England seamer James Anderson insists his sole focus is on the West Indies and not on personal milestones in the build-up to the third and final Test at Lord’s starting on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Anderson is only three wickets shy of becoming just the third paceman, behind Australia’s Glenn McGrath and West Indies’ Courtney Walsh, to achieve 500 Test wickets.
However with the three-match series locked at one-all, Anderson says he has job to do for the team to clinch another Test series victory after the tourists shocked the hosts in the second game at Headingley.
The Lancashire bowler said: “The fact that I’ve played long enough to get this close to 500 is something that I’m very proud of but, to be honest, I do try to put that to the back of my mind.
“I’ve got a job to do this week – we desperately need to win this Test match to win the series. So I’m going to be focused completely on doing my job for the team when we get out there on Thursday.”
England beat the Caribbean side by an innings and 209 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston before the Windies astonishingly turned the tables to win by five wickets to level the series.
Anderson said they did not underestimate their opponents in Leeds after England skipper Joe Root declared their second innings rather early and instead gave credit to the Windies.
“It’s always difficult with a declaration because you’re trying to make sure you’ve got enough runs on the board while at the same time give yourself enough time to bowl them out,” Anderson said.
“We knew it was a slow pitch. We knew it was going to take a number of overs to take 10 wickets on that wicket. It’s just trying to find that balance.
“As bowlers we were confident that we could bowl them out but all credit to the West Indies. I thought that they played fantastically well that last day.”