Corey Anderson’s career is one of bewilderment. He announced himself to world cricket with the then-fastest One-Day International century more than three years ago. A year later, his all-round contributions were key to New Zealand’s road to the 2015 World Cup final. He was the next big thing to come out of the New Zealand cricket stables, ready to scorch the global cricket scene.
The well-built Canterbury lad took the 2014 Indian Premier League by storm too. His franchise, the Mumbai Indians, was in a spot of no return. At three down for 61 against the Rajasthan Royals in pursuit of 190 in under 15 overs to qualify for the playoffs, Mumbai were set to crash land. But that was till the big-hitting monster in Anderson was awakened. A 44-ball 95 from the left-hander helped Mumbai sail into the playoffs.
But, injuries have always been constant stumbling blocks for Anderson.
Despite all the promise to be the explosion world cricket craved, injuries have prevented him from being a regular with the national team.
In the IPL too, after the 2015 stunner, a fractured finger enabled him to turn out for Mumbai for no more than four games the next season. In the following season, he could not break into the winning combination of the title-holders.
The latest injury break last year had restricted Anderson’s appearances as a bowler. The constant injuries could have disheartened another 26-year-old. But, the Kiwi’s indomitable spirit meant he is back. He has even resumed bowling at full throttle.
As his first stint with the Delhi Daredevils enters the business end, Anderson spoke to Scroll about a new start in the IPL, about how he deals with injuries, the opportunity to share the dressing room with Indian legends and about a hearing deficiency not many know about…
Where were you when Delhi picked you and how did you feel?
I was at home. I was watching the auction live and I saw my name come up. Delhi bid on me and that was it. Was obviously raring to go for Delhi, I knew Paul Close, the physio. Which brought in the New Zealand connection. And, obviously, it is a great place to be in and a great franchise to be with. Was great to be picked up and come over here for my fourth time in the IPL and the first time with Delhi, obviously. It has been exciting. Half way through the tournament and I am enjoying myself. So, it is good.
Did you expect Mumbai Indians to retain you?
Wasn’t too sure to be honest. Had injuries and I guess the team they had was a strong side as you’ve seen this year; they are top of the table, or near the top of the table. I think it is too hard to tell, I guess. It is from season to season. I thought it might be coming to an end but with it comes an opportunity to play for another franchise and have new experiences with new people and get involved in a new environment. It was obviously disappointing. You never want to get let go from a team but coming to Delhi has been a blessing.
How does a modern-day cricketer deal with injuries?
They are a part and parcel of game. Tough to go through them and the different time frames they come with. You have got to love the game when it comes down to injuries. You have down times, which is when you make sure you can pick yourself up. You must love the game, the running around, being in the team environment and those sort of little things that motivate you and take you back onto the park regardless of the length you are out of. Important to keep the goal in mind, whether it is the cricket or just to be back in the environment. Those are the little things that keep pushing me back, A good support crew is important too.
How has the experience of sharing the dressing room with Zaheer Khan been?
Oh, it has been great. I have been lucky, I had got a little bit to do with Zak in Mumbai and to have him back, obviously, as captain of Delhi is just…he is such a smart cricketer. He has experience you can’t buy. He is a smart guy, great guy to talk to anything on or off the field. He is a crafty character. It is fantastic to have him in the dressing room. All the overseas guys and the young guys in the team look up to him.
How has it been to have Rahul Dravid around?
Great. I was lucky enough that he came over for a game for Canterbury, when I was playing in New Zealand. It was before an Indian tour. He had a warm-up game and scored a 100 obviously, being the wall that he is. He is fantastic to have around. He is in a similar mold to Zak – experience you can’t buy. You can chat to him about batting and just life in general. He is a fantastic coach and mentor, apart from, obviously, a fantastic human being. It is fantastic to have him in the environment as well.
What makes a good all-rounder?
As a good all-rounder, you must perform with both bat and ball. You could have days when it is not going to come off, but if you can contribute and perform with bat or ball in a game, you are dong your job. Everyone wants consistency, but if you are there or there about, you are dong alright.
Who is the best all-rounder in the world currently?
Ben Stokes is a classy player. Right through this IPL, Chris Morris has been outstanding with bat and ball. Bowlers can hold their bat better nowadays. It is because of the training they do and T20 cricket; they play a few more shots nowadays, they have the ability to score in different parts of the ground. Ben Stokes or Chirs Morris – they are up there.
Can you tell us a bit about how you have dealt with your hearing condition, it could be an inspiration for many across the world?
Ah, I was born with it. I was born with about 5% hearing in my left ear. I’m not fully deaf or anything like that but I believe it is more selective hearing. But haven’t thought much about it. Maybe when I’m old, it’ll affect me more. But by that time, I’ll hopefully have a wife and she will probably be annoying, and I can turn her on and off easily. It’ll probably be a blessing. Look, it is something I deal with since I have grown up with. Lucky that it hasn’t affected me like it has affected some others. Hasn’t really hindered me in any shape or form. Mum sort of had to yell a bit louder if at all! Everyone has got something different and that is mine.
But it must help if you run out your captain?
It is perfect if I run out somebody, especially the captain, because they can’t tell me anything. They can’t tell something to someone who can’t hear properly. That would be unfair! I’m lucky I can use it when I can.