James Anderson might be averaging 76.75 in the ongoing Ashes series but the 40-year-old seamer is having “no thoughts about retirement.” The right-armer has claimed only four wickets across three Tests and is "frustrated" with his performance in the five-match series, in which England are trailing 1-2 with a game to go.
"I have certainly not had the returns I would have liked in this series. Everyone goes through a lean patch but you just don't want it to be in the most high-profile series we play,” Anderson, the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, wrote in his Telegraph column.
"Ten or 15 years ago the debate would be about whether I should be dropped. Now it is about my future. I understand that. It is The Oval, the end of a series and a time for speculation.
"I keep talking to the coach and captain. They want me around, so as long as I am still hungry, want to put in the work then I will keep trying to give my best for the team. That is exactly where I am at the minute."
Anderson will turn 41 in a couple of days but said he still has that hunger to keep going. "There are no thoughts about retirement. If I was bowling horrendously, with my pace down and hobbling around in the field I might be thinking differently. But the hunger is still there.
“I feel like I'm bowling well, that I can still offer something to the team. I felt like I bowled well at Old Trafford and if I get another chance this week, I will just keep trying the same stuff and hope my luck changes.
"It is just one of those things. There are always one or two players who have a lean series. It can be a batter who gets good balls and then a bit of bad luck. It felt like that was my week in Manchester. I felt like I beat the bat plenty of times, but just didn't take the wickets that you want as a bowler to help the team win.
"There were a couple of times when I bowled a tight five-over spell then Woody (Mark Wood) came on and took a wicket straightaway. It feels like maybe I created the pressure, then Woody came on and let loose. It's teamwork."
Anderson is now eager to end the series on a high, if provided with an opportunity. "I've chatted to a few of the guys because it is frustrating when you go through this.
“You are frustrated and desperate to help the team, desperate to win games. But unfortunately for me it was not to be this series. I've still got another game to go if I do get a chance and I will try and do the best I can."