Battle against Virat Kohli this year was my favourite: James Anderson

England pacer James Anderson has said his battle against India skipper Virat Kohli in this year`s Test series was his favourite and he also said that both fierce opponents have mutual respect for each other.

Anderson managed to dismiss Kohli twice at a cost of 64 runs in the course of four completed Tests.

“This summer was probably my favourite contest with Virat. We`ve had a few good battles over the years, both in England and India, but this year was certainly my favourite. I got him out a few times but also he got some runs as well, and we had a battle on the field where there was definitely mutual respect there. It was in a really nice manner, if that makes sense. Obviously, we were going at each other, but it was in a well-spirited way. So I really enjoyed that,” James Anderson told Fox Cricket`s Road to the Ashes podcast, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

Talking about his potential battle with Steve Smith in the upcoming Ashes, Anderson said: “As a bowler, you always look at the best player, and for me over the last three, four, or five years, Steve Smith`s been Australia`s best player. He`s been the one they rely on for their volume of runs, obviously supported by guys around him like [David] Warner and [Marnus] Labuschagne recently. But he`s been their go-to in the last few years, so he`ll be the one that we will be keen to get out early.”

“We`ve got to start well. The Gabba in particular is huge for us. If we can get one-up on a few batters early, then that can have a real snowball effect throughout the series. Bowling in Australia is not necessarily more difficult, it`s just different. In England, the Dukes swings more often than not, and with the wickets, we play on, you can get some seam movement as well. But you`re not going to get many swings with a Kookaburra, so it`s just about trying to hit good areas. You`ve just got to be relentless, and so accurate. And that`s where people do struggle,” he added.

England and Australia will lock horns in a five-match Ashes, beginning December 8 in Brisbane.

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