London: James Anderson said Wednesday he has no plans to hang up his boots yet after overtaking Glenn McGrath to become the most prolific fast bowler in Test history.
Anderson went past McGrath’s tally of 563 wickets when he knocked out Mohammed Shami’s middle stump as England bowled out India for 345 at the Oval, Tuesday.
The Lancashire swing bowler, with 564 scalps, now trails just the spin trio of Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619) in the all-time list.
The 36-year-old downplayed his personal achievement and said he was more focused on helping England win the final match of the series.
“When I sit down at the end of my career, when I finish, it will mean a hell of a lot to me to be able to see what I’ve achieved,” Anderson said.
“But right now it’s hard when you put all your energy into the present and trying to perform well for England. That’s all I really focus on,” added the speedster.
Anderson is three years older than his great friend Alastair Cook, who retired from Test cricket after the match at the Oval but has no immediate plans to quit.
When asked how long he would go on, Anderson, who no longer plays one-day cricket for England, said: “I don’t really think about it. I think I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me, the next game, the next series, whatever it is.”
He added, “I read something that Glenn 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.”
McGrath meanwhile has backed Anderson to breach the 600-wicket barrier.
“Just to see Jimmy now, he looks fit and keen and running around, it depends on what he wants to do. He has gone past me and I think the next bar is 600 Test wickets,” McGrath was quoted as saying by the ‘BBC’.
“If he can get to 600 Test wickets, that’s an incredible effort and I back him to achieve the feat,” added the Australian legend.
McGrath finished his career with 563 wickets from 124 Tests, and coincidentally, his last Test wicket was none other than Anderson.