England speedster James Anderson has already set his eyes on the milestone of 700 Test wickets after becoming the first pacer to take 600 wickets in the longest format of the game.
After achieving the feat on the final day of the third Test against Pakistan in Southampton on Tuesday, the 38-year-old Anderson revealed that England captain Joe Root has assured him about his future.
“I’ve chatted to Joe about this a little bit and he has said he would like me to be in Australia (for the Ashes next year). 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 was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“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?”
Anderson further stated that the ongoing ICC World Test Championship is an extra boost for him to keep performing and expressed his desire to turn up for England in his best shape in upcoming days.
“We’re still in the Test championship. 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 said.
Speaking about his achievement of becoming the first pacer to take 600 Test wickets, Anderson said, “I have worked really hard with my skills over the years and I am fortunate enough that I get to do it at the top level playing for my country.
“Looking back to that first Test (in 2003), I never thought I would get anywhere near 600 Test wickets. I just feel very fortunate and privileged that I have been able to do that for a long period of time,” he added.
Meanwhile, the third Test between England and Pakistan ended in a draw after rain had played spoilsport on the last two days. With a victory in the first Test, England managed to win the three-mtach series 1-0.