Nothing to celebrate – James Anderson plays down importance of 700th Test wicket

By Sports Desk March 12, 2024

James Anderson insists his history-making 700th Test wicket was “nothing to celebrate” after England’s series defeat in India and is already looking to booking his place in the side this summer.

Anderson became the first fast bowler to reach the remarkable landmark when he dismissed Kuldeep Yadav in Dharamsala, joining spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in one of cricket’s most elite clubs.

The 41-year-old seamer has been collecting various records since he first surpassed Sir Ian Botham as England’s leading wicket-taker back in 2015 and, with his big moment coming in an innings defeat and a 4-1 loss overall, he was happy to downplay the significance of an achievement which is unlikely to be matched.

“I didn’t really celebrate, I’ll be honest. There’s nothing to celebrate,” he told his Tailenders podcast.

“My dad was here so I had a drink with my dad, which was nice. He was more excited than I was. Maybe I would’ve felt more excited if we’d have won the Test or the series.

“I don’t know how I felt really.”

Anderson has been garlanded with praise, including his former captain Nasser Hussain’s suggestion that his final career tally will one day go down alongside the great Sir Donald Bradman’s batting average of 99.94, but claimed that was not the kind of of glory he sought.

“That’s irrelevant to me. I don’t get anything out of what other people say,” he added.

“I don’t play cricket to get personal milestones, I guess. I want to win games. I love playing a team sport, that’s when I get the biggest buzz. So I’m a little flat because we lost 4-1 in the series.”

Anderson has been swatting aside questions over when he might hang up his boots for several years but looked fit, held his pace and bowled skilfully enough to leave no question that he would be in contention for yet another domestic season in 2024, with England facing Test series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

“I’m really excited for the summer. I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in,” he said.

“I’m not getting any worse. I like where my game is at and I still have that enjoyment of turning up every day and trying to get better in the nets.

“My place in the team is not a given, so I’ve got to work hard to prove I’m worth a place in the summer.”

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