James Anderson is undoubtedly one of the elder statesmen of English cricket, but new Test vice-captain Joe Root is convinced the Lancashire man is far from finished yet.
On the recent tour of the West Indies, Anderson broke Ian Botham’s record to become England’s all-time highest Test match wicket-taker – he has now taken 397 scalps.
Anderson played his first game for his country, an ODI against Australia in 2002, when Root was just 11 years old and has gone on to make 315 appearances in total across all formats.
And Root admits the moment the 32-year-old broke Botham’s long-standing record is one that will live long in the memory.
“It was a fantastic moment when Jimmy became England’s all-time leading wicket-taker,” explained Root.
“It was so nice for him to have his whole family out there – Mum, Dad, his two little girls and his wife. You could see what it meant to them on the big screen from the field.
“He has been a big part of England cricket for so many years, that he fully deserves to achieve something so special.
“I remember watching and admiring him when I was growing up – I certainly remember those terrible haircuts with the red in there and the blond streaks.
“For me, when I started watching international cricket, he was part of the side, so to now get the opportunity to play alongside him is fantastic.
“He hit some really nice form in the West Indies and hopefully that can happen again this summer because he is still a top player.”
While the West Indies tour was a personal success for Anderson – he was the series’ leading wicket-taker with 17 – it was less so for England as they only drew 1-1.
The games did see the continued development of an exciting crop of new players such as Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes, however.
And while Root is keen to see how those talents develop, he is cognizant of the fact that Anderson and his fellow experienced heads still have a huge role to play.
“That balance is really important – you need to learn from the people who have had the experience previously and to chat about the game and to help you through certain situations you might not have been in before,” added Root.
“Those more experienced guys are going to be vital, not only have they got experience but they’re very skilful players as well.
“They’re very important to England cricket, so hopefully they will come out and have a good summer too.”
Joe Root was speaking at the filming of the LV = Broken Through video. To keep up to date with the LV= County Championship visit LV.com/cricket or follow @LV_Cricket on Twitter.
Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.