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  5. James Anderson: The King of Swing's incredible journey to 600 Test wickets | In Numbers

James Anderson: The King of Swing's incredible journey to 600 Test wickets | In Numbers

Drawing the outside edge of Azhar Ali's bat with a surprise short ball, Anderson became the first seam bowler in Test cricket history to take 600 wickets.

Aratrick Mondal Written by: Aratrick Mondal New Delhi Updated on: August 26, 2020 13:35 IST
James Anderson: The King of Swing's incredible journey to
Image Source : INDIA TV

James Anderson: The King of Swing's incredible journey to 600 Test wickets | In Numbers

On Tuesday, when England's James Anderson dismissed Pakistan captain Azhar Ali during the final day of the third Test in Southampton, he became the first fast bowler to take 600 wickets in Test cricket. Prior to the start of action on day 5, the continual rain frustrated the players -- especially the hosts who looked certain to push Pakistan over the edge and take the second spot in the ICC Test Championship table. However, even as England stood a chance to win the Test, the talk during the build-up to the final day was all about whether the weather would be so cruel to Anderson, who then stood just one shy of the big milestone. And after a wait of five hours and 15 minutes, the sun was out, the hosts wore smiles on their face and Anderson had his moment in the sun. Drawing the outside edge of Azhar's bat with a surprise short ball, Anderson reached the magical number and etched his name in history. 

Getting better with age...

It is not easy for any fast bowler to maintain a high standard over a period of 150 or more Tests. Look at some of the greatest pacers of the format - Glenn McGrath played 124 Tests, Courtney Walsh played 132 Tests, among the recent players, Dale Steyn played just 93 Tests. And then there is Anderson, cut out from the rest, with 156 Test appearance which the most ever by a fast bowler. Moreover, he has also delivered 33717 deliveries, the most again by a fast bowler and almost 3000 more than second-placed Walsh. 

But Anderson, even at the age of 38, has ensured that he remains fit and match ready always and has remained ahead of the younger generation. In his last 56 Tests, stretching back to April 2015, Anderson has taken 216 wickets at an average of 21.50, which is much better than his average in his previous 50 Tests and than what he recorded in his first 50 Tests. 

  Wickets Average Strike Rate 5WI/10WM
First 50 Tests 181 32.08 57.5 10/1
Next 50 Tests 203 27.71 59 6/1
Last 56 Tests 216 21.5 52.5 13/1

What is even more phenomenal is that Anderson has taken 332 wickets after turning 30 at 23.87 which is 55 per cent of his career wicket tally. Only Walsh had taken more wickets than Anderson after turning 30 - 341 wickets at 24.17. And Anderson's average has kept getting better. He averages only 21.60 after turning 35 during which he took 120 wickets.  

India Tv - James Anderson's dipping average

Image Source : INDIA TV

James Anderson's dipping average

Master of home conditions...

Anderson is the second-highest wicket-taker in home conditions after Muralitharan (493 wickets) and highest among pacers. Anderson has taken 384 wickets in 89 Tests in England at 23.83. His favourite hunting ground at the venue where he made his debut appearance - the Lord's - where he has taken 103 wickets - the most by any pacer at a single venue. But his overseas record is bad either - 194 wickets in 61 Tests at 33.36 - the 12th best among pacers. He averages 24.80 in West Indies (10 Tests) and 20.54 in the UAE (6 Tests) and has taken 60 wickets in 18 Tests in Australia. And his overall average in Asia is a respectable 31.25  in 22 matches. 

While his overall away record may not reflect, but Anderson has evolved into a better traveller as well with age. He averaged 43.84 in away matches from his first career 50 Tests, which dropped to 31.18 in the next 50 and 27.71 in his last 56. 

Opener's terror...

Off his career total of 600 wickets, 163 have been openers - the most by any bowler. One of his most notable victims being Pakistan Shan Masood, who averages only 5 against the pacer. 

Top bunnies...

Anderson, over his illustrious career, has been involved in some fine on-field battles and has dismissed some of the top batters in Test cricketer. Two of his most famous bunnies include Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis. While he dismissed the Indian batting great nine times at 23.11, and dismissed the South African legend seven times at 25.28. Some if the other big stalwarts includes - Michael Clarke (nine times), Shane Watson (eight times), Cheteshwar Pujara (seven times), Kumar Sangakkara (seven times). However, it is Sri Lanka top-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and Masood who has the worst record against the pacer with both barely averaging five runs per dismissal. 

Batsman Mat Dis Mat/Dis Ave
PM Siddle (AUS) 21 11 1.9 8.45
MJ Clarke (AUS) 26 9 2.88 18.44
DA Warner (AUS) 17 9 1.88 33.11
Azhar Ali (PAK) 16 9 1.77 22.88
SR Tendulkar (INDIA) 14 9 1.55 30.22
SR Watson (AUS) 19 8 2.37 32.87
Shan Masood (PAK) 6 8 0.75 12.87
BJ Haddin (AUS) 20 7 2.85 33.85
CA Pujara (INDIA) 16 7 2.28 30.14
JH Kallis (SA) 15 7 2.14 33
KC Brathwaite (WI) 11 7 1.57 19.85
M Vijay (INDIA) 10 7 1.42 37.57
KC Sangakkara (SL) 8 7 1.14 40.71
HDRL Thirimanne (SL) 8 7 1.14 7.85

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