James Anderson becomes most capped England Test player

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport at Edgbaston
James Anderson

Fast bowler James Anderson became England's most capped Test player after being selected to play in the series decider against New Zealand.

The 38-year-old wins his 162nd cap at Edgbaston, surpassing former captain Alastair Cook.

Lancashire's Anderson made his Test debut in 2003 and has taken 616 wickets - an England record.

"I can't believe I have got this far," Anderson told BBC Sport. "It's been an amazing journey."

He is seventh on the overall list for most caps and fourth for most wickets, the leading fast bowler in each.

Anderson added: "I'm lucky that I have got a body that can cope with the rigours of bowling.

"I do work hard at my fitness and my skills. It also having the hunger to turn up every day to try to get better.

"That is all I've done since I became a professional and that will hopefully continue for a few more years yet."

Anderson revealed he received a congratulatory phone call from former team-mate Cook on Wednesday night and he was presented with a special shirt with the number 162 on the back by his England team-mates before play on Thursday.

"That phone call meant a lot from such a close mate," said Anderson. "To go past him is very special."

Anderson made his England debut in a one-day international against Australia in December 2002.

He went on to play 194 ODIs and 19 Twenty20s, and his 375 caps across all three formats is also an England record.

He made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's 18 years ago and has played under eight different captains.

"It's a phenomenal achievement for any player to play that amount of games," current Test skipper Joe Root said on Wednesday.

"It's history-making for him to go through to that milestone."

How long can Anderson carry on for?

Anderson went past Sir Ian Botham's previous England record of 383 Test wickets in 2015.

He has since become the first England bowler to 400 and 500 Test wickets and last summer became the first fast bowler from any country to 600.

Anderson has been a part of four Ashes-winning teams - in 2009, 2010-11, 2013 and 2015.

He needs four more wickets to go above Anil Kumble to third on the all-time list,external-link behind only Muttiah Muralitharan on 800 and Shane Warne on 708. Anderson is only six short of reaching 1,000 first-class wickets.

"Jimmy Anderson still absolutely loves cricket," former England captain Michael Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

"I don't know how many years he's got left because a year or two ago I thought another three or four years. I honestly don't want to say how many years he may have left, because he's bowling better than ever, he's fitter than ever, so I think we're going to see for a little bit longer."

If Anderson plays seven more Tests he will be second most capped player of all time, trailing Sachin Tendulkar, who played 200 matches for India.

"I wonder is he has any thoughts of breaking Tendulkar's record," former England coach Trevor Bayliss told BBC Sport. "It's phenomenal that he's still doing what he is doing."

The Australian, who was in charge of the England team between 2015 and 2019, believes Anderson could continue to play at the the highest level for several more years.

"There's no reason why he can't," said Bayliss.

"We could be saying this in another two or three years' time. Who knows? As long he is enjoying playing the game, has success and his body holds together, who knows how long he will go?"

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