It's the best form of the game - Anderson prioritises Tests


James Anderson's "head and heart" remain with Test cricket and he will prioritise the format during the twilight of his career.

England's record wicket-taker in the long form of the game with 427 scalps, Anderson has been left out of one-day internationals since last year's World Cup in a bid to maximise his availability during a demanding schedule that includes 17 Tests in 2016.

Despite reports the 33-year-old could be interested in participating in the upcoming Pakistan Super League in Dubai or the Indian Premier League, he has confirmed he remains firmly focused on red-ball action.

"Where I'm at in my career I want to be in good nick to play Test cricket for England," said Anderson.

"A couple of months away from the game after this series certainly won't be a bad thing for me and then I will play a bit of four-day cricket with Lancashire to get ready for the summer. My heart and my head are both set on playing more Test cricket.

"I look forward to Test cricket and I love playing it. I think it's the best form of the game and it's the most challenging. Certainly 17 Tests in a year is a huge challenge but I get excited about things like that and I look forward to what is to come.

"There's a worry about Test cricket, with the domestic Twenty20 competitions around the world doing so well but if you talk to players around the world there's still that passion to play Test cricket because it's such a test of your character and skill.

"I'm not the only person who feels like that too but we need people to keep supporting the game so it hopefully it will flourish."

Anderson's absence due to a calf injury gave England cause for concern ahead of the first Test against South Africa in Durban, but Stuart Broad and Steven Finn stepped up in his absence to claim 11 wickets in a 241-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Following the drawn second Test in Cape Town, England could clinch an impressive series victory over the world's number one-ranked side by winning the third encounter of the four-match contest, which starts in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"It would be massive for us, especially because of the journey this team has gone on in a short space of time. We've shown glimpses of being a world-class team but also we've been inconsistent," Anderson said.

"If we can win here where South Africa have dominated for some time that would be huge. Being one up with two to go is an exciting place to be but we have to build on what we've done already here."