James Anderson is an inspiration as he approaches 600 Test wickets, says Chris Silverwood

England head coach Chris Silverwood has hailed James Anderson as an “inspiration” with the 38-year-old just one wicket away from becoming the first fast bowler to 600 in Tests.

Pakistan are 100-2 following on in the final Test with Anderson dismissing Abid Ali on day four in Southampton to take his 599th scalp.

  • Anderson on to 599 wickets as Pakistan frustrate England
  • Third Test scorecard | Day four as it happened

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August 25, 2020, 10:30am

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Rain is forecast for the final day so England’s hopes of a 2-0 series win, and Anderson’s bid for history, could be dented – but Silverwood remains hopeful of a positive outcome for the team and his premier paceman.

“I want to win the game first and foremost but to finish strongly and see Jimmy get his 600th would be fantastic,” he said. “We’re all aware of the milestone Jimmy is looking at but he’ll get there. Hopefully we’ll see it [on day five].

“It would be brilliant to see Jimmy get over the line. He’s an inspiration, isn’t he? 600 Test wickets. Wow.

“He’s worked so hard to do it and he’s brilliant around the place. He’s constantly helping the other bowlers. It’s just superb to have one of the best in the world sat in your dressing room and playing for your country.”

Anderson’s future was questioned after the first Test against Pakistan, with his average for the summer at that stage a disappointing 41.16 from three Tests, but he has rallied to take nine wickets in the two games since.

That included his 29th Test five-wicket haul in Pakistan’s first innings in the final Test, during which time three dropped catches went down off him.

Silverwood added: “It is a massive achievement. To have two bowlers above 500 [Anderson and Stuart Broad] and Jimmy closing in on 600 is an amazing feat.

“It is frustrating when things don’t go your way as a bowler but all you can do is go back on the practice field and work on what you need to work on. That’s what Jimmy did and he got his rewards.

For the guys to come out and put their best foot forward and finish in the same way we’ve played the last two series would be nice. I’m very proud of how the players handled themselves, being locked up for the best part of 10 weeks in the bubble – their attitude and effort during that time has been fantastic.

Chris Silverwood

“I thought Jimmy handled himself very well [with the dropped catches]. He kept his decorum. No one means to drop them but obviously it’s frustrating.

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