With the milestone of 1,000 first class wickets and matching Alastair Cook’s English record of most Test appearances approaching, James Anderson is looking forward to playing all of England’s home matches this summer, with two versus New Zealand and five against India lined up.

Backing the country’s rotation policy earlier in the year, Anderson said he and his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad would love to have a go through the home season.

“Yes. I’d love to play all seven Tests this summer. There are five Tests against India after these two Tests against New Zealand, and then the Ashes after that. So, we want to start this summer well,” Anderson told ESPNCricinfo.

“So hopefully, if we do pick our strongest team we would like to think that we’re both in that. And we’d love to share the new ball together, yes.”

“Stuart and I have sent a few texts to each other saying it’d be nice if we did get to play together. Obviously, it’s completely down to the coach and captain. But I think, from the team’s point of view, we want to get some momentum going into a big summer,” he said.

Besides standing on the verge of becoming England’s most-capped Test player alongside Alastair Cook (161), Anderson is also eight shy of completing 1000 wickets in first-class cricket.

“1,000 wickets does seem like a lot,” he said.

“In this day and age I don’t know if it’s possible to get that many first-class wickets any more. With the amount of cricket that’s played, there doesn’t seem to be that longevity in bowlers any more, and there’s loads of T20 cricket and whatever else going on around the world. It feels a lot.”

Most Test matches in career

Player Span Mat
Tendulkar (INDIA) 1989-2013 200
Ponting (AUS) 1995-2012 168
S Waugh (AUS) 1985-2004 168
Kallis (ICC/SA) 1995-2013 166
Chanderpaul (WI) 1994-2015 164
Dravid (ICC/INDIA) 1996-2012 164
Cook (ENG) 2006-2018 161
Anderson (ENG) 2003-2021 160
via ESPNCricinfo (ahead of England-NZ Tests)

Regarding being one match away from equalling former skipper Cook’s English record of most Test appearances, Anderson said it is an unimaginable feat from when he started out.

“I never imagined in a million years I’d get to this point. Certainly for a bowler to play this amount of games is... I don’t know what the word is. But it’s a bit mind-blowing to me.

“I feel really honoured that I’ve managed to do it because it’s such an amazing thing to do. I absolutely love Test cricket. I’ve got a huge passion for it. Growing up, all I wanted to do is play Test cricket for England and I’m honoured I’ve been able to do it for this long.”

It is especially incredible that Anderson has been this good for this long, and he reckons he has been “so lucky” with injuries.

“I think about Simon Jones, whose career was seriously affected by injury. Or people who have long lay-offs like Jofra at the minute. Touch wood I’ve not had career-threatening injuries, so to get to 38 and be in that position makes me feel really privileged.”

“Of course you get injuries and have to bowl when it hurts a bit but I actually get some pleasure out of that. Putting the hard yards in, that’s when it means the most. I get a lot of pleasure out of it. Bowling 10 overs on a green seamer doesn’t really do it for me. I want to put a shift in for the team when it’s tough,” he added.

You can read the full interview here.