James Anderson becomes first pacer to take 600 Test wickets
England pace spearhead James Anderson has become the first ever fast bowler to take 600 wickets in Test cricket. He achieved the milestone on Day 5 of the ongoing third Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. Overall, Anderson is now only the fourth bowler to enter the 600-wicket club in the Test format. Here is more on the same.
First fast bowler to enter the 600-wicket club
Anderson dismissed Ali Azhar today to clinch his 600th Test wicket. He joins the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) in the elite club. Notably, he reached the historic landmark in his 156th Test, the slowest among these bowlers in terms of matches played. Muralitharan was the fastest (101 Tests) to get to the mark.
A look at Anderson's victims in Test cricket
Here are Anderson's Test victims: 100th wicket- Jacques Kallis, 200th wicket- Peter Siddle, 300th wicket- Peter Fulton, 400th wicket- Martin Guptill, 500th wicket- Kraigg Brathwaite, 600th wicket- Azhar Ali. Notably, Anderson took his 500th Test wicket in 2017.
Anderson registered his 29th five-for in Test cricket
In the first innings, Anderson registered his 29th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Anderson now has joint-second-most five-fors among pacers with Glenn McGrath (Test cricket). The duo is only behind New Zealand's Richard Hadlee (36). Earlier this year, Anderson became the oldest England seamer to take a five-for since Freddie Brown in 1951. He recorded figures of 40/5 against South Africa at Newlands.
Second-fastest to take 600 Test wickets (in terms of balls)
In terms of balls, Anderson is the second-fastest to take 600 Test wickets. Anderson, who bowled 33,717 deliveries to script history, is separated from top-ranked Muralitharan (33,711) by mere six balls. Meanwhile, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble took 34,920 and 38,494 balls respectively.
Most Test wickets after turning 30 (for England)
James Anderson has taken 336 Test wickets after turning 30, more than all other England bowlers across the entirety of their careers. Interestingly, only Stuart Broad (513) and Ian Botham (383) have taken more wickets in their Test careers. Overall, Anderson is only behind West Indian legend Courtney Walsh (341), who has taken more wickets as a seamer over the age of 30.
How Anderson improved in latter half of his career
It is interesting to note that world's most successful fast bowler averaged 39.21 in his first 20 Tests. However, his average has now plunged to below 27, the best he attained throughout his Test career. His average dropped below 30 only after playing 90 Tests.