James Anderson says he did not think he was "good enough" for Test cricket when he made his England debut 18 years ago.
However, England's leading Test wicket-taker, 38, is poised to overtake former captain Sir Alastair Cook as the nation's most capped Test player.
Anderson joined Cook on 161 appearances in last week's drawn first Test against New Zealand, with the second Test starting on Thursday at Edgbaston.
"Knowing how much Cooky played I'm proud I've got to this point," he said.
Anderson made his Test debut for England against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2003.
Despite taking a five-wicket haul in the first innings, he says it felt like "a huge step up from county cricket" and it took him "a few years" to realise he could perform at the highest level.
"My first ball was a no-ball and there were a lot of nerves there," he said.
"I remember Nasser Hussain didn't have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs.
"No disrespect to Zimbabwe but playing against teams like South Africa, Australia and India, once you put in performances against the top teams in the world, that's when you think you can perform at that level.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime. cricketwindies.com/forum/