England in New Zealand 2012-13

Anderson digs deep for final effort

Andrew McGlashan in Auckland

March 20, 2013

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A

James Anderson speaks at a press conference, Auckland, March 20, 2013
James Anderson, on his impending landmark of 300 Test wickets: "It would be a huge achievement. But first of all, I've got to get some wickets." © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of New Zealand
Teams: England

James Anderson is five wickets away from becoming only the fourth England bowler to claim 300 Test scalps, but milestones will not be near the forefront of his mind as he steels his tired body for one last effort in Auckland.

Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman are the three who occupy the 300-club and, although globally the figure is not as exclusive as it once was, it will be further validation towards Anderson being one of England's finest bowlers.

Anderson's journey has not always been smooth. After bursting onto the scene in 2003, he became a fringe player by the end of that year for a period of two more, before suffering a career threatening back injury following attempts to modify his action. It was only when Peter Moores became coach in 2007 that Anderson was given a sustained second chance and since 2008, the previous tour of New Zealand, he has not looked back.

From that comeback in Wellington, an excellent career has taken on a number of guises. He has taken 233 wickets at 28.13, the most by any bowler in the world over the same time frame albeit in 14 matches more than second-placed Dale Steyn on 227 scalps. It is, though, further proof as to why those two are talked about in the same breath.

He has not been quite at his best in this series - collecting seven wickets at 33.14 - although there have been examples of his skill, including a spell with the second new-ball in Dunedin, which was accompanied by much pent-up frustration, and a burst of reverse swing in Wellington, when he was being buffeted by a strong wind. However, Anderson's own uncertainty about his numbers shows the pending landmark does not occupy all his thoughts.

"It would be a huge achievement. But first of all, I've got to get some wickets," he said. "I think two is the most I've got in an innings on this trip. I'm aware of it. But it's something once I get into the game, I won't be thinking about."

Yet, if Anderson's statistics are a guide, an England victory and the 300-landmark could go hand-in-hand. Since returning to the side in 2008 he has averaged 4.82 wickets in matches England have won.

There were concerns about Anderson's fitness during the Wellington Test, where he needed some treatment on a stiff back, but he has benefited from an extra day off due to the rain which curtailed that match. England also did not train on Wednesday except for those who wanted an extra net, which were Nick Compton, Jonny Bairstow and Graham Onions.

"When you've got just one big Test left, you always manage to find something a little bit extra in the tank - knowing we have got a few weeks off when we get home," Anderson said. "I feel okay. The rain probably helped in the end, getting an extra day off."

There was expectation before the series that England's quick bowlers would enjoy a profitable time in New Zealand, but the successes that have come their way - notably Stuart Broad's 6 for 51 in Wellington - have been hard-earned. That, however, does not come as a surprise to Anderson who has become used to trying to extract wickets in tough conditions.

"Test pitches around the world are generally quite flat, and you've got to work hard for your victories," he said. "It's no different out here. So you can't say they're not result pitches ... you've just got to work hard as a bowler to get 20 wickets in a game.

"That's just the way things are. You have to find different ways of getting people out. You can't always just steam in and try and roll sides over. You've got to use other skills, and that's what we've been trying to do this trip."

Anderson, without doubt, has the skills. Now he just needs to find the energy.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 23, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: So my stats are impertinent while yours stats are not? Incidentally the stats I gave were the ones you had implicitly used in your 1st comment here. This shows what you base your comments on. The moment I showed those stats you moved to some other stats which form the best subset in your eyes about JA. Shifting the goalpost was never more visible. Btw, even his last 5 years performance is what Heath Streak did ALL HIS LIFE. Please repeat your point, if you had one.

@JG2704: Saying "...Jimmy not being that good..." is conceding he is NOT in the league of Steyn. The article said something like this so I see this as a +1 for me, please excuse me for being a bit self-indulgent. I think we should exclude VP from this list as his is so far a somewhat anomalous story. Actually, Steyn is an anomaly too. He is a bit too much ahead than any one else.

If you say JA is next only to DS I'd disagree. If you say JA is (perhaps) best among the rest I MIGHT see your PoV.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 22, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (March 22, 2013, 16:30 GMT) Not shifting the goalposts at all. Anderson was bowling on (away) spin friendly pitches and did better than any other pace bowler - Eng or India by a country mile. Jadeja bowled well and Eng's batsmen are still vulnerable against spin whether - obviously more so vs the quality of Ajmal and Herath who are better but I bet few pace bowlers will have success in India - maybe Steyn and VP which probably says more about their quality than Jimmy not being that good.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 22, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

My dear JG2704, FFL, Chris OC, cris89: All you guys have managed to do here is Shifting The Goalpost.

You see, no one ever claimed that Ishant or Yadav or any other Indian bowler was in the league of Steyn or just behind him. No one ever claimed that Indian fast bowlers (ok fast-medium/medium-fast) did commendably well in that tour. Talking about Ishant is useless cos we in India too are frustrated with his stunted career.

The moot point is Anderson. In my comment, I did admit that he is a wonderful bowler in Eng conditions and I do love to see him bowling there.

My sole point in that comment was that it can't be said that Anderson has proven himself in Indian conditions cos he took 12 wickets in 4 tests. That is too barren a stat. Even there, he had only ONE good test in Kolkata. I won't say Rohit/Raina have proven themselves just cos they hit some exquisite cover boundaries or get 1-2 beautiful 40-50s. Ditto for Anderson.

Pls also read TATTUs' comment here.

Posted by ARad on (March 22, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

Many people think that, 'who's that guy from Australia, you know he opened the bowling with that other tall dude through the late 90s and early 00s and then scored a double century in his last Test? Yeah, that guy!', who had a better overall Test average than the Andersons and Zaheers was only an also-ran but, if you listen to the fans and journalists from their respective countries, you would start thinking that Anderson and Zaheers are some kind of extra special talents.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 21, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

@Harmony111: There's no stopping those impertinent stats it seems, as the article states an average of 28 in the last five years is what you're missing. India of course don't have an Anderson, which stood out like a sore thumb in the recent series. Exactly how Jadeja fits in to all this escapes me. Anyway, that series is over now. Best to remember it for what it was: a heavy defeat for India, and not the tinted narrative you've decided upon. A quick check-out of the DVD of the series should clear this up for you.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 21, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

About Steyn - He is the Best bowler in the history of cricket. yes better than W.Indian legends, Oz legends. its true check his stats better than marshall, Patterson, Holding, Bruce Reid,Lilee etc.

Posted by mikey76 on (March 21, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

Seether1. The last 25 yrs has just been a fallow period for English bowling talent. Had Darren Gough or Andy Caddick not been so injury prone they both would have doubtless joined the 300 club. Looking to the future, Broad and Swann will easily get there within the next couple of years injury permitting followed hopefully by Finn. Anderson will break Bothams record and go on to 400 before he hangs up his boots. Not in Steyns class but high class non the less.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 21, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

Yes good to see jimmy in the 300 club. For NZ fans I think Kyle Mills is the answer of Jimmy. But now its tooooo much late for Mills. Mills is also a good swinger bowler in international cric.

Posted by liz1558 on (March 21, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

Elvis Presley was the American Tommy Steele; Beyonce is America's answer to Alishia Dixon; Garry Sobers was a West Indian light version of Stuart Broad, and Dale Steyn is South Africa's equivalent to Jimmy Anderson. Simply the best.

Posted by HatsforBats on (March 21, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Congratulations Jimmy, a highly skilled bowler, 300+ wickets is a just reward. Whilst my initial dislike stemmed purely from his bad hair and inconsistency, I have great admiration for how he came back from injury (particularly the knee injury at the gabba), his new ball potency, and excellent fielding. Though clearly not in Steyn's class, Anderson would walk into any side in world cricket ...except SA...or Australia (I'm happy with a combination of Harris, Pattinson, Bird, Starc)...any other side though, straight in.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Harmony whilst I understand what you are saying the direct tour comparison shows Anderson head and shoulders above his peers in this series. Anderson 12 at 30 Fin 4 at 39 Khan 4 at 53 Sharma 4 at 42 The last time SA played in India Steyn took 11 at 20 BTW - in the same series the next best was 4 at 42 - a similar pattern

In NZ Anderson has (to me at least) looked tired - I also think losing Swann has lessened his threat - Anderson and Swann like Broad and Swann in the past are a fearsome combination - the pairing with Monty (here at least) looks less likely to take wkts.... Probably means Monty will take 7 in the next innings :)

Look forward to 5 days of great cricket ahead in 2 fab test - Oz playing for pride and Eng/NZ - all to play for - excellent news for NZ gate receipts and also for the return series - NZ have shown they are competitive - well done MCallum et al

Posted by gibbons on (March 21, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

Must agree with a lot of commenters - that's the first time I've EVER heard Steyn and Anderson mentioned in the same breath. Probably overreaching for superlatives there, which shouldn't detract from 300 wickets which is no mean feat.

Posted by CamS71 on (March 21, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

Busie1979 @ 9:52 GMT :

Your analysis is pretty good, with a couple of glaring mistakes.

Of those who may get to the top tier, Starc hasn't a prayer. Bottom group at best. Pattinson may get there, but it's way too early to say. Philander is the most likely.

In your second tier Alderman was denied as much by bizarre selection. How he didn't tour England in 85 was perverse. Good bowler, underrated. Think you're being generous to Harris mind. Just too little data.

In the bottom group Bishop should def be moved up as before his back injury he was properly scary. Insane pace, averaging around 21.

Many omissions of course, but who has the time.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Sorry to say it, Anderson is a really good bowler , but it is silly to talk about him and Steyn in the same breath. It is unfair on Anderson, apart from anything else. Steyn is a great bowler, and I know that stats aren't everything, but the gulf between their respective numbers is too big to ignore (and that's just on stats).

Posted by Simoc on (March 21, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

I expect Anderson will go on and get 400 test wickets. He so often breaks the opening partnerships with the new ball, which is what you want.

Posted by cris89 on (March 20, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

@Harmony111: What is your "strike" bowler Ishant Sharma's average in last 14 matches-70?80? India don't have a single seamer who has the skills to play for England A side, let alone England. If Ravi Jadeja plays in SA or English pitches, he'll be thrashed all around the park. While India have some promising young batting talent, there is nothing much to choose between their seamers and Bangladesh's. Anderson is the best swing bowler after Steyn- instead of mocking him, you should be lucky if you find someone half as talented as him.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 20, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (March 20, 2013, 20:09 GMT) For once I'm going to back FFL.

Ok I'm not going overboard like FFL but you have to also take into consideration the conditions/pitches etc. If you look at what India's or even Eng's 2nd best pace bowlers tally in that series Jimmy's tally looks pretty good - no?

Posted by whoster on (March 20, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

Jimmy's been a massive credit to England, but there's absolutely no way that he compares to Dale Steyn. That stats just don't lie - and Steyn is head and shoulders above any other fast bowler in world cricket. Jimmy Anderson is still a quality bowler though, and even when conditions aren't in his favour, he can still keep things tight. Hope he can pick up the 5 wickets needed for the 300 mark in the Auckland Test.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 20, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge:

What magical skills has Anderson shown on the flat tracks of India? As Eng's stroke bowler & a test veteran, he took 12 wickets in 4 tests vs India. Compare this to SIR R Jadeja who is barely 4 tests old and as our #3-#4 bowler, has taken 17 wickets in only 3 tests vs Aus. LOL.

Strange are some Eng fans here. I do not deny his impact in helpful wickets and I do accept that he makes for a lovely sight in those cases but on less-helpful wickets, he has not proved much as of now. 12 wickets in 4 tests proved nothing and his agg tally of 42-43 wickets in Asia in some 14 tests too proves nothing.

Posted by Trickstar on (March 20, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

LOL all the whinging about comparisons. It seems that some people can't for whatever reason give Anderson the respect he's due, some can even admit what a great bowler he is and say irrelevant things like look at his 30 average he isn't very good. As the article says he's taken 233 wickets at 28 the last 5 years which is very good in anyone's book, furthermore in the last 3 years he's taken 139 @ 25 and then that's where the comparisons are, even though no one would say Jimmy is as good as Steyn, it doesn't stop you making comparisons. About how they set batsmen up, they way they use swing, they way they use the old ball etc,there's nothing wrong with any of that.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (March 20, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

Definitely not belonging to the 'greats' category but he is among the top 3 bowlers in the world for last 3 years and in his present form can walk into the playing xi of any team currently playing. bit of like zaheer khan (when he was at his peak) , can swing it both ways , reverse the old , hold one end tight and most importantly knows how to bowl in sub continent.

Posted by cric_J on (March 20, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

I am beginning to think that it has become an unsaid ritual to compare Steyn to Jimmy in every article on him.Come on !Can't we just stop doing that and appreciate him for what he has done in the last 5 years.Steyn is the best.We know that .But that does not take anything away from Jimmy's achievements and success.Neither from the fact that he is better than every other bowler except Steyn.I fail to understand why he doesn't get the same applause and respect that Steyn does when he does well for his country.People probably need to put their egoistic issues against him aside and just grow up a little bit to appreciate the man.And NOT start talking about Steyn whenever they hear ANDERSON.

Posted by vik56in on (March 20, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

Anderson is like India's Zaheer Khan.A good bowler who falls short of being included in the category of Greats.In Today's cricket among bowlers only Dale Steyn is great!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 20, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

It would be odd if Jimmy left NZ without a 5-for. Ist inns would be preferable.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

Jimmy Anderson compared to Steyn! LOL. What rubbish. Anderson averages 30 with the ball, that is poor. He is not "great", fairly good I would say. He can't run thru sides like Steyn, Ambrose, Donald, Marshall etc.

Posted by Selassie-I on (March 20, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

The article speaks about Steyn and Anderson as a stat, ammount of wickets in a time period. It's a stat - a fact, not an opinion, not a comparrison - a stat. Steyn got the most wickets, then Anderson.

I can't see what problems people have with this? should cricinfo lie about stats, no longer use them? give me a break!! People pulling him down probably haven't even watched him bowl in the last few years. No he's not in the same class as Steyn, but no one in the world is or has been, for some time.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 20, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

@Sean Cilliers on (March 20, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

re "How can you talk about Steyn and Anderson in the same breath"

see Andrew McGlashan's article above. He has shown you exactly how

Posted by voma on (March 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Jmmy Anderson has won Test matches for England by himself , just ask Aussie and Indian fans . Enough said .

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (March 20, 2013, 14:19 GMT)

The article was shaping up to be a reasonably good one. Aplauding a more than useful bowler but then took a strange u-turn when the following lines appeared: "...albeit in 14 matches more than second-placed Dale Steyn on 227 scalps. It is, though, further proof as to why those two are talked about in the same breath....". And it turned into a joke and I didnt bother reading further. Who talks about Steyn and Anderson in the same breath?! LOL, really!!. For the past 5 years there has been Steyn ,a mile, daylight and lightyear before the next bowler in the world cricket

Posted by SICHO on (March 20, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

same breath as Steyn? Give me a break! Since most folks say he's the 2nd best bowler on all conditions, yeah, sure, but against who? One match comes to mind when I say that: The Oval, or rather 637/2, in that very same match one bowler, who happens to be Dale Steyn took a 5-for. If only people can stop comparing him to Steyn, then we'd give Anderson credit at his own right. Anyway, good luck Jimmy and hope you get many more wickets.

Posted by Selassie-I on (March 20, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

Well done Jimmy.

He's always had the ability to do get lateral movement, however early on in his career he just didn't have the control to apply pressure when the movement wasn't on offer. Now over the last few years he's come of age and he has that control and rightfully he's one of the most respected fast bowlers in world cricket at the moment.

The only comparrison to Steyn in the article is saying that Steyn is the only bowler to have taken more wickets in the allotted time period. Anyone can see that Steyn is the best in the world, by a distance, but that doesn't stop Jimmy being good at what he does. Some people do find it very difficult to give him praise for improving and becoming world class, he's proved now that he is dangerous on all surfaces, as someone who watches his games would tell you. Don't just look at figures and judge, watch him bowl.

In fact why not name for me a bad bowlign performance by him in the last 5 years where he's sprayed it like Mitchell Johnso

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 20, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

So he isn't even half way to McGrath and he is touted as one of the best. Give me a break! I guess at least he isn't South African unlike the rest of the team

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

You can rant all you want about stats not being as significant as some cricket fanatics make them out to be, and this is true to a certain extent, but the fact of the matter is, that regardless to how may wickets you take from how many games; if you're averaging above 30 you are certainly not great, but with anderson's case, just good. That average was very high in his early stages of his career, and many are of the belief that he will drastically decrease it in the forthcoming years.. But even so, in his peak of the past three years, he has only been averaging 28. For being at the peak of your powers, (fast bowling age wise), this is not much to be spoken of in comparison to a true great in steyn or other past greats. Sure, he is one of the best in the present, but even so, his average is below many current bowlers. On a positive note, he has portrayed a trait of great bowlers; that of being able to bowl constantly and effectively on all pitches/conditions, and this is commended.

Posted by big_al_81 on (March 20, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

@pomshaveshortmemories. Perhaps you should have a word with your friend Ken McCarron below - he seems to be Australian yet has a short memory - in fact he seems to think that playing a handful of test matches is a good way to judge players. In answer to your comment re greatness since the war, I think a brief perusal of stats from that period will demonstrate that England have had bowlers throughout that period of the ilk of: Willis, Underwood, Statham, Bedser, Underwood, Snow, Laker and Lock who match up well with Lillee, Benaud, Gillespie, Lindwall, Davidson and Miller. In very recent memory, Australia were fortunate to have their two greatest bowlers of the modern era playing in the same team alongside a very fine one (Gillespie). Once you go further back though it all evens out really, and few of the oldies played as much as modern players. So let's enjoy the landmarks of those who are excellent, like Anderson, without diminishing our marvel at the landmarks of the greats.

Posted by bumsonseats on (March 20, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

would love to see jimmy bowling on the wickets that the saffars prepare for test cricket. steyn is a better bowler i have no problem in saying that, but any pace bowler worth his salt will get wickets there if you do the right things which is line and length. with steyn been able to bowl about 5 mph faster than JA, but both are world class bohe ukwlers in the past they said he could only bowl in the uk but hes done it now in all the top countries aus sa and ind.so he must be doing something right

Posted by voice_of_reason on (March 20, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

Too often we fall into the trap of using statistics to define a player's career. They are used as a measure of his worth, his "greatness". Look at the list of leading wicket takers in Tests, for example, and the numbers would show Merv Hughes, Mitchell Johnson and Jeff Thomson to all be of roughly equal standing. In my mind, Tommo is the legend I would want in my team, Merv has a legendary moustache and Mitch has a broken radar. Look through the stats and similar comparisons are thrown up. Do you want Abdul Qadir or Danish Kaneria. The stats suggest you would go with Kaneria but not me.

Based on statistics, England should not have beaten India 4-0 in 2011 because their greats should have scored too many runs. Based on statistics they certainly shouldn't have won the Ashes in 2005. And I'm sure statistics can show many other anomalous results. Players perform according to their ability which creates great, or not so great, matches and a by product is statistics.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Great skillfull bowler all the best Jimmy. Imagine Steyn, Anderson and Philander in the same team

Posted by sonicattack on (March 20, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

Any bowler who can reach this milestone is not a bad bowler no matter which country he might hail from, sad that this can't be recognised by some. Jimmy Anderson has recovered from the foolish attempt to change his action and performed remarkably well for England and all the very best to him in the future.

Posted by Naresh28 on (March 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Anderson is good,fast, accurate and reminds me of Glen Mcgrath. There is no doubt that Steyn and Anderson are the most deadly of pace bowlers.The body can take only so much before it gives in to injuries. Zaks is gone for India - constant landing on knees and ankles.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

Take a look at Anderson's bowling average and the word "ordinary" seems the best fit. Compare to Ryan Harris, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle etc. Even some of the Aussie bowlers have better averages......

Posted by big_al_81 on (March 20, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

I'm heartened by the last few comments here. I was scrolling down and fearing the worst but I think we English fans should say thanks very much to several fans from other countries who are giving due credit to Anderson. The article doesn't go over the top in praising him, and clearly shows Steyn's superiority which should be obvious to all, but that doesn't stop Anderson, in the last 5 years from being one of the best bowlers in the world, in all conditions.

Posted by peter4135 on (March 20, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

" It is, though, further proof as to why those two are talked about in the same breath." REALLY!!! LMAO...Thanks for making my day Andrew, your just hilarious!!!

Posted by cabinet96 on (March 20, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

I hear fare more people laugh at the thoght of Anderson being in the same league as Steyn than I hear people talk about Anderson being in the same league as Steyn. Stop whinging about something only a few minroties believe, it's really boring, really repatative and makes you portray Anderson to be rubbish when he has easily been the second best bowler in hte world for the last 3 years.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (March 20, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

as an aussie I am not an Anderson fan but I respect how he improved to become consistent one of the top bowlers in the world. Especially after his pasting in the 20062007 ashes. If only some of the current aussies would step up

Posted by Anti-ZCAdmin on (March 20, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Given the circumstances that he has been Jimmy Anderson has done considerably done well for himself and England and he is an integral part of England rise in Test Cricket. Whistle Dale Steyn is arguably the best fast bowler in the world at the moment I strongly do not believe in comparing some of this legends but I just wanna enjoy watching them play while their are still with us

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Yes Graham Thorpe, just like Sir Donald Bradman, also scored just short of 7000 test runs, albeit in 48 more test matches in his career. This serves as further proof why these two are talked about in the same breath.

Posted by Rajasekar_P on (March 20, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Jimmy is a class. When he gets older and older he performs lot. That's tremendous for pace bowler

Posted by stez on (March 20, 2013, 9:55 GMT)


I would out John Snow as a great post-war English fast bowler too even if he didn't make it to 300. Quite a few Australian batsmen would agree I reckon. Maybe Statham and Bedser too?

Posted by Busie1979 on (March 20, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

Just look at the numbers - good bowler - sure. Great bowler? No way. He is a solid international bowler - hardly having the impact of a gazillion other bowlers I have seen - McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Marshall, Donald, Pollock, Steyn, Akram, Imran Khan, Younis, Hadlee.

Up and comers who I am sure will prove to be better - Pattinson, Starc.

There are a heap of other bowlers that would have been better if they didn't keep getting injured (eg. Bond, Harris, Reid, Simon Jones, Gillespie, Alderman) or match fix (Asif).

He is a second tier bowler along the lines of Morkel, Heath Streak, Damien Fleming, McDermott, Lee, Hughes, Akhtar, De Villiers, Gough, Bishop, Zaheer Khan - very good but not great.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 20, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

No, Anderson is not mentioned in the same breath as Steyn. He is mentioned in the same breath as other bowlers with 30+ averages, not compared to a bowler averaging 22s.

For those who conveniently exclude the first few years of Anderson's career to improve his average, you could do the same with Steyn who was expensive as a raw 21 yr old.

Posted by poms_have_short_memories on (March 20, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

I suppose the English fans probably do consider Anderson as great, after all they have only had one great one since WW2 and that is Trueman. But credit where credit is due not bad for a county seamer who desperately relies on swing and swing alone.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (March 20, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Yep, its a fantastic acheivement for JA & the country that gave you the game you love.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 20, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Again the comments full of nothing but comparisons. Jimmy Anderson is closing in on 300 Test wickets, something which is no mean feat as Kevin Framp says. For those of us that have followed Anderson's career, few would have ever thought he'd get here earlier on. When I think of Anderson's achievements, it reminds me of the likes of Ponting: I'd never seen such a sheepish, almost inept batsman as Ponting in the 2000 India vs. Aus. series where India won... And look what happened to Ponting after that!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 20, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Anderson is a class act, lets give credit where credit is due people. As a saffa supporter I am concerned. I am concerned that Anderson is going to get so many buckets of wickets against Australia in their upcoming back to back ashes series, that he is going to take the shine off Steyns current record !!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 20, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

Anderson brings out a lot of jealousy from certain quarters due to him constantly leading England to victory against the likes of India and Australia. From causing Ashes pain to the Aussies to showing off his magical skills on flat pitches in India, Anderson is a bowler that would walk into any team in the world. That some can only be annoyed by that and not appreciate it distinguishes the real cricket lovers from the partisan fans, and is simply golden to watch for Anderson and England's fans and followers.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

Agree that Steyn is in a different league - in my view he ranks with Marshall as the best quick bowler I've seen in 35 years of watching - but Anderson is a magnificent bowler in his own right, and 300 wickets will be a fitting achievement for him. He's learned to get people out on all wickets, and when conditions suit him, he's one of the few bowlers who can be genuinely unplayable. He's also been England's best fielder since Colly retired, which is no mean feat for a fast bowler. Here's to 300 Jimmy - and many more to come!

Posted by Seether1 on (March 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

The mediocrity of English bowlers is shown once again. Only 3 bowlers to reach 300 wickets in over a hundred years of playing test crickets. Yet SA have 4 bowlers who have reached 300 wickets in the last 20 years alone i.e. Donald, Pollock, Ntini and Steyn with Jacques Kallis soon to follow. The only time Steyn and Anderson should be mentioned in the same breath is when telling people NOT to mention them in the same breath!

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Currently Steyn has 332 wkt in just 65 test matches as compare to 295 of anderson in 79, with steyn having 5 ten wkt & 21 five wkt haul and anderson having just 1 ten wkt & 12 five wkt hauls. Oh come on u still want to compare these two...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

Very good bowler. Sean Cilliers, he played quite a few of those matches in Sri Lanka, UAE and India - not exactly paradise for a pacer. Don't get me wrong, Steyn is the better bowler, but Anderson is as class as you can get these days.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (March 20, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

@Sean Cilliers: He's the only one you can. That's still an impressive record, even if Steyn is a class above, Jimmy is for sure the next best though.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Jimmy Anderson is a fine bowler, one of the best today, but Fred Trueman towers above him in workload and achievement. These days cricketers make much of their excessive workload. Compare these figures, for ALL forms of cricket: Trueman: 621 games played, 100,687 balls bowled 2332 wickets Anderson: 406 " " 40,358 " " 887 " Averages? Fiery Fred took 307 test wickets at 21.57 and 2304 first-class wickets at 18.29 Anderson's 295 test wickets cost 30.46 " 547 first-class wickets 27.47 Good luck, Jimmy. You're good, and I hope you have several productive years left, but you'll never rate with Fred!

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (March 20, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

To say that Steyn and Anderson can be spoken of in the same breath is like saying that Shane Warne and Daniel Vettori can be spoken of in the same breath.

A bowler who averages 30 over his career does not belong in the same league as someone who averages 21 over his....

Morne Morkel, Zaheer Khan and even Mitchell Johnson are more suitable peers for James Anderson than the great Dale Steyn who counts Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lillee, Richard Hadlee, Waqar Younis, Allan Donald and Fred Trueman (in other words, all time greats) among his peers......

Posted by bored_iam on (March 20, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Who talks about Anderson in the same breath as Steyn??!!??

Steyn is a class apart. Or to quote another commentator here on cricinfo: "Anderson may perhaps be the 3rd best fast bowler in the world currently, after Steyn & Daylight "

Posted by RxNatha on (March 20, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Everyone has different highs and lows in their career and eventually settles into a pattern. Anderson has reached a settled point and so has Steyn, yet one has an average of 22 vs 30. Who has come out better? Compare Morkel rather who is the 3rd wheel in the SA attack with an average of 30.

Posted by TATTUs on (March 20, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

I mean what Anderson did during this period mentioned is what Heath Streak did during his career! 250 wickets at 28. Is it that GREAT?

Posted by TATTUs on (March 20, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

Too many articles and comparisons on an above average player. I am fed up!

Posted by   on (March 20, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

How can you talk about Steyn and Anderson in the same breath, only 6 wickets more than Steyn in the same period but 14 more matches! That at least 20 more innings to bowl in!

Posted by Surajdon9 on (March 20, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

All the best Jimmy..............

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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