England bowler James Anderson empathises with Kagiso Rabada, who could miss the remainder of the series between South Africa and Australia due to suspension.
Rabada took 11 wickets in the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, which helped to dethrone Anderson at the top of the ICC rankings for bowlers.
But the 22-year-old speedster was suspended for the remaining two games in Cape Town and Johannesburg having been found guilty of making contact with Steve Smith after dismissing the Australia captain. Cricket South Africa has since appealed the guilty verdict, giving Rabada a glimmer of hope of playing at Newlands and the Wanderers.
Speaking from New Zealand, where England are preparing to face the Black Caps in two Tests, Anderson told ESPNcricinfo: ‘There’s definitely got to be a place for emotion.
‘I’ve certainly been there and done it. The thing is, you have to control it the best you can. Sometimes it is hard, especially in the heat of the moment in a big series, if you get an important wicket.’
Anderson admitted that it was sometimes difficult to keep a lid on emotions directly after taking a wicket, especially in a big series.
‘Of course, there’s a line. Bowlers do know what that line is, but at times it’s such a strange feeling,’ said the 35-year-old veteran of 134 Tests.
‘I’ve watched myself back and watched me take a wicket and seen how I’ve celebrated and think “what am I doing?” It’s literally one of those things, the build-up of emotion where you are trying so hard to get a wicket and win a game and this emotion just comes out as a big release.
‘It can feel like an out-of-body experience at times. I’m not excusing behaving badly on the field, I’m just saying I can understand what does happen to bowlers when they show that emotion.
‘You see it with fielders, they can sometimes celebrate over the top but we are aware there’s a line, but you just hope that you can keep the emotion in check to stay the right side of the line.’