James Anderson sets his eyes on 700 Test wickets
The 38-year-old England fast bowler has no plans of hanging up his boots after completing a record-breaking 600 Test wickets. Anderson revealed that the England management has asked him to continue until the next Ashes in 2020-21.
"I've chatted to Joe [Root] about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia," Anderson said. "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.
"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?"
It is rare for a pace bowler to have such longevity but Anderson, who will be 39 when the next Ashes begins, is focused on the World Test Championship and stated that he would keep proving his worth.
"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."
Balls bowled to take 600 Test wickets:— ICC (@ICC) August 25, 2020
Muttiah Muralitharan 3️⃣3️⃣,7️⃣1️⃣1️⃣
JAMES ANDERSON 3️⃣3️⃣,7️⃣1️⃣7️⃣
Shane Warne 3️⃣4️⃣,9️⃣2️⃣0️⃣
Anil Kumble 3️⃣8️⃣,4️⃣9️⃣4️⃣ #ENGvPAK pic.twitter.com/HTKxQn5CuJ
"I am sure I will have to be a little bit wise about which games I play and which I don't," Anderson said. "That's something for the selectors, coach, captain and the medical team to help with as well. It's not just me saying I will play this one and not that one. We want to play in the best team but be careful of managing workloads. We will try and discuss what is best for the team."
Joe Root, who has taken 18 catches off Anderson's bowling including his 600th wicket on Tuesday, lauded the England pacer for his incredible feat.
"Very proud of the way we played throughout. It was a fantastic achievement for Jimmy (Anderson)," Root said.
"To be able to stand up and perform in Test cricket over such a long period of time is an incredible effort achievement. We all know how valuable he is to our squad.
"He's a wicket taker but as a senior player and leader of bowlers, helping those young guys come through, he's so much more than what you see on the field and a credit to our country. Absolutely see (Stuart) Broad and Anderson continuing for a long time for us."