In an era where people are always looking for million dollars by playing in those various leagues, specially the shorter-formats of the game, fair enough to say, a lad with a sharp aim of being a proper test bowler is currently going extinct. But, then you met this guy, Jimmy Anderson, from Lancashire with white hairs, who will walk to you and say, “Hey, I am still here.”
Mark the date 25th August, 2020. English cricket had already witnessed some incredible stuffs from Ben Stokes last summer against the Aussies but the same day observe another Englishman achieving a milestone. An 38-year old fast bowler in his 17 year long career playing his 156th match has picked the 600th victim in the 3rd test between England and Pakistan when a cut short of Azhar Ali goes into the hands of Joe Root in the slip, which brings a bright smile in the face of whole team.
Anderson Still Running on his 156th Test:
Once Fred Trueman had famously said that whoever after him was to take 300 wickets in test cricket would be a tired man. And Jimmy has double of that number and he is still steaming in for his country. From the likes of Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Marshall to Akram, Johnson or Styen, many had tried but couldn’t come closer except Glen McGrath (563 Wickets). In Anderson’s 150th test cap ceremony, Nasser Hussain, the man who had given Jimmy his debut cap, said, “150 Test matches for any cricketer is special. 150 test matches as a fast bowler is an unbelievable achievement.” Just think, everyday he wakes up, his body is in pain, all the trainning and stretching, still he has dragged himself off the bed ; he has shown an immense respect to test cricket.
Anderson in All Conditions:
You may not see another fast bowler reaching the milestone of 150 test matches because all the present pacers like Boult, Strac or Bumrah are playing various formats and leagues around the world. People will also say that a Jimmy Anderson in overcast condition of lord’s may not be the same bowler in the flat pitches of UAE or Sri Lanka. But, to be honest spinners are not too much effective in the pitches outside Asia. Well, in India, he has picked up 26 wickets in 9 test matches which is pretty good as an overseas fast bowler. To add more flavour on that, Anderson has dismissed Tendulkar the most number of times (9). His frequent victims i.e M Clarke, D Warner, A Ali show how effective he is against the best ones.
Also, he has bowled just 6 more deliveries (33717) than the great Muralitharan in reaching 600th wicket. One thing that makes you special is how you become better and better in every passing year and Anderson has proved again that age is just a number. When he got his 100th wicket, he had an average of 34.80 which reduces to 30.43 during his 300th wicket and when he achieves the milestone number, he has an average of 26.76, best of his whole career. He is the only fast bowler who has 100-plus wickets in a single venue and it’s the Home of Cricket, lord’s (103 wickets).
156th Test at an Age of 38:
England will feel themselves so lucky to get the duo of Anderson-Broad who has enjoyed 919 wickets between them, only behind Warne & McGrath (1001 wickets). Now, because of the uninvited virus, we don’t know when will we see jimmy again in action but when we will, his next target will be taking more 20 wickets to get past Anil Kumble in the list.
All in all, at an age of 38, playing 156 matches and picking 600 wickets and counting…he is truly a living legend. Jimmy Anderson: The Old Boy of The New School.