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November 13, 2012
James Anderson, the England fast bowler, has asked his team-mates to watch against admiring Sachin Tendulkar too much because that can sometimes "dull the competitive edge". "There is no question in my mind that he has been one of the best batsmen -- if not the best -- for 20-odd years," Anderson wrote in his column in Daily Mail. "But we have to make sure we do not treat him with too much respect in the middle."
Anderson is no rookie when it comes to bowling to Tendulkar. He has squared up against Tendulkar in 19 Test innings and has dismissed him seven times for 207 runs. In his column, he wrote about an Andrew Flintoff anecdote, which according to him sums up the feeling when competing against Tendulkar. "I heard an interesting quote from Freddie Flintoff recently about what it felt like to bowl against Sachin," he wrote. "He said: 'I wanted to get him out, for sure. But I wanted to earn his respect as well. I wanted to impress him.' It almost sounded like Freddie was looking for the Tendulkar seal of approval."
Anderson wrote he had never personally felt that way, but didn't rule out that possibility for others. "I cannot relate directly to what Freddie said, but I know what he is getting at," he wrote. "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.
"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.
"The Sachin factor is quite something to experience. I've played in games here in which the Indian supporters seem more interested in his batting than how their team are doing, when Sachin getting out is the signal for a mass exodus."
Anderson won't mind bowling in front of empty stands if that's what it takes. "I will be seeking to make myself pretty unpopular with the locals in the weeks ahead," he wrote. "The bottom line 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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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