Jimmy Anderson has hit back at former captain Michael Vaughan for calling on England to bring the curtain down on his glittering Test career after the Ashes tour in Australia is over.
The fifth and final Test starts on Friday in Hobart with England looking to continue their efforts to salvage some pride after drawing the fourth Test.
But Joe Root and his men will return home to intensifying scrutiny after what has been a miserable tour, with Australia mercilessly sweeping England aside in the first three Tests to clinch series victory.
Michael Vaughan believes it is time for England to part ways with bowler Jimmy Anderson
Vaughan described the question marks over Anderson’s future as ‘the elephant in the room’
Anderson has now emphatically dismissed suggestions over his impending England future
Vaughan had called for England to make a bold move and part ways with 39-year-old Anderson – the third-highest wicket taker in Test history – and build for a new era with the likes of Olly Stone and Saqib Mahmood getting a sustained run in the team.
‘Managing Jimmy’s retirement is going to be key to this team moving forward. His future is the big elephant in the room,’ Vaughan wrote himself in The Telegraph.
‘England cannot move on and be a world force with Anderson at the helm. I love watching Jimmy bowl. He is a poet with the ball in hand. He could still be England’s best bowler for another two years.’
Anderson has now responded himself in The Telegraph, firmly dismissing any suggestion that he could be walking away from England duty at the end of the tour.
‘I read that my future is the “elephant in the room” according to Michael Vaughan’s Telegraph column this week,’ Anderson wrote. ‘It is not the elephant in the room because the captain and coach know exactly what my thoughts are on it.
‘They have told me their thoughts too. They want me around and to carry on. As long as that is the case, it is not an elephant in any room. We are talking openly about it.
‘It always happens when you get beaten heavily in an Ashes series. The ECB will look at everyone’s performance throughout the tour.
‘In that respect nobody is certain about their future whether it is the captain, coach, top six batsmen or the bowling attack. Everyone is under scrutiny.’
Anderson is 39 and is the third-highest wicket taker ever in the history of Test cricket
Anderson even played alongside former England captain Vaughan at Test level
Anderson, who turns 40 next July, made his Test debut in 2003 against Zimbabwe when Vaughan was in the team – before the Yorkshireman succeeded Nasser Hussain as captain.
Anderson saw off the final ball of the fourth Test to help England claim a draw against Australia and erase fears of a whitewash.
He admitted he was ‘quietly confident’ about batting out a draw once he knew Steve Smith was bowling.
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