James Anderson sets his next challenge: ‘Can I reach 700? Why not?’

James Anderson reached 600 Test wickets during the final match between England and Pakistan at Southampton but he insists that he is not even contemplating retiring.

James Anderson created history by becoming the first pacer in Test history to take 600 wickets. Anderson achieved the landmark when he got the Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali out on the final day of the third Test between England and Pakistan at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

While there has been speculation at times this summer that James Anderson, now aged 38, might consider retiring after he reached the milestone of 600 Test Wickets, he insisted he has no such intentions.

James Anderson looks set to be a Test cricketer for at least another 18 months after revealing the England management have asked him to play on until after the next Ashes series. Instead, he has reiterated his belief he still has plenty “to offer this England team” and suggested the 700-wicket mark may even be within his reach.

“I’ve chatted with Joe about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia and 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” Anderson said.

“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?” he added.

“We’re still in the Test championship,” Anderson said. “There are still series ahead of us and Test matches to win. That’s all I’m really interested in. 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. 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.” he added further.

Before James Anderson, Australia pacer Glenn McGrath had held the record for the most wickets by a pace bowler with 563 wickets. Anderson broke McGrath’s record in 2018 against India at The Oval while in 2020, he has managed to reach the magical figure of 600 wickets.

“No one is ever going to catch Sachin in Test cricket for the number of runs he’s scored (15,921) and the matches he’s played (200). Jimmy’s done the same for fast bowling. I didn’t have the skill level Jimmy has. When he’s swinging that ball, both ways, in control, there’s no one better,” McGrath said.

McGrath has said that just like how Sachin Tendulkar set the bar for Test cricket with his batting, Anderson has set the gold standard when it comes to pace bowling.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time