Cricket

England vs Pakistan: James Anderson raring to play 2021-22 Ashes as he joins '600 club'

  • Agence France-Presse
  • August 26th, 2020
  • 9:32:02 IST

Southampton: James Anderson refused to rest on his laurels after becoming the first paceman to take 600 Test wickets as he revealed England captain Joe Root wanted him to feature in the 2021/22 Ashes tour of Australia.

Anderson became only the fourth bowler after three retired spinners – Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Australia's Shane Warne (708) and India's Anil Kumble (619) – to achieve the feat when he had Pakistan captain Azhar Ali well caught by first slip Root at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.

Anderson will be nearly 40 when England begin their quest to regain the urn from their arch-rivals.

England's James Anderson holds up the ball to celebrate his 600th Test wicket. AP

England's James Anderson holds up the ball to celebrate his 600th Test wicket. AP

But although he has now played a mammoth 156 Tests, Anderson insisted there was no reason why he couldn't still be a key member of England's attack Down Under.

"To be honest I've chatted to Rooty about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia," Anderson told reporters after a match marred by bad weather ended in a draw to give England a 1-0 win in a three-Test series.

At 38, Anderson – an England international for 17 years – is already at an age where many pacemen of previous generations have long since retired.

But his hunger for wickets shows no sign of being sated, even though he has already enjoyed the rare experience for an England cricketer of starring in a victorious Ashes campaign in Australia, in 2010/11.

"I don't see any reason why I can't be (involved)," he said.

"I'm working hard on my fitness all the time, working hard on my game. I didn't bowl as well as I'd have liked for the whole summer but this Test match I was really on it and I feel like I've still got stuff to offer this team," added Anderson, who finished with match figures of 7-101 following his 29th five-wicket Test haul in the first innings.

"As long as I still feel like that I think I'll keep going.

"There will be decisions along the way with the selectors and coach and captain around how the team moves forward but as long as they want me around I'll keep working hard and try to prove I'm good enough to play in this team."

'Hard yards'

The Lancashire swing bowler added: "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 don't think I've won my last Test matches as an England cricketer yet."

While England were able to stage 'bio-secure' series against both Pakistan and the West Indies this season, there is no certainty as to when they will next play a Test amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It felt amazing to get 600 wickets, but even if I didn't get it here there are worse numbers to be stuck on for a few months than 599, so I'd have been happy either way," said Anderson, who was happy to see Root feature in his landmark achievement.

"But it means a huge amount to see Joe taking the catch, I have played loads of Test cricket with Joe and also with Stuart Broad. I was fortunate enough to be out on the field for his 500th wicket (last month) and it has meant a lot to both of us."

Meanwhile Root paid tribute to Anderson by saying: "There's no one that can touch him really, he's that far ahead of everyone else in my opinion.

"He's a brilliant senior player -- you couldn't ask for a better role model and someone to learn off. He's a credit to our country."

Updated Date: August 26, 2020 09:32:02 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

IPL on Pod: Discussing crazy night of Super Overs, Dinesh Karthik leaving KKR's captaincy, predicting playoff teams and more
First Cricket News

IPL on Pod: Discussing crazy night of Super Overs, Dinesh Karthik leaving KKR's captaincy, predicting playoff teams and more

In the fourth episode of IPL on Pod, Firstpost's Anish Anand, Shubham Pandey, and Ujwal Singh discuss the crazy night when two matches had three Super Overs, Dinesh Karthik's decision to handover captaincy to Eoin Morgan, predict playoff candidates, and more.

The Hundred: Ollie Pope replaces Jonny Bairstow at Welsh Fire; Rory Burns moves to Oval Invincibles
First Cricket News

The Hundred: Ollie Pope replaces Jonny Bairstow at Welsh Fire; Rory Burns moves to Oval Invincibles

The ECB announced the names of the first 18 players set to take part in The Hundred after its start was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muttiah Muralitharan opens up on biopic row: 'I'm perceived wrongly as I was part of Sri Lankan cricket team'
Entertainment

Muttiah Muralitharan opens up on biopic row: 'I'm perceived wrongly as I was part of Sri Lankan cricket team'

"How I managed to join the cricket team and tasted success despite living amid the Sri Lankan war is what 800 is all about,” Muttiah Muralitharan says of his biopic