Former England pace bowler Steve Harmison feels that senior pacer James Anderson missed the perfect opportunity to retire at the end of Ashes 2023 along with his teammate Stuart Broad. His comments came after Anderson decided to continue playing despite turning 41 on July 30. However, he managed just five wickets in four Tests in the Ashes 2023, which ended in a 2-2 draw as well. Anderson, though, has 690 wickets in 183 Tests so far, only behind the late Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800).
Harmison, who played 18 Tests with Anderson, told inews.co.uk: “I’m not sure how long I see Jimmy holding out for. I would have loved to have seen him retire this week. Not because of ability and age, I just think going out at the top against Australia is always the best way to go. I wouldn’t like to see him go out with an injury or with him not being picked. He’s been unlucky this series as he got an injury just before the first Test and missed a bit of cricket. I thought he didn’t have that zip that’s made him so potent for a number of years. Whether that’s just out of rhythm or the age factor, only Jimmy knows.”
Steve Harmison, however, doubted James Anderson’s participation in 11 Tests for England in the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle next year as well. However, he thinks that Anderson deserves to play as long as he wants as well.
“He deserves to go out when he wants to. But England have got a decision to make. They’ve got 11 Test matches [in the next year]. How many is he going to play? That shouldn’t come into it but it has to because of budgets and England has to contract the right people and have the foresight to pick the right teams,” he added.
However, Steve Harmison also questioned whether James Anderson will be included for five Tests in India next year. He asked, “Is Jimmy going to be one of their best three seamers in India over those five Test matches? He might play one or two, but can he get through to next summer? Will England even take him to India?”
Schedule of India vs England Test series
1st Test: January 25-29 (Hyderabad)
2nd Test: February 2-6 (Vizag)
3rd Test: February 15-19 (Rajkot)
4th Test: February 23-27 (Ranchi)
5th Test: March 7-11 (Dharamsala)