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    Anderson done and dusted?
Anderson done and dusted?
James Anderson. Source: AFP

Anderson done and dusted?

England cricket great James Anderson's record-breaking Test career is set to come to an end later this year following talks with head coach Brendon McCullum.

According to the Guardian, McCullum recently made a five-day visit to Britain, travelling 11,000 miles from his New Zealand home to tell Anderson over a round of golf that the Test team was looking ahead.

Anderson, who turns 42 in July, is the most successful pace bowler in Test history with 700 wickets in the England-record 197 matches.

Only two spinners, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800 Test wickets) and late Australia great Shane Warne (708), are ahead of Anderson on the all-time list of the format's leading bowlers.

But Anderson took just 10 wickets in four of England's five Tests during the 4-1 series defeat in India in March.

And he has taken just 15 wickets in his last eight Tests at an average of 50.8 over the past 12 months, with McCullum keen to revitalise England's attack ahead of the Ashes series in Australia from 20-25 January.

It was not clear from the Guardian report whether Anderson will be given a farewell Test or whether he has played his last red-ball match for England.

England does not play another Test until July when they begin a three-match series against the West Indies. They then play three Tests against Sri Lanka in August and September.

The Sri Lanka series begins at Manchester's Old Trafford, the home ground of Lancashire hero Anderson.

Anderson, who made his Test debut in 2003, is second on the all-time list of Test appearances behind batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who has made 200 appearances for India in the longest format.

Anderson said he was in the "best shape" of his career after taking his 700th Test wicket against India at Dharamasala in March.

But he also accepted he was no longer guaranteed a place in the Test side, telling the Tailenders podcast: "I've got to work hard to prove I'm worthy of a place."

Anderson struggled during the drawn 2023 Ashes in England, taking just five wickets in four matches.

His long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad, England's second most successful bowler, retired after the dramatic final of that Ashes, when Ben Stokes' side won at The Oval to level the series at 2-2.

Following the 4-1 defeat in India - England's first series loss under the leadership of captain Ben Stokes and McCullum - the coach admitted his side's ultra-aggressive 'bazball' approach needed "refinement".

McCullum was also asked if Anderson could be included in the squad for the tour of Australia:

“I don’t know, honestly. Who knows where the end line for him is but for now, just enjoy having Jimmy around and make sure we utilise that experience he’s got. He’s a great resource for the other guys within the unit.”

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