Former England pacer Steve Harmison has predicted that James Anderson might retire from international cricket after the fifth and final Test against India at the Old Trafford. Notably, Old Trafford is also the home ground of Anderson, the fast bowler with most wickets in Test cricket.
Former England pacer Steve Harmison, who played 63 Tests and 58 ODIs, has made a bold prediction about James Anderson’s Test career. He feels that Anderson might retire from international cricket after the fifth and final Test against India at his home ground Old Trafford. With Ashes series in Australia doubtful due to Covid-19 surge, Harmison believes retiring after the end of India series could be the perfect timing for Anderson.
Speaking to talkSPORT Harmison said, "I've got a funny feeling, I don't know what it is, but I really have got a funny feeling that Jimmy Anderson will retire at the end of Old Trafford. I've said this for a while now, I've got a funny feeling Jimmy Anderson might just retire at the end of this summer."
"I don't think the Ashes will either go ahead or go ahead in such a way and I think Jimmy might just look at this and go 'you know what, if I go to The Oval and bowl well and then I've got Old Trafford at the end, my illustrious career couldn't get any better than to finish by knocking Virat Kohli over from the end I bowl at, which is named after me, and there's potentially no Ashes in six months time," the 42-year-old added.
Anderson is currently 39 and looking in perfect shape to play for one or two more years. He has picked up 30 wickets at an average 20.96 this year including 13 against India in the ongoing series at an average of 19.23.
Further, Harmison added that if he was in place of Anderson, he would love to retire after the highs of this summer. "Why would I want to continue playing for another year and finish at The Oval next summer when it peters out. Do I go out on a high, the way I've performed this summer? If I was Jimmy Anderson, I'd be [thinking] 'I don't think this can go any better'.”
Anderson, however, before the start of the India series refuted the rumours that this series would be his last. He had said: "Absolutely not! I feel like I’m bowling as well as ever. I feel great physically and I’m just looking forward to the series against India and I will look at everything else once we’ve got past this. Something I’ve done really well throughout my career is focusing on what’s happening right now and right now. I feel like I’m bowling as well as I ever have and I’m looking forward to the series."