Wasn’t thinking of the record, says emotionally drained James Anderson after sealing England win
James Anderson took the last Indian wicket to move to 564. @AFP

It was a fitting moment when James Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami to take the last wicket of the series, thus sealing a 118-run win over India on day five at Kia Oval to give Joe Root’s team the series 4-1.

On day four, Anderson had taken two wickets in two overs without conceding a run, thus drawing himself level on Glenn McGrath’s record of 563 Test wickets. He had to bowl a further 20.3 to get the record that put him in a league of his own, getting Shami to move to 564 wickets – the most by a fast bowler in Test history.

This win also helped Anderson’s close mate Alastair Cook end his Test career with a win in his 161st game.

Holding back tears as he spoke to Sky Sports moments after making history, Anderson said: “I’m so happy that Cooky was on the field to see that final wicket. It’s been a tough week. I’m just happy to win the game. I wasn’t even thinking about the record. When India were building that partnership it was looking like they were going to get close.

“But I got into a good rhythm and thankfully Root let me take the new ball eventually and give me a chance to take that wicket. Cook is my best mate and it’s been brilliant just to have him there for me all the time.”

“It will take a while to sink in. Cookie retiring has been a big thing for me – I’m trying not to cry. It’s been a special achievement for me. It’s not something I’ve aimed for. I’ve just enjoyed playing for England – it’s an amazing job,” he said.

“When we come into series like this, there’s always a question mark over bowlers aged 35. That’s my main focus. I feel fresh considering how many overs I’ve bowled. I’m enjoying playing. As long as that continues, I’ll carry on playing as long as I can.”

That was as far as Anderson could get, before he excused himself and headed indoors to join his team-mates.

England next play Tests in December in Sri Lanka. Whether Anderson tours or not remains to be seen, but for now the 36-year-old can take time off to savour England’s series win and the fact that he has made history.