive on the field and had the odd word. I've tried not to cross the line. And that's why the umpires are there to monitor that."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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