May 15, 2012

English cricket

How Anderson became England's main man

Carlyle Laurie

England’s cricketer of the year James Anderson, who made his Test debut nearly ten years ago at Lord’s, has established himself as the spearhead of the top-ranked team in the world. He’s picked up more wickets in the last year than any other fast bowler except South Africa's Vernon Philander. Speaking to Tom Fordyce from bbc.co.uk, Anderson says that consistency and patience is the key to succeeding in international cricket.

“In the last 18 months I've probably doubled my Test wicket tally, which tells you something about the first eight years of my career," Anderson said. “I always believed I could perform at the top level. I knew on my day that I could be brilliant. But there were a lot of times when I would be at the other end of the scale, and that scared me a little bit. I didn't know what was coming from day to day."

"To be successful round the world you need as many weapons as possible. It gives me such confidence to know that I can go anywhere in the world and have the skills to take wickets."

Derek Pringle, writing for the Daily Telegraph, says that James Anderson stands on the threshold of Ian Botham territory as England's leading wicket-taker.

From the precocious fast bowler with the cockatoo hair who burst into the England team almost a decade ago, to the no-nonsense performer he is now, Anderson has refined his focus and his bowling to the point where he could make an assault on Mt Botham, and become England’s greatest Test-match wicket-taker of all time.

He is fifth in the England roll of honour with 258 wickets, 125 behind Botham’s record of 383. But he is in such command of his trade that, injuries permitting, he can count on taking at least 40 wickets a year, which would see him reach the landmark around the end of 2015, at the ripe old age of 33.

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