England’s premier paceman James Anderson cannot do much apart from watching his teammates skittle out and surrendering the coveted Ashes urn to Australia in the ongoing five-match Test series. After bowling just four overs in the first Test, an unfortunate calf-injury ruled out Anderson for six weeks from competitive action. His hopes of contributing in England’s success hit rock-bottom as he was forced to watch the highly-anticipated battle from the sidelines.

Aiming a return for the tours of New Zealand and South Africa, Anderson is willing to try a vegan diet as he focusses to extend his career long enough to return to the top of the bowling rankings. “I’ve still got a real hunger and desire to play cricket. I still love the game and still feel like I can be the best bowler in the world,” Anderson said on Tuesday.

“When I start this rehab, I’m going to try and investigate every possible avenue of what do I need to do at my age to keep myself in good shape.”

The 37-year-old is currently England’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 575 scalps against his name in 149 appearances. After topping the bowlers’ rankings last year, Anderson was dropped to sixth spot in the latest charts. “I feel as fit as I ever have, it’s just the calf keeps twanging. So I’m going to look at every possible thing I can to make sure I can play for as long as possible.

“I’ll look at how other sportspeople have done it throughout their careers to keep going into their late 30s.

“Whether there’s anything specific I can do, diet, gym programme, supplements, whatever it might be.”

Asked if that included adopting a vegan diet, an approach previously taken by the likes of Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, David Haye and Jermain Defoe, Anderson said: “I’m open-minded. I’ll give anything a go if it prolongs my career.

“I actually have chatted that through with my wife, but she’s not keen!”