Chris Tremlett: Under-appreciated James Anderson has the skill, fitness and motivation to break even more records

Chris Tremlett
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James Anderson finished the five-match series against India with 24 wickets at an average of 18.12 (Source: Getty)

James Anderson taking the final wicket move past Australian legend Glenn McGrath as the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket was the perfect way for England to wrap the series up 4-1 against India at The Oval.

Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami to complete the win after KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant had threatened in a 204-run partnership. To see him embracing his retiring friend Alastair Cook, after his magnificent 147, was a fitting conclusion to a brilliant series.

I don’t think Anderson gets enough praise for his achievements, but his 564th Test wicket should change that.

Read more: Chris Tremlett: Cook's retirement leaves a big hole to fill for England

I don’t know whether it's because he’s a quiet and understated character off the pitch. He’s not always the most charismatic in front of the camera at times.

He’s a national hero in my eyes. He’s only a year younger than me; I retired two years ago and he’s still going at 36 and is arguably better than ever.

Alastair Cook (left) has retired from international cricket aged 33, but James Anderson is still going strong at 36 (Source: Getty)

Like Cook he can decide when he wants to call it a day. But he is driven by milestones and I’m sure 600 Test wickets is the next one on his mind.

With a Dukes ball in his hand he’s the best in the business. Obviously it’s a little bit harder away from home but he’s adapted before and can do so again.

His longevity is almost his greatest asset. For a fast bowler to not get injured, play 143 Tests and still retain that hunger is quite something.

Somerset v Lancashire - LV County Championship
Lancashire legend Glen Chapple is an inspiration to James Anderson (Source: Getty)

Lancashire’s Glen Chapple played into his 40s and I know he’s an inspiration to Anderson. Chapple fell short of 1,000 first-class wickets on 985 and perhaps that could be another goal for Jimmy, who has 909.

He’s still fit and motivated, but I think it might become a bit harder now Cook has retired. Once your close mates leave the team and a new generation starts coming through it can feel like you’re holding others back.

That’s obviously not the case with Anderson, because he’s clearly better than the competition. But over the next few years that might start becoming a factor.

England v India: Specsavers 5th Test - Day Five
James Anderson's bowling action will help him continue playing (Source: Getty)

If he avoids injury he can continue on. He benefits from a fluid, repeatable action which means he doesn’t have to go flat-out to get results.

He’s got an extra gear if he needs it on flatter wickets, or in batsmen-friendly conditions, but in general he can operate around 83mph and still trouble the best.

Anderson has a central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board, so he’s being looked after.

His record means he has earned the right to pick and choose matches if he so wishes. England need him, so he’ll be allowed to do whatever suits him best to prolong his career.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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