James Anderson, the senior England bowler, has reiterated that he has no immediate plans of retiring after becoming the highest fast-bowling wicket-taker in Test history.
James Anderson, who has featured in 143 Test matches for England, went past Glenn McGrath in his most recent Test at the Oval to become the fourth-highest Test wicket-taker of all time with only spinners Murali Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble ahead of him now.
One day after achieving the historic feat in a match where his good friend Alastair Cook retired, Anderson made it clear that he simply hadn’t considered retirement, saying that he was able to maintain the requisite high standards of fitness as he has lengthy breaks between international assignments since he doesn’t play shorter formats of the game for his country.
“I don’t really think about it – I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me; the next game, the next series – whatever it is,” Anderson, who is ranked No. 1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for bowlers.
It came as little surprise that after a hectic five-match series Anderson seemed keen to enjoy the break before preparing for his next big assignemnt – a Test series in Sri Lanka in November.
“We’ve got a decent break before Sri Lanka – and try to get myself in as decent as condition as possible to cope with the rigours of bowling seam in Sri Lanka, which can be tough.”
The second-most capped English player behind only Cook (161) didn’t, however, rule out the possibility of suddenly announcing retirement.
“I read something that Glen McGrath said – he went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and then by the end of it, he thought his time was up.
“That could happen to me, who knows? I don’t like looking too far ahead. I don’t think it helps certainly me or the team.”
“The stage I’m at, I don’t play one-day cricket so I think I have enough time in between Test series to be able to prepare myself well and get myself in good physical shape,” he said.
“We came into this five-Test series with question marks over whether the bowlers would get through. We’ve got two 30-plus bowlers – will they need resting and will they get injuries – and we’ve done it.
“We pride ourselves on working hard and we get the chance when we get that time off; Stuart and I don’t play white-ball cricket so we have that time to be able to get ourselves in the right frame of mind, the right physical condition to be able to cope with whatever’s ahead of us.”