The veteran English fast bowler, James Anderson is far from announcing retirement from international cricket even after becoming the first pacer to amass 600 Test wickets as he feels that he can even take 700 wickets in Test cricket and join the elite club with Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan even though he has hit 38.
Anderson has become the fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests and reached the 600-wicket milestone by dismissing Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali on the fianl day of the third Test in Southampton on Tuesday. Former Indian skipper, Anil Kumble has 619 wickets to his name behind Muralitharan (800) and Warne (708).
Speaking after the drawn game, the 38-year-old made his intentions clear. As per the quotes in ESPNCricinfo, Anderson said, “I’ve chatted to Joe about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia (for the Ashes next year). I don’t see any reason why I can’t be. I’m working hard on my fitness all the time. I’m working hard on my game.”
He further added, “I didn’t bowl as well as I’d have liked for the whole summer. But in this Test I was really on it and I feel like I’ve still got stuff to offer this team. As long as I still feel like that I think I’ll keep going. I don’t think I’ve won my last Test matches as an England cricketer yet. Can I reach 700? Why not?”
Anderson claimed his 29th five-wicket haul in the third Test and only the great Richard Hadlee has more 5-fers in the fast bowlers category. He said his hunger to perform has not got down a bit and that is what keeps him going.
James Anderson explained, “There are still series ahead of us and Test matches to win. I still love turning up every day at training, putting in the hard yards and being in the dressing room with the lads trying to forge a win for England. That’s all I’ve really ever bothered about and what I’ll keep trying to do. I’ll keep working hard in the gym and keeping myself available for selection.”
Talking about his 600 wickets, Anderson added: “I have worked really hard with my skills over the years and I am fortunate enough that I get to do it at the top level playing for my country. Looking back to that first Test (in 2003), I never thought I would get anywhere near 600 Test wickets. I just feel very fortunate and privileged that I have been able to do that for a long period of time.”