May 28, 2024

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Durable James Anderson joins ‘600 club,’ says there’s more to come

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Jimmy Anderson has entered the exclusive “600 Club.”

The England paceman became only the fourth bowler — and the first seamer — to take 600 wickets in test cricket on Tuesday, before saying there was more to come in his enduring international career that began in 2003.

The 38-year-old Anderson was mobbed by his teammates when he reached his latest milestone by dismissing Azhar Ali in the third test against Pakistan, with England captain Joe Root taking a high catch at first slip.

Anderson took the ball in his right hand and — with a cheeky smile — saluted all sides of the Rose Bowl, which is without spectators because of coronavirus restrictions. England coach Chris Silverwood applauded on the boundary edge.

Anderson, who is playing in his 156th test, is fourth on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in tests. Only retired spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) are above him.

“Massive effort from a great fast bowler,” Kumble, the former India legspinner, wrote on Twitter. “Welcome to the club.”

Anderson is the second quickest to get to 600 wickets, taking only six balls more than Muralitharan.

Anderson prides himself on his work ethic and fitness, and said only this month that he has no plans to retire, with his sights set on an Ashes series Down Under next year.

“I still get satisfaction from putting a shift in, from bowling 25 overs a day and maybe getting two wickets at the end of the day,” the down-to-earth Anderson said. “I still enjoy putting the yards in the nets, making those tweaks with the technique to make sure I’m in good shape going into test matches, doing the stuff in the gym. I think that’s why I keep going.”

Warne has suggested Anderson could limit his work load and extend his international career by playing only in home test matches and rest up during away tours, when he could perhaps act instead as a bowling consultant to younger teammates.

Anderson, however, said he feels “like I can still bowl in all conditions, like I’m still fit enough to play.”

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