Yet when it came to being congratulated on his achievement by Bob Willis and Sir Ian Botham at Lord's, having joined them in the triple-century club, he was unsure how to react. Anderson had New Zealand opener Peter Fulton caught by his close friend and team-mate Graeme Swann at second slip to make it 300, and therefore found himself centre stage.
On the plaudits from Botham and Willis, the 30-year-old said: "I don't really know how I feel about that. It's quite strange, guys who have done so much in the game and achieved so much - and I watched as a kid - come up and congratulate me on that sort of thing. I'm just delighted that I've got there, and hope there is plenty more left to come."
There were two more important eye-witnesses for Anderson, his parents having travelled to London - and taken the precaution of booking in until the final day of the Test on Monday "just in case". It was fitting too that Swann should be the catcher who completed Fulton's dismissal.
"It's nice to see him hold on to one," Anderson added, with a smile. "It was a really nice moment, and I could see how much it meant to him as well - how pleased he was for me."
Despite Anderson's three wickets, it was the Kiwis who were edging a tight contest after two days - on 153 for four in reply to 232 all out, thanks principally to Tim Southee (four for 58) and Ross Taylor (66).
A cloudy day first of all helped Southee and co hustle out England's last six wickets for only 40, but convinced Anderson too that he was in with a great chance of at least taking two of his own.
"The cloud cover helped - it always does," he added. "We saw the way their guys bowled, really well and made it very difficult for us with a little bit of movement - so we were very encouraged by that."
Taylor became Anderson's 301st Test victim, but not before he had hit 13 fours from 72 balls. The Kiwi number four said of his opponent: "He bowled very well and put us under pressure right from the first over. He's coming at you all the time.
"He can swing it away and bring the ball back - and any bowler who can swing it both ways is going to be difficult and keep you on your toes. He probably didn't have the series he would have liked in New Zealand, but in home conditions he bowled very well. He's always asking questions."