Anderson stays modest after eclipsing McGrath's record

James Anderson says he has no plans to hang up his boots yet after overtaking Glenn McGrath to become the most prolific fast bowler in Test history.

James Anderson celebrates after taking the final wicket of Mohammed Shami to become the record Test wicket taker for a fast bowler.   -  Getty Images

It was Adil Rashid who eventually halted India's march on Tuesday with his dismissals of K.L. Rahul and Rishabh Pant, and Sam Curran who packed off the next two batsmen, but James Anderson's role in England's fifth Test victory was no less important.

Joe Root tossed the ball to his senior-most bowler with India 270 for five -- still 194 away from the target but looking comfortable.

Anderson then embarked on a marathon spell, holding one end up. He bowled 13.3 overs without rest; eight of them were maidens and the rest yielded only 16 runs. With the runs drying up, India's batsmen were forced to take risks at the other end.

Read: India tour of England: what could have been

It was only when Rahul and Pant fell that a relieved Joe Root took the second new ball. Curran struck twice and then it was Anderson's turn, with the final wicket of the summer, to become the most successful fast bowler in Test history. There were no exaggerated celebrations when he bowled Mohammed Shami; Anderson simply hugged his old friend Alastair Cook and then buried his face in Stuart Broad's arms. Had the 36-year-old failed to claim that last Indian wicket on Tuesday – and it seemed he would after Jonny Bairstow dropped Ravindra Jadeja off his bowling – he would have had to wait till England's tour of Sri Lanka in November to overtake Glenn McGrath's 563. The magnitude of his achievement was yet to sink in when Anderson arrived for his post-match press-conference, beer in hand.

"It’s hard to explain because, and I don’t want to play it down too much but it doesn’t mean a great deal to me," he said.

"It it was about winning a Test match, it was about giving Cooky the send-off he deserved. I guess my mum and dad will be happy because they don’t have to come to Sri Lanka. I have said this throughout my career that when I finish, it will mean a hell of a lot to me to be able to see what I have achieved. But right now it’s hard when you just put all your energy into the present.”

Also read: A performance review of the England-India series

In his TV interview at the end of the match, Anderson had been in tears discussing his friendship with the retiring Cook. "We’ll still be very good friends going forward but I’ll just miss him on tours, in dressing rooms," he said. "Just that shoulder to lean on when it’s not going that well. Even on the field he’s someone I go to, because he stands at first slip and knows my game really well. I guess I was emotional because he’s not going to be there for those times anymore."

He was not thinking about retirement yet, Anderson stated. "I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me, the next game, the next series, whatever," he said. "Glenn McGrath said that he went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and by the end of it he thought his time was up. That could happen to me. Who knows? I don’t like looking too far ahead. If you look too far ahead you take your eye off the here and now."

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