Anderson fired up for 'incredible' Ashes

The ageless James Anderson is already licking his lips at the prospect of an "explosive" Ashes summer.

Anderson's tally of 177 Test caps puts him second on the all-time list behind India's Sachin Tendulkar but, at the age of 40, he is still weighing up future challenges rather than reliving past glories.

Newcomers and veterans alike have been energised by England's new attacking approach and Anderson anticipates a blockbuster series when Australia arrive later this year.

"It's exciting to be in this team. Whoever we play it's going to be fun, we're going to give it a good crack and Australia in the summer could just be incredible," he said.

"I can't see them (the Australians) doing anything but going toe-to-toe. They're going to fight fire with fire and that's going to make it so explosive and exciting.

"There is something wrong with you as a player if you didn't enjoy this way we're playing."

In December, Anderson celebrated his 20th year as an international player, the last five of which he has spent co-hosting a BBC podcast alongside DJ Greg James and former Maccabees guitarist Felix White.

"It's constantly thinking and talking about the game in a positive way - so, yes, it has reinvigorated me," Anderson said.

"I reckon their love for the game has actually reinvigorated my love for it. Definitely these last few years."

Enjoying his job has been even easier since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum overhauled England's entire approach and, with it, their results.

Stripping away fear of failure and replacing it with a desire to entertain has carried the team to nine wins from 10 Tests.

Anderson hailed the leadership and conviction of Stokes, citing the skipper's insistence a weary bowling group be excused an audience with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after a late invitation in Rawalpindi last month.

"He just went, 'The bowlers aren't going, they need to recover'. He's strong enough to do that," Anderson said.

"I've always had him down as a lead-by-example guy. But he is just incredible, the emotional intelligence around the group, managing the players. I didn't know he had this side to him."

Anderson, though, could easily have walked away before Stokes' revolution even began, having been surprisingly dropped alongside Stuart Broad for the preceding tour of the West Indies.

"There was definitely a moment when I thought that could be it. There was a bit of anger and disappointment," he said.

"I was just trying to make sense of it and not make any rash decisions."