Anderson now eyes 600 Test wickets
James Anderson celebrates the wicket of India's Mohammed Shami in the fifth Test on Tuesday.
London - An emotional England swing bowler said he would miss Cook's influence in the dressing room
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 as the Australian challenged the Englishman to reach 600 wickets.
Anderson went past McGrath's tally of 563 wickets when he knocked out Mohammed Shami's middle stump as England bowled out India for 345 to seal a 4-1 series victory at the Oval on Tuesday.
The Lancashire swing bowler, with 564 scalps, now trails just the spin trio of Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 wickets), Australia's Shane Warne (708) and India's Anil Kumble (619) in the all-time list. The 36-year-old downplayed his personal achievement, saying he was more focused on helping England win the final match of the series.
"When I sit down at the end of my career, when I finish, it will mean a hell of a lot to me to be able to see what I've achieved," he said.
"But right now it's hard when you put all your energy into the present and trying to perform well for England. That's all I really focus on."
Anderson is three years older than his great friend Alastair Cook, who retired from Test cricket after the match at the Oval but has no immediate plans to quit.
When asked how long he would go on, Anderson, who no longer plays one-day cricket for England, said: "I don't really think about it. I think I play my best when I focus on what's ahead of me, the next game, the next series, whatever it is."
"I read something that Glenn McGrath said," he added. "He went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and then 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."
An emotional Anderson said he would miss Cook's influence in the dressing room.
"For me he's been a very good friend but he's been someone I look up to," he said. "His work ethic and the way he conducts himself, he's a real idol not to just me but to the rest of the team.
"He'll be missed in that respect. We'll still be very good friends going forward but I'll just miss him on tours, in dressing rooms. Just that shoulder to lean on when it's not going that well."