A look at James Anderson's milestone wickets in Test cricket
James Anderson recently became the first ever fast bowler to take 600 wickets in Test cricket. He reached the historic feat on Day 5 of the final Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. Anderson's glorious journey started in 2003 when he scalped his debut Test wicket in the form of Zimbabwe's Mark Vermeulen. Let us revisit his milestone wickets in the longest format.
In 2008, James Anderson dismissed the legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis at The Oval to take his 100th wicket in Test cricket. He bowled a beautiful in-swinger that pitched on good length and swung back late. Notably, Anderson finished with a match haul of five wickets as England clinched a six-wicket victory. This served as a foundation of what was about to come for Anderson.
Two years later, Anderson brought up his 200th Test wicket during The Ashes. He dismissed Peter Siddle in the second innings of the third Test at Perth. Notably, that was the only wicket Anderson took in the second innings. Despite losing the Test, England managed to secure their first Ashes win Down Under in 24 years as they beat Australia 3-1.
Anderson's 300th wicket was registered at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord's. By this time, the England speedster had got hold of his famous out-swinger that pulverized the greatest batsmen of all time. He did the same in the opening Test against New Zealand as Peter Fulton was caught behind in the slips. Later on, the hosts won a one-sided Test by 170 runs.
Another Kiwi batsman was deceived by Anderson's artistry when New Zealand toured England in 2015. Having dismissed Martin Guptill on the opening day of Leeds Test, Anderson became the first ever Englishman with 400 Test wickets. At that time, only 11 other cricketers had taken as many wickets in Test cricket. A month before the Test, Anderson had surpassed Sir Ian Botham's feat (383).
Anderson snapped up his 500th Test wicket after rattling the stumps of West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite in the 2017 Lord's Test. Yet another landmark wicket was achieved by Anderson at the Home of Cricket as he recorded a match haul of 9/73. He became only the third speedster after Courtney Walsh (519) and Glenn McGrath (563) to claim the distinction in Tests.
As international cricket resumed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson closed-in on achieving something that no other fast bowler has, in the history of international cricket. He finally broke the shackles in England's sixth Test of the summer, having dismissed Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on the final day of series decider. Will he chase the 700-mark? Certainly, as Anderson looks the fittest even at 38.