‘Can I reach 700? Why not?’ – James Anderson insists he is far from done

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. Instead, the 38-year-old paceman has said that he is targeting the 700-wicket mark in Tests with skipper Joe Root also confirming that Anderson and Stuart Broad are in the scheme of things for the long run.

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‘Can I reach 700? Why not?’ – James Anderson insists he is far from done
James Anderson became the first pacer to reach 600 Test wickets and Glenn McGrath believes that his record might never be broken.

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. At 38 years, age is not on James Anderson’s side. With the England Test schedule uncertain, it could be a long time before Anderson is seen in white clothing again. There have been plenty of speculations that Anderson might announce his retirement from Test cricket and it would bring an end to a magnificent 17-year career where he has transformed England’s bowling fortunes along with Stuart Broad.

However, speaking after the end of the match, Anderson has brushed aside any speculation that he might retire and instead, he wants to focus on the 2021 Ashes as well as reaching yet another magical landmark of 700 wickets.

“In this Test, I was really on it and I feel like I've still got stuff to offer this team. I don't think I've won my last Test matches as an England cricketer yet. Can I reach 700? Why not? 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,” Anderson said.

The point was echoed by skipper Joe Root during the post-match presentation. “To be able to stand up and perform in Test cricket over such a long period of time is a fantastic achievement. Credit to him. Absolutely see Broad and Anderson continuing for a long time for us,” Root said.

Like Tendulkar in batting

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.

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.

“No one is ever going to catch Sachin in Test cricket for the amount 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.

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