ENGLAND seamer Jimmy Anderson is a class act. He got a bit of stick over the winter in the one-day format but he is one of the best bowlers this country has ever produced, if not the best.
He has taken 380 Test wickets and only needs another three to equal Sir Ian Botham’s all-time record and I’m backing him, 100 per cent, to fly past that milestone against the West Indies this month.
For the last five years or so he has been the leader of the bowling pack. When the captain needs a wicket, the ball will more often than not be thrown in Jimmy’s direction. He can be grumpy but he gets on with his job and does it very well.
If I was him, I would probably go down the route of concentrating solely on Test cricket. He’s started to pick up a few more injuries than he used to and it might be sensible to move on from the one-day stuff. But that’s Jimmy’s decision.
I believe he could play on for three or four years and, if he does, I reckon 500 Test wickets is in reach, which would be an amazing achievement.
Moving on to the appointment of Ian Bell as England vice captain, Belly has played over 100 Test matches and I don’t think there is a better man than him for the role. I know a lot of the younger batsmen look up to him.
He is quite a quiet character and when there were more senior players about, such as Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen, he perhaps wouldn’t speak up as much. These days, he is one of the voices that has to be heard. When he speaks, people will listen.
I’m sure that if he has a different opinion to skipper Alastair Cook he won’t be shy to express his view.
On a personal note, I’ve had a frustrating couple of years with injury and it’s been hard to get back from that. I’ve worked really hard on my fitness this winter and if I can stay fit and take wickets, who knows, an England recall may be possible.
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