I'm still bowling as well as ever, says Anderson

James Anderson feels he is still bowling as well as ever as he prepares to play the final Test of his legendary England career against West Indies at Lord's this week.

The 41-year-old will bow out on 188 caps after the England management told him they want to move on to younger pace bowlers with a view to the 2025-26 Ashes tour.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 700 Test scalps, took 7-35 for Lancashire against Nottinghamshire last week.

"I knew it had to end at some point, whether it's now or a year or two years," he said. "The fact that it's now is just something that I've got to deal with and accept."

Anderson added that he had "not really got a choice" over the conclusion of his 21-year Test career, following talks with England Test captain Ben Stokes, coach Brendon McCullum and managing director Rob Key in April.

Before then, Anderson said he had not thought how he would end his time as an England player, but thought taking a full part in this year's home summer was "achievable".

"I wouldn't say it was a surprise, because when the three big dogs invited me to a hotel in Manchester for a chat I didn't think it was just a normal appraisal," he said.

"I had a suspicion that that was going to be the case. I think they were surprised at how calm I was and I was probably surprised at my reaction. I wasn't overly emotional or angry about it.

"I saw their point of view and appreciated them taking the time to lay it out for me. Since then I've come to terms with it and made peace with that decision. I’m just looking forward to one more game and then see what's ahead."

Anderson became the first pace bowler to reach 700 Test wickets in his last England appearance, against India in Dharamsala in March.

By his standards, it had been a relatively slow crawl to the landmark, with 18 wickets in his previous eight Tests.

But in his only appearance for Lancashire this season, Anderson showed his class at Southport last week, taking the best figures by any bowler in the County Championship so far this year.