English fast bowler James Anderson, on Wednesday tied former captain Alastair Cook for the most Test matches played for England. Anderson is making his 161st Test appearance for England in their first match against New Zealand at Lord’s.
The 38-year old made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in May 2003, three years before Cook made his first appearance in the longest format of the game. Anderson, in that match picked up five wickets in the first innings, assisting England in winning by an innings and 92 runs. Well, that is not the only achievement the English bowler has, Anderson is also the only pacer to appear in more than 150 Test matches.
Notably, Cook retired from international cricket in September 2018, after leading Anderson in 49 Tests.
“For a bowler to play this amount of games, I don’t know what the word is, but it’s a bit mind-blowing to me,” Anderson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“I never imagined in a million years I’d get to this point. I don’t feel like I’ve played that many games. My body doesn’t feel old or tired. I just absolutely love Test cricket, I’ve got a huge passion for it. Growing up, all I wanted to do is play Test cricket for England and I’m honoured I’ve been able to do it for this long,” Anderson said.
Anderson is England’s all-time leading Test wicket taker with 614 scalps to his name, and the first fast bowler to reach 600 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Meanwhile, England has a hectic Test schedule ahead of them, including a five-match series against India in the run-up to the Ashes later this year.
“I’d love to play all seven Tests this summer. There are five Tests against India after these two Tests against New Zealand, and then the Ashes after that. So, we want to start this summer well. So hopefully, if we do pick our strongest team we (Anderson and Stuart Broad) would like to think that we’re both in that. And we’d love to share the new ball together, yes,” Anderson had said ahead of the first Test match against New Zealand.
A Close Look At Anderson’s Cricket Career
Anderson has played 160 Test matches since his debut in 2002 against Zimbabwe. As of May 2021, Anderson is the 4th-ranked Test bowler in the world and the only English player to feature in the top-5 of ICC Test bowling rankings. Anderson averages 26.46 in Test cricket. The English pacer has also played 194 ODI matches for his country and has taken 269 wickets at an average of 29.22. Last year, Anderson became the first fast bowler in the world to reach 600 wickets in Test cricket.