Happy Anderson eyes further success
James Anderson hopes there is “plenty more left to come” after he joined an elite band of bowlers to have claimed 300 Test wickets for England.
Anderson took his tally of five-day scalps to 301 with a return of 3-32 on the second day of the first Investec Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
The match remains intriguingly poised, with New Zealand 79 behind on 153 for four following a dashing 66 from Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 44.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, however, the match will forever be memorable for Anderson, who admitted he was pleased to reach a landmark that has been in his sights for some time.
The Lancashire seamer had 288 wickets to his name ahead of the reverse series in New Zealand earlier this year, and has now joined Sir Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman in the 300 club.
After removing Hamish Rutherford in his first over, Anderson's moment to savour arrived later in his new-ball spell when Peter Fulton edged to second slip.
“I’m quite happy that it’s out of the way now, and I did it early and didn’t have to wait around for it,” Anderson said.
“You just want to get it out of the way, because you don't want to go through a couple of games not getting wickets.
“It's been difficult to avoid. I knew I was within touching distance in New Zealand, but obviously it didn't happen. I'm just delighted that I've got there, and hope there is plenty more left to come.”
After becoming the first man to reach the 300-wicket mark in 1964, Fred Trueman famously declared that anyone else doing so in future would be “bloody tired”.
With a smile on his face, Anderson said: “I’m feeling okay actually. I'm not getting that old yet, so I think I've got a few more left.”
The 30-year-old’s 300th dismissal came courtesy of a catch from his close pal Graeme Swann.
“It's nice to see him hold on to one,” Anderson joked.
“It was a really nice moment, and I could see how much it meant to him as well - how pleased he was for me.”
Anderson subsequently claimed the key wicket of Taylor and England managed one more breakthrough prior to stumps as Dean Brownlie fell lbw to Steven Finn following a successful home review.
"We managed to claw it back towards the end,” Anderson concluded.
"I thought Finny's wicket was very important for us, because they were starting to build a partnership - and we needed to get back in the game.
"That's done it - and we know we've got a chance tomorrow morning, if we bowl well, to make further inroads.”
Taylor, whose boundary-laden 72-ball innings contrasted sharply to the efforts of every other batsman in this match so far, agreed that the game was still very much in the balance.
“I think it’s still pretty evenly poised,” he acknowledged.
“We’re marginally ahead I guess, from where we were at the start of the day, but there’s still a big morning ahead tomorrow to dictate how good our day really was today.
“To go in with six wickets in the bank is good. If we were five down it probably would have been even or a little in England’s favour.
“We do need a 50- or 60-run lead minimum, but obviously if we get a good partnership it could be more.”
The former New Zealand captain insisted he had not gone out with the intention to score so freely, adding: “I just wanted to see what it was like.
Taylor continued: “When you lose two early wickets you’ve got to weigh up the situation and I wanted to be as positive as possible, but play straight.
“There were a few loose balls that I cut but it wasn’t my intention to go out and score at a run a ball for a while.”
From Taylor’s point of view, the only disappointment arose from his failure to kick on to three figures.
“I would have taken that (66) at the start of the day, but I guess once you’re in, you need to go on and I’m disappointed I didn’t do that,” he admitted.