An emotional James Anderson admitted that the achievement of beating Glenn McGrath to become the most prolific bowler in the history of the test became even more special because his teammate and best friend Alastair Cook was still in the field to witness it.
For his part, Cook praised Anderson as the "greatest cricketer in England", with only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800 trial terrains), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) now in front of him .
In remarkable scenes at the end of an exciting fifth day of the final Test at The Oval, Anderson got a 14 spell on each side of the tea to, first, stop the Indian attack while KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant they combined in a brilliant 204-race spot for the sixth wicket, and then to seal the victory by throwing Mohammed Shami for the final wicket of the match.
Shami's wicket was the 564th in Anderson's cricket – taking him past McGrath of Australia in his 143rd Test – and sealed a 118-race victory for England, and a 4-1 scoreline series.
"I'm happy that Cookie was on the field to see that wicket, it's been a tough week," Anderson told Sky Sports, after he and Cook left the field for the 130th and final time in their career . combined exam races.
"I am happy to have won the game to be honest," he added. "I was not even thinking about that [the record]." When they were building that association, it seemed like they were going to come in. My job was just to try and contain an ending and I did not think I'd end up bowling 14 overs from that end.
"But I got into a very good rhythm and fortunately Joe [Root] let me take the new ball over time and gives me the opportunity to take that wicket. "
He was asked what he intended to play his last game with Cook After a 12-year association with England that began on the India tour in March 2006, Anderson had to hold back the tears when he said, "He's my best friend." And he's been brilliant just for being there for me, all time ".
Shortly after, Cook admitted that he no longer shared those experiences with Anderson and Stuart Broad, who made his own debut in the test in Colombo in December 2007, would be difficult to accept.
"That was the hard part," Cook told Sky Sports. "Although the decision [to retire] was quite easy, I know that I never resist at the beginning and take a capture of one of those two again."
"We have lived in the pockets of others for 12 years," he said. Anderson. "There was a picture of us, and Swanny, lying on a bed in India. We're sound asleep, all three in exactly the same position and it just shows how close we've become, and it's been a privilege to play with, I think, the best cricketer in England.
"Without disrespecting any of the other" guys, but his ability [is] to do it again and again, "he added. "He almost takes it for granted that he will reach a distance from ball one, and when he does not, what happens, and it should not be that way
" That spell today when it was a bit tight, I do not think it has lost its length Once out of the field, and it is logical to get the ground, hit the stump in the middle, to win a Test for England. "