‘Glenn McGrath’s 563rd Test wicket was James Anderson and at that time, Anderson had only 46 wickets in his career and now after 4267 days, Anderson has gone past McGrath to become the highest wicket-taker among pacers in Test cricket.’
It is indeed a great moment in test cricket to witness such a historical event. The wicket of Mohammed Shami took James Anderson into the history books. A record that not many thought could be broken, has been undone.
Anderson made his test debut in 2002 but the initial years were not much fruitful for him. A tall lanky swinging bowler bowling his shoulders out but for no real output. Many considered him to be too soft to become a champion fast bowler. In fact, Jimmy was a regular member in the sidelines for England till 2007. During those years the English management tried to tinker his bowling style a little bit. And the persistence finally paid up.
With a new bowling style, Anderson elevated his game to a different level and there has been no looking back ever since. Anderson finally made a mark in test cricket when he spearheaded the English bowling line up against Australia in Australia in 2010. The Lancashire born swing bowler produced a masterclass and made good use of the Kookabura ball as he picked up 24 wickets in the series. Having picked up only 5 wickets in the previous tour to Australia in 2006, Jimmy had finally come over the ghosts that had haunted him so long.
This was followed by an even better series for him when India travelled to England in mid 2011. Anderson’s classical side arm action with an ability to move the ball both ways helped him pick up wickets in huge amounts. He had the better of Sachin Tendulkar whom he dismissed the most number of times in his career.
Anderson’s best bowling performance came against West Indies when he took 7 wickets for just 42 runs in 2017 at The Oval and in the due process he became the first English bowler and sixth bowler overall to take 500 wickets in test cricket. The Ashes 2017 in Australia was not a series to remember for any English players or fans. But Anderson did achieve a personal record in that series. He picked up his 520th wicket in that series and went above legendary bowler Courtney Walsh to become the fifth highest wicket taker of all time. Successful series against Pakistan and now against India helped him conquer the unthinkable. 24 wickets against India meant he has 564 wickets, which speaks of the fact that he is now the fast bowler with most number of wickets in the history of test cricket.
Despite being 36, Anderson still goes strong on a cricket field and to the delight of England team and all cricket fans it seems like he still has a lot left in him. The next record on Anderson’s sights would be going past Anil Kumble who has 619 wickets to his name.
Let us know, in the comment section, of what you believe about James Anderson’s gigantic record in test cricket.
Photo by Ben Sutherland