Former England Test skipper Joe Root has given teammate and the leading wicket-taking pacer in the world James Anderson a big reason to go all out in the upcoming Ashes series, saying he wants to see the veteran bowler go on performing for many more years.
Anderson, who is two months shy of turning 41, is just 15 wickets short of touching the 700-wicket mark, and the Ashes, commencing on June 16 at Birmingham, is a great opportunity for him to once again emerge as the hosts’ leading bowler and guide the team to victory after their 0-4 drubbing in Australia two years back.
Root, who was the England captain when the team toured Australia in 2021, posted a collage of five images of Anderson right from his early days with the England side in the 2000s to how he would look like two decades from now -- all salt and pepper with a grey beard, a bespectacled wrinkled face, but still celebrating a Test wicket on the pitch.
“He keeps getting better and better. Can’t wait for the next 20 @jimmy9,” tweeted Root.
Root, one of the greatest modern-day Test batters, made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals this season, being a part of the playing XI in three games. He hardly got an opportunity to bat as the Sanju Samson-led side was packed with top batters including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler and the captain himself, among others.
The 32-year-old will be an integral part of the England side as it aims to win the Ashes under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, whose aggressive and positive style of play -- Bazball -- has become the new catch-phase in Test cricket.
Anderson is third in the all-time list of Test wicket-takers, with former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets) and the late Australian wizard Shane Warne (708) only ahead of him.
Anderson had suffered a minor groin injury recently while playing for Lancashire against Somerset in the County Championship but should be fit for the Ashes. The veteran quick has said he is unlikely to play all five Ashes games.
“I think three Tests, not just for myself -- if you said to any of the bowlers three out of five, I think that’s probably more realistic, more sensible. If it’s four then great,” Anderson was quoted as saying by the British media.
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