EXCLUSIVE: 'He should play as long as he can' - Former England player doesn't want James Anderson to retire yet

James Anderson had an off day in India's second innings of Rajkot Test, but was impressive at Vizag.

James Anderson is 12 wickets away from taking over Shane Warne?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
James Anderson is 12 wickets away from taking over Shane Warne as the second highest wicket-taker in Test history.

It looks like James Anderson has been playing international cricket for ages. Most of the players who started playing cricket alongside him have retired and some of them have taken the coaching duties. But not Anderson, who still looks fit to play and bowls long spells.

Anderson was impressive in Vizag where he took 5-76 in the match. But he was taken to the cleaners in Rajkot Test’s second innings where he conceded 78 runs in his 13 overs. Despite having an off day, former England quick Ryan Sidebottom, who once formed a new ball pair with James Anderson, praised the latter’s work ethic.

Sidebottom believes Anderson is still the senior player and his experience is going to play an important role for the future of England’s bowling attack.

Ryan Sidebottom doesn't want James Anderson to retire yet

The former left-arm fast bowler feels James Anderson is still performing for his country. His skills and fitness have been top-notch and he is still picking up wickets.

“I wouldn’t say that because he is still performing. He is still not going for runs. He’s still very fit. He’s still driven. Be careful what you always wish for. We need the younger generation to come in and I get that. That’s the sign of the times but let’s not forget he is still the senior player. He can bring youngsters through by his experience. He has been there. He has done it.”

Sidebottom wants the 41-year-old Anderson to carry on playing. His experience will be handy for the upcoming generation.

“I would like Jimmy to carry on as long as possible. He is a wonderful cricketer and England needs someone like that. You can’t just have four or five inexperienced fast bowlers because you’re always going to get that inconsistency with the younger generation. So for me, Jimmy stays around as long as he can.”

It’s been more than two decades since James Anderson made his Test debut. He is just 12 wickets away from taking over Shane Warne as the second highest wicket-taker in Test history. His skills with the new ball are unmatchable. Even in lesser helpful pitches in India, he has looked threatening with his skills. England will expect their experienced cricketer to be at his best in the upcoming two Tests at Ranchi and Dharamsala.