Indefatigable Anderson breaks Cook's England record – the numbers behind an incredible career

By Sports Desk June 10, 2021

James Anderson's incredible career will reach a new high when he becomes England's most-capped Test player at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The indefatigable seamer will surpass his former team-mate and close friend Alastair Cook's tally of 161 appearances in the longest format when he faces New Zealand in the second and decisive final Test of the series.

Anderson, who turns 39 next month and is seventh on the list of most capped players from any country, will break the record 18 years after making his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's.

Stats Perform looks at some of the astonishing numbers the evergreen Lancastrian has racked up, including a staggering 30 five-wicket hauls and at least 10 wickets in a match on three occasions.

Record-breaking seamer closing in on Kumble

Anderson surpassed the record held by Australia great Glenn McGrath for the most wickets taken by a Test seamer when he dismissed India's Mohammed Shami in 2018.

McGrath claimed 563 scalps in an outstanding career but Anderson's haul now stands at 616.

England's record Test wicket-taker is only three wickets shy of matching Anil Kumble's total and will go third on the all-time list when he betters the former India spinner's haul.

 

A menace against India

Anderson's ability to generate deadly swing and seam has caused many India batsmen problems over the years.

He has taken more Test wickets against India than any other side, with 118 from 30 matches at an average of 25.29 - including four five-wicket hauls.

Fierce rivals Australia are next on the list of teams Anderson has taken the most wickets against, with 104 in 32 Ashes contests at 34.56 apiece.

 

Lethal at Lord's

Anderson announced himself on the Test stage by taking 5-73 on debut at Lord's in Zimbabwe's first innings back in May 2003.

He has thrived on playing at the Home of Cricket, taking 105 wickets in 24 Tests at the world-famous London ground at an average of 24.64

Only Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan has claimed more on a single venue, doing so at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo (166), Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy (117) and Galle International Stadium (111).

 

Living on the edge

Anderson has had more batsmen caught behind than any bowler in Test history.

As many as 168 of Anderson's dismissals have been taken by the wicketkeeper, which is 27.27 per cent of his wickets.

McGrath is next on the list with 152, while team-mate Stuart Broad has got batsmen to nick off on 124 occasions.
 

Record a batsman would be proud of

Anderson is certainly not known for his ability with the bat, despite being dubbed 'The Burnley Lara'.

Yet he went 54 Tests innings before being out for a duck, finally departing without troubling with scorers against Australia in August 2009.

AB de Villiers (78), Aravinda de Silva (75), Clive Lloyd and Ross Taylor (both 58) are the only men to have had more knocks without departing for nought.

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