LONDON: It was swinging in the rain for James Anderson on Friday evening. There were times when he looked unplayable and the Indian batsmen were just waiting for the inevitable, not knowing how to deal with the master swing bowler in conditions that suited that him. Anderson, with 99 Test wickets only at Lord’s, is now only 14 shy of Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 – the highest by a pace bowler in the longer version. What has been the most impressive aspect about Anderson this series has been the amount of bowling he has done. At 36, it’s not easy to run in full steam for an hour every session but Anderson has been able to do that with a degree of ease.
But the paceman insists that neither milestones, nor his age, bother him too much. “I don’t think about numbers or my age, I feel like – if not 28, 32. I don’t feel old, I can still throw myself around in the field as well as anyone else,” Anderson said. “All I think about is getting my body in as good a condition as it can be to cope with bowling out in the middle. I was delighted with how many overs I bowled at Edgbaston. I’m happy that my body can go through that at this age. It means I’m doing the right stuff off the field.”
The veteran paceman added that he doesn’t feel the fatigue yet that can start thoughts about a possible retirement. “I’m just going to keep playing as long as possible. Hopefully the wickets will keep coming as well and I can help this team keep winning,” Anderson said.
As far as this series is concerned, most things have gone as per plan for the pacer. But there’s personal battle that he hasn’t yet won. Despite all the dominance, Anderson hasn’t been able to get Virat Kohli out. It’s true that the Indian captain has played and missed him quite a few times, but the edge hasn’t come of his bowling.
“I was thinking why can’t he edge them like everyone else? I’ve really enjoyed the contest with him. He’s No. 1 in the world for a reason. I love playing against the best players in the world, but unfortunately I’ve not got the better of him yet (in this series). But I’ll continue to try my best through the rest of the series,” Anderson said.
If the other Indian batsmen can stay competitive through the summer, the Kohli-Anderson contest would surely spice up the series.