Former England captain Alastair Cook believes James Anderson is still at the top of his game and is even capable of playing county cricket until he is 50-years-old.
Anderson, who made his debut for England in 2002, is currently 39-years-old. He surpassed Anil Kumble to become the third most successful bowler in Test cricket during the ongoing game against India. The right-arm pacer also holds the record among fast bowlers with the highest number of victims in Test cricket.
Speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special podcast, Cook lauded Anderson’s immaculate control of length and ability to nibble the ball around.
“I think he definitely loves the game. It must be really nice to be at the top of the mark knowing ‘if I am on here I am gonna cause this batsman problems’, almost on any wicket. I think James Anderson can probably play county cricket until he is 50. His control of length and nibbling it around, on any nibbling wicket he is unplayable,” said Alastair Cook.
Cook reckons the best way to counter the threat James Anderson possesses is to get on the offensive like Rishabh Pant and target the off-side.
“Probably the way you have to play him (James Anderson) is a bit like (Rishabh) Pant. Charge at him and carve him through the off-side a bit,” said the former England skipper.
In July 2021, Anderson also became the first player to have debuted in the 21st century to reach 1000 first-class wickets.
Alastair Cook wants James Anderson and Stuart Broad to play together for England
Alastair Cook believes James Anderson and Stuart Broad must play together for England as long as they are delivering. In the past, England had tried playing only one of the duo in the XI. But Cook doesn’t find any merit in this policy.
“If they are bowling as well as they can do, if they are England’s best two bowlers, then they play. And that is down to the selectors. I think England is trying to complicate it a little bit. Who do they think is the best side to take 20 wickets. If it includes Broad and Anderson at the Gabba, Adelaide, Perth, then they play. the two best bowlers,” Alastair Cook added.
Alastair Cook has captained James Anderson in 49 Test matches. Of these, 45 Tests saw Broad and Anderson paired up with the ball.