I have no plans to finish up anytime soon: James Anderson
James Anderson, who turns 37 on July 30, insists retirement is not on his mind. © AFP

He will turn 37 two days before this summer’s Ashes gets underway on July 30, but James Anderson maintains that he is not thinking of retirement.

The 36-year-old is the all-time leading fast bowler in Tests with 575 wickets, having surpassed Glenn McGrath’s mark in September 2018.

England play five Tests against Australia after the World Cup, and then travel to New Zealand and South Africa for successive away tours. Anderson will also have a sizeable workload for Lancashire as the English county season gets underway next month, but he said he is feeling in prime form to keep going.

“I feel as good as I ever have,” he told Sky Sports this week. “With me not playing one-day cricket over the last few years, it gives me that extra time to work on my fitness and stay fresh. I never really look too far ahead but I have no plans to finish up anytime soon. I will take it series by series and see what happens.”

The veteran of 148 Tests is the format’s fourth highest wicket-taker of all time, behind only Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619).

In the recent Test series defeat in the West Indies, Anderson took ten wickets in three matches while claiming a record-equalling 27th five-wicket haul for England.

In Anderson’s estimation, England were caught by surprise by the conditions and that now the onus was on them to adapt before the Ashes.

“In the West Indies, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to get – we didn’t adapt to the conditions, their bowling attack and the way their batsmen played,” he said.

“It shows that when we have a clear idea we do well but when we had to adapt we weren’t quick enough to pick things up and that is something we have to improve, even in English conditions. The five grounds we play the Ashes on will all be different and whichever team adapts best to that will come out on top. That is something we have to improve.”