“It’s always tough bowling against batsmen of that quality,” Anderson told the Test Match Special podcast on Friday. “Obviously, I’ve had some success against him in 2014 and then he came back a completely different player in 2018 and it was incredible. It will be a tough battle in that respect, but that’s something I do enjoy against the best players. As a bowler, you want to get the best players out.”
The 38-year-old Anderson, who became the first quick bowler to take 600 Test wickets during England’s home series against Pakistan, has had several intriguing battles with Kohli over the years. When India toured England in 2014, Anderson was Kohli’s nemesis, with the right-arm pacer dismissing him on four occasions and Kohli scoring just 134 runs in his 10 innings. However, in 2018, he was the top run-scorer in the Test series with a 593-run tally, including two centuries and three fifties to his name.
Asked what changes he noticed in Kohli’s batting in 2018, Anderson said, “I just felt he left the ball really well [in 2018]. The first time he came over [in 2014], when I was bowling an outswinger, he might chase it early on, so that brought the edge and the slips into play.
“I just felt like he left a lot better and he was a lot more patient [in 2018]. He waited for you to come to him because he’s very strong off his legs; he got more off that shot. And once he got any start, he played a bit more expansively. His all-round game, both his mental approach and his technique, was that little bit better.”
Currently placed fourth among the highest wicket-takers in Tests, Anderson, 38, also touched upon some of techniques he has tried on his tours of the subcontinent.
“We have had our success,” Anderson said. “We tried to roll fingers down the side of the ball, just try to make it grip on the dry surface. Having skills like that really helps. We enjoyed bowling [in India].”