James Anderson, 37, needs just 25 wickets to become the first pacer to take 600 Test wickets. @AFP

James Anderson will be playing in his seventh Ashes as England and Australia square off in the first Test at the Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday. While the veteran pacer is 37, England skipper Joe Root lauded the leader of their bowling attack.

“I think he gets better with age, he really does,” Root was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au ahead of the series opener.

“He wants to keep going. He’s had a couple of niggles over the last couple of years but every time he’s come back stronger,” added Root.

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While Jofra Archer, England’s World Cup-winner was not picked in the playing XI for the first of the five Tests, England named Anderson in the team after he passed the fitness test.

The right-arm pacer now needs just 25 wickets to become the first pacer to take 600 Test wickets, having surpassed Australian great Glenn McGrath, who has 563 Test wickets, last year against India.

Root went on to highlight how Anderson has found a way to prove a point, citing an example of how Anderson fared during the last Ashes in 2017-18, where the pacer scalped 17 wickets, and continued to trouble the batsmen in the last couple of years while playing at home.

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“You look at the workload he had over in Australia for example, I think he proved a point out there,” said Root.

“He was by far our best seamer throughout the course of the five games, and the last couple of years in England he’s proven to be very difficult to come up against,” Root continued.

“Although it might be his birthday, he seems to continue to keep that desire and hunger and no signs of slowing down,” concluded the England captain.