Closing in on becoming England’s most-capped Test cricketer, veteran seamer James Anderson says players might be rotated more in the marquee five-match series against India later this summer since the games will be taking place in quick succession.
The pacer, who is the world’s highest Test wicket-taker among fast bowlers with 614 scalps from 160 matches, will turn 39 in July.
Speaking about the England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) much-debated rotation policy, he said, “The five Tests against India might be a different story with back-to-backs in quite quick succession. That might be where people get rotated a bit more.”
England will play the Kiwis in two Tests starting June 4 and then host India in a big-ticket five-match series later in the second half of the English summer.
“The rotation in the winter was completely understandable with the amount of cricket we had and the amount of time in bubbles that we were spending,” Anderson was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’. “It’s going to be slightly different this summer. If everything goes well, I think it will start to get relaxed. We won’t be in the sort of bubble life that we’ve experienced in the last 12 months. So, there might be not as much reason to rest people.”
Anderson is looking forward to playing all Tests this summer, including the five against India and two versus New Zealand prior to that.
“Yes. I’d love to play all seven Tests this summer. There are five Tests against India after these two Tests against New Zealand, and then the Ashes after that. So, we want to start this summer well. So hopefully, if we do pick our strongest team we (Anderson and Stuart Broad) would like to think that we’re both in that. And we’d love to share the new ball together, yes,” he said.
“Stuart and I have sent a few texts to each other saying it’d be nice if we did get to play together. Obviously, it’s completely down to the coach and captain. But I think, from the team’s point of view, we want to get some momentum going into a big summer.”
Besides standing on the verge of becoming England’s most-capped Test player, Anderson is also eight shy of completing 1000 wickets in first-class cricket. He calls the numbers mind blowing.
“1,000 wickets does seem like a lot,” he said. “In this day and age I don’t know if it’s possible to get that many first-class wickets any more. With the amount of cricket that’s played, there doesn’t seem to be that longevity in bowlers any more, and there’s loads of T20 cricket and whatever else going on around the world. It feels a lot.”
Regarding equalling former skipper Alastair Cook’s record of most Test appearances, Anderson said he is proud of it but never imagined he would get there in million years.
“I never imagined in a million years I’d get to this point. Certainly for a bowler to play this amount of games is… I don’t know what the word is. But it’s a bit mind-blowing to me. I feel really honoured that I’ve managed to do it because it’s such an amazing thing to do. I absolutely love Test cricket. I’ve got a huge passion for it. Growing up, all I wanted to do is play Test cricket for England and I’m honoured I’ve been able to do it for this long.”