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February 11, 2014
It was all Corey Anderson's fault. He blitzed the fastest ODI hundred weeks before the IPL auction, and since then, no one's stopped asking him how much he thinks he'll be bought for on February 12. Not only him, the 23-year old's team-mates have also been asked the same question about him in press conferences on this India tour. The series has moved on from the ODIs to the Tests, but the question hasn't gone away. The man himself knows there is no getting away from it; he has generated so much attention. He is trying to stay in the moment, and wants to achieve plenty across formats in his career, but admits it is hard not to think about the auction.
"Can't say I am ignoring it, the way it keeps coming up," Anderson said. "Some stage you are going to yield to it. I am excited about it.
"I haven't been in it before and haven't experienced it. I am looking forward to it. I don't know what it's all going to be about. When it happens I don't know what it's going to feel like. It's just one of those things. Goes on in the background. Being going on for a wee while. I just have to deal with it."
While saying he was focused on the "red-ball stuff" for now, Anderson admitted he would be watching the auction, but said he would skip the part when his name comes up. "Luckily enough it's between the Tests.
"So yes there's been a bit of talk between the boys to watch the auction over dinner and stuff but I don't want to watch my one. Rather watch the others. It will be quite exciting."
Anderson does not have a particular franchise he would like to be part of but says it will be a "cool" experience playing in India. "I still don't know if I am going," he said. "If I go I'd love to play. Obviously some teams have picked up, retained some big players. You always want to go there and experience it. So I don't have a team that I'd like to [be in]. Just excited about the auction. I've been to India once and I did ok there.
"If I can go over again, it will be awesome and a cool experience."
Anderson's "ultimate goal" is to be the best allrounder in the world, but right now, the world's focus is on his power-hitting. He knows he has increased expectations manifold after that hundred, and says the pressure to deliver has also gone up. "You tend to feel that pressure a little," he said. "The expectation now is that people want to see me try and do that all the time. Spoken to a lot of people and you try and forget that expectation and just bat."
It does help that Anderson is inherently a powerful, aggressive batsman, but he knows how fickle success can be for those of his kind.
"I am probably lucky that it's sort of my natural game," he said. "I don't have to change any ways to try and do that. Just one of those things. Comes off one day and doesn't come off the next. When you do it for a period of time gives massive confidence but you are always one game away from having no confidence at all, so it is a great leveller. And you just try and ride the highs."
There may be highs and lows. However, Anderson wants to keep playing his strokes and dominate the bowlers. He does not have a particular preferred shot, although he likes to swing over midwicket. "Not too sure to be honest," he said. "I tend to like going to cow corner. That's a pretty favourite shot. But I like hitting straight. I guess anything that comes out of the middle of the bat is a favourite shot but I am always (looking) to go straight."
The start has been bright. Having played only six Tests and 12 ODIs so far, Anderson already has centuries in both formats and also a four-for and a five-for in one-dayers. He acknowledges, though, that this is only the beginning and there is a long way to go. "I still have a lot of work to do," he said. "I have had a few scores. It doesn't make a summer, just like a shot doesn't make a career, so I guess I just got to keep working, testing and always know that there are guys behind me trying to knock down the door and get my position, so at the moment I still got a lot to do. I am just happy with the way I am playing cricket at the moment."
In all probability, it is not only the cricket he will be smiling about after February 12.
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