I would've felt more excited if we'd won the Test or series: Anderson on 700 Test scalps milestone

March 13, 2024
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Veteran fast-bowler James Anderson said the excitement to reach 700 Test wickets would have been more if England had won the fifth and final Test against India

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Veteran fast-bowler James Anderson said the excitement to reach 700 Test wickets would have been more if England had won the fifth and final Test against India at Dharamshala, where the visitors suffered defeat by an innings and 64 runs to lose the five-game series 4-1.

Anderson, 41, reached the landmark of 700 Test wickets by dismissing Kuldeep Yadav on day three of the Test at the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala, becoming the first fast-bowler to do so. He is now third on the all-time list of wicket-takers in Tests behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.

“It was a nice moment and nice to do it at a picturesque ground. My dad was here so we had a drink, 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. It’s been a long series, and I don’t know how I feel,” said Anderson to the BBC Tailenders podcast.

He revealed Kuldeep predicted that he would become his 700th Test wicket shortly before he was dismissed. “Kuldeep edged one down to third man for a single. As he got to the non-striker’s end, and as I was walking back to my mark, he said, ‘I’m going to be your 700th wicket’. He wasn’t saying he was trying to get out, he was just saying he had a feeling. We both laughed at it.”

Anderson also talked about the conversation he had with Shubman Gill, who became his 699th scalp. “I said something to him like ‘Do you get any runs outside India?’ and he said ‘It’s time to retire’. Then two balls later, I got him out.”

With England’s next Test assignment, a three-game against the West Indies, starting on July 10, Anderson felt he’s fine to carry on in the longer format for the upcoming home summer. “I’m really excited for the summer. I want to make sure I’m playing well and earn my place in the team.”

“I’m not getting any worse. “I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in. 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.”

Anderson signed off by saying England are in a good space for the future games under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, despite the 4-1 defeat in India. “I really enjoyed this tour. I’ve been on tours to India before where little cracks start appearing in the team and that’s not happened this time.”

“We’ve stuck together really well, we really enjoy being together as a group and there is more to come from this team. Obviously we’ll come in for some criticism because we did have moments where we didn’t play particularly well but India are really good.”

–IANS

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