England’s record wicket-taker James Anderson insists he has no intention of walking away from Test cricket and wants to “show people I’ve still got what it takes”.
Anderson’s 590 wickets make him the most prolific pace bowler in the history of the game and, after 154 caps for his country, he has nothing left to prove.
But, at the age of 38, mutterings about retirement are part of the territory and they increased after he laboured for figures of one for 97 in the first Test win over Pakistan.
He admitted he felt short of his best in the match but, rather than using that as a reason to stand down, he wants to get back on the field when the series continues at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday and put things right.
Asked if there was any truth to speculation over his future, he said: “No, there’s not. Hopefully I can continue this week and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the captain and coach keep faith with me for the next game.
“The minute you start thinking about the whispers or things like that it can affect you. I’ve got to throw myself into a match situation. I hope I get the nod for the next game and hopefully I can show people I’ve still got what it takes to play Test cricket.”
Anderson has taken six wickets in three Tests this summer at a modest average of 41.17, well below his career mark of 26.97, and, although he accepts he has been below his best, there is disappointment at the reaction from outside.
“I want to play as long as I possibly can, but if I keep bowling the way I did this week, the opportunity to retire will be taken out of my hands. It will be a selection issue,” he said.
“I think the frustration for me this week was that, after one bad game…the whispers that go around. I don’t think that’s really fair.
“I’ve not bowled very well and felt out of rhythm. For the first time in probably 10 years I got a little bit emotional on the field, got a bit frustrated, let it get to me a little bit.
“So for me it’s a case of working really hard the next couple of days, trying to figure out if there’s any technical issues I can sort out and just try to work hard and hope I get the nod.”