432Views

James Anderson is one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and there are no doubts about it. He is England's all-time leading wicket-taker in all formats, while he has the third most wickets overall in the sport's history, staggering, isn't it? 

The bowler is having a gala time in the ongoing Test series against India as well but do you know how everything commenced for the Lancashire County Cricket Club bowler?

 Let's have a look!

How it began: James Michael Anderson, a bowler who was born on July 30, 1982, made his international debut in 2002 against Australia, before playing his first Test match in May 2003 against the visitors,  Zimbabwe. From debuting in 2003 in Tests to becoming England's most capped player, Anderson has come a long way, with moments to cherish and also tough times that tested his character.

Domestic Cricket to International Cricket 

After debuting in 2002 for Lancashire, Anderson played 13 matches, picking 50 wickets that incorporated three five-wicket hauls. He was Lancashire's most promising player for the 2002 season and in the following year, Anderson became the youngest player to take a hattrick for his county side.

The match was a week before Anderson made his international debut, and it was also the first hat trick at Old Trafford in eight years. Injuries then hampered his domestic career as he became an integral part of England's national squad. His 2006 season was a time when he was in one of the worst phases of his career as a stress fracture inhibited his cricket and more time had to be invested to recover fully.

James Anderson in ODIs

His ODI career may have not been as influential as his Test career, but Anderson made the most of his moments there too. After just three One-day games for Lancashire, Anderson was roped in for the series against Australia to replace Andy Caddick.

A fine performance in those games earned him a spot in the 2003 World Cup where he dismantled the Pakistan lineup, producing one of his best match-winning spells of all time.

Some constant bumps on the road blended with some average performances and budding competition, Anderson's ODI career came to an end in 2015 but it was not over for him yet as what we saw in the latter years was a player who exceeded his potential and proved all his critics wrong.

James Anderson: A phenomenon in Test Cricket 

The year 2018 witnessed James Anderson soar to New heights as he surpassed the Great Glenn McGrath to become one of the most prolific fast bowlers of all time.  Injuries played a part in limiting his career as well but Anderson managed to do the best he could and transformed into a lethal swing bowler who people never managed to play comfortably, despite facing him multiple times in a year.

The 2007-08 tour of New Zealand was another remarkable moment of his test journey as he joined forces with a young Stuart Broad as the duo dismantled the New Zealand batting.

The Kiwis again fell victims to England, this time as visitors, and Anderson was solely responsible for the damage caused. It began with a seven-wicket scintillating display at the Trent Bridge that made him one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year. His 11-wicket haul against Pakistan at Trent Bridge again was his career-best performance but series-wise, the 2010-11 Ashes is something Anderson would cherish for years.

His last Ashes series was a disaster where the bowler averaged over 80 but in this series, he redeemed himself by sending the Australians to the ruins, picking 24 wickets at an average of 26.04. The year 2012 saw him being awarded as the "Freedom of Burnley"  and it was also the year when Anderson overtook Brian Statham's 252 Test wickets, becoming Lancashire's best bowler.

In 2013, James Anderson became the fourth English bowler to pick 300 Test wickets. However, in 2014, his verbal spat with Ravindra Jadeja became a huge concern for the English board but to his luck, no severe ICC investigations led to both the players get away without much trouble.

After an early World Cup exit in 2015 and a conclusion to a 194 ODI matches career, Anderson achieved new milestones quicker. His 400 Test wicket came against New Zealand at Headingley, and he also became the first English bowler to pick 400, 500, and 600 Test wickets.

In July 2021, Anderson participated in the County Championship and picked his 1,000th first-class wicket as well.  The 39-year old became the first bowler to make his debut in this century and reach the 1000-wicket milestone.

Let's have a look at his test numbers.

MatchesWicketsAverage Economy4w,5w,10w haulBest Figures
16462626.572.8228,31, 311/71

Let's now see his ODI and T20I numbers 

MatchesWicketsAverageEconomy4w, 5w,10wBest Figures
ODI-19426929.224.9211,2,05/23
T20I-191830.667.840,0,03/23

Let's now see some achievements from the Englishman.

# In July 2016, Anderson became the first fast bowler to pick 50 wickets against all seven major Test-playing nations. (India, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan).

# In 2019, he became only the ninth player to play 150 Test matches.

# In 2020, he surpassed Sir Ian Botham (27), picking 28 five-wicket hauls in Test Cricket. 

# Anderson is also the only bowler to have 300+ Test wickets on home soil.

# He is also the only fast bowler and second overall to have 100 Test wickets at a single venue (Lords). First is Muttiah Muralitharan, who has 100 wickets on three different grounds in Sri Lanka.

#He also has the most "not-out" batting performances in Test cricket, his 87 being significantly ahead of Courtney Walsh who has 61.

Anderson is a player who has not stopped and is constantly breaking records with every passing Test. What do you think? Currently, at 629 Test wickets, he is 66 wickets ahead of the next best pacer on the list- Glenn McGrath. Can the 39-year old become the first pacer to breach the 700-wicket milestone?

Which other records will he break? Let us know via your social media accounts. Follow Cricwizz on Instagram and Twitter for more updates. Stay tuned with Cricwizz for the best cricket content.