James Anderson said he still has wickets left in him and is not about to call it quits after leading England back from the dead in the second Ashes Test on Tuesday (December 5).
England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker claimed his first five-wicket haul in Australia to reduce the home side to 138 before Joe Root led the way with an unbeaten half-century in pursuit of a record 354-run victory target in Adelaide.
The 35-year-old paceman captured 5 for 43 and has now taken 514 wickets in his 131st Test for England, but he says he has no plans on calling time on his fabulous career.
“I feel like I am bowling as well as I ever have, feel like my body is in as good shape as it ever has been,” Anderson told reporters. “And people keep telling me that I am about to finish and retire, so I want to show them that I can keep going. I’ve still got wickets in me, wicket-taking balls which I have shown this week, and hopefully that can continue for the rest of this trip.”
Anderson, England’s big bowling hope in the five-Test series, professed his love for the game and the urge to keep on playing. “I don’t want to think about the future too much. I’m loving playing cricket, I’m loving playing with this group of blokes,” he said. “As long as I am bowling well and doing myself justice on the field I am going to keep playing, absolutely love this game.
“I’ve been very fortunate to play it for a long time and I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon. So if I keep bowling well and keep myself in good shape then hopefully I can carry on for a while.”
Anderson said the England team was delighted to have a winning chance heading into Wednesday’s final day after trailing Australia by 215 runs on the first innings. “We were really annoyed with the way we played the first couple of days, 200-plus behind,” he said. “We wanted to show what we can do. We didn’t do ourselves justice in those first two innings with the ball and the bat. To be honest, we’re delighted to be in this position, to have any chance of winning the game.
“There’s obviously a huge amount of work ahead of us but we’re in with a chance, which is all we can ask for after the first two days.”
After conceding 442 for 8 declared, England were on the backfoot, bowled out for 227 in their first innings. Australia stuttered to the end of the third day with Anderson reducing them to 53 for 4, but it was unexpected that Australia would fold for 138 with Anderson’s five and Chris Woakes’s 4 for 36.
“There are no gremlins in the pitch. There’s nothing to fear in terms of the pitch deteriorating,” he said in an effort to boost the confidence of the batters. It’s just a case of coming out tomorrow with belief. We’ve got to believe we can do it and we’ve got the players in the dressing room who can do it.”