England quick James Anderson has cemented his status as one of the greatest Test bowlers of all time after returning to the top of the world standings in a stunning 87-year first. Anderson is like a fine wine improving with age and his stunning display in England's Test victory in New Zealand has seen him surpass Aussie captain Pat Cummins as the ICC's No.1-ranked Test bowler.
Anderson played a key role in England's 267-run victory over New Zealand in last week's first Test in Mount Maunganui, returning match figures of 7-54 as England clinched its 10th win in 11 Tests. His seven wickets took his career total to 682 and for the first time since his maiden series in 2003, Anderson's average is below 26.
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Following on from those heroics, Anderson has knocked Cummins off his four-year perch to become the oldest player to top the Test bowling rankings since Australia's Clarrie Grimmett in 1936. The extraordinary 87-year first also marks the sixth time in his career that Anderson has been ranked as the number one bowler in Test cricket.
Anderson shows no sign of losing his edge either and since he turned 35 he has taken 202 wickets in 56 Tests at a miserly average of 20.56. He has now taken more Test wickets than any other fast bowler in history, well clear of England teammate Stuart Broad, who has taken 571 wickets and counting. Legendary Australian quick Glenn McGrath took 563 scalps across his Test career.
Anderson will be back alongside strike partner Broad in the second Test which starts in Wellington on Thursday. The duo became the most lethal bowling partnership in Test history in the first Test against New Zealand with their 1,009 wickets from 113 matches together moving them past the previous record of 1,001 between Australia's Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
James Anderson hailed after incredible feeat
The England paceman bumped Cummmins to third in the ICC's latest standings, with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin moving into second place after taking 14 wickets in the first two Tests against the Aussies. Anderson's 682 Test wickets puts him third on the all-time list behind Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and late Australia great Warne (708).
The cricket world has been quick to acknowledge Anderson over his latest feat and hail his extraordinary longevity for a fast bowler. Many have argued that if were any doubts before about the greatest fast bowler of all time, his latest achievement should silence those.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 22, 2023
The 40-year-old James Anderson became the oldest player to hold the No.1 Test Ranking of bowlers (40 years and 207 days), since Clarrie Grimmett in 1936. Since the start of 2022, Jimmy has picked up 43 wickets in 10 Test matches. #GOAT𓃵 #ENGvsNZ pic.twitter.com/MoIkZ0Cmb8
— Ahmad Haseeb (@iamAhmadhaseeb) February 22, 2023
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) February 22, 2023
Oldest bowlers to be ranked No.1 in Test cricket 📈
• Bert Ironmonger: 50y 10m (1933)
• Clarrie Grimmett: 44y 2m (1936)
• Tich Freeman: 41y 2m (1929)
• Sydney Barnes: 40y 9m (1914)
• James Anderson: 40y 6m (2023)
Oldest No.1 Test bowler in 87 years 🌍 pic.twitter.com/EHfkbHzfkT
— The Cricket Wire (@TheCricketWire) February 22, 2023
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) February 22, 2023
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