May 31, 2002
A star in the making
After impressing for club side Burnley, a 19-year-old James Anderson makes his first-class debut for Lancashire against Surrey at Old Trafford
. Takes four wickets in the game including Mark Ramprakash for a first-ball duck in the second innings.
December 15, 2002
His promising first-class performances earn him a call-up from England's academy side to the one-day team in Australia. After an inauspicious debut
he impresses with late-swing and composure. A remarkable spell of 1 for 12 in 10 overs at Adelaide
isn't enough to bring England victory, but does secure him a place in the squad for the World Cup that followed.
February to March 2003
Hero to zero
England looked like they had unearthed a gem when Anderson used the heady atmosphere of the Newlands evening to bowl England to victory over Pakistan. His man-of-the-match 4 for 29
included Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana in successive deliveries of darting away-swingers.
Two games later he crashed down to earth as Australia came back from the dead at Port Elizabeth
to dump England out the World Cup . With Australia needing 14 runs to win from the final two overs, Anderson's attempted slower-ball was carted for six and the next ball for four to make the finish a formality.
A lively return
Despite his fatal final over he returns for his first home season of international cricket as England's latest saviour. His duly delivers 5 for 73 on his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's
before taking six wickets in the second Test at Chester-le-street
June 23, 2003
His bowling continues to fire as he records England's first ODI hat-trick against Pakistan at the Oval
and persistently troubles the touring South Africans as England take the Natwest series.
Hot-streak comes to an end
Sporting a new red streak across his hair, finally his rocketing start began to wane as Graeme Smith's broad bat proved unbreachable. In a thrilling five-match series shared two Tests a piece, Anderson falls behind Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison's rising profiles. He finishes with 15 wickets in this series at 39.86.
September 2003 to September 2005
Net bowler supreme
Enters a long a frustrating period of his career where a combination of injury, management interference and even the odd Test match provoke much naval gazing and hand-wringing from England supporters.
While Michael Vaughan developed and polished the fab-four as England mobilised for the Ashes charge, Anderson found himself on the periphery. A single Test in Colombo
followed by a few Tests against the West Indies at home included only the occasional flash of his talent, such as his 4 for 52 at the Oval
that included Brian Lara.
In between he cut a disconsolate figure, bowing perfect overs against a single cone in practice while England were winning consecutive series.
March 18, 2006
Returning with the ring of fire
After English cricket stumbled upon reaching the summit of the 2005 Ashes victory, Andrew Flintoff's Jonny-Cash inspired side overcame a glut of injuries to record a memorable victory against India in Mumbai
. Anderson proved pivotal, taking 4 for 40, including Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, in the first innings and Virender Sehwag for a duck in the second.
Injury strikes again
Just when England needed Anderson to build a side for the upcoming Ashes defence, he went down with a stress fracture to the lower back that ruled him out of the 2006 home season.
November 2006 to January 2007
Having barely had any match practice, Anderson was included in Flintoff's team of crocks to challenge Australia at the Gabba
. Unsurprisingly he struggled, taking 1 for 195 in the match. His luck didn't improve as England were crushed by Ricky Ponting's relentless team.
March to April 2007
Another failed World Cup
Having bowled himself back into form through England's victorious one-day series in Australia, Anderson duly broke his finger and despite displaying his heart for a fight by battling through the pain to play in England's hopeless World Cup campaign, he was never at his threatening best.
Rolling back the years
Having made his debut five years earlier, Anderson seemed something of a veteran by 2007. Yet he was only 24 and after half a decade of coaches messing about with his action, Anderson took matters into his own hands. He returned to the head-ducking style that launched his career and announced himself as a genuine threat again with 5 for 42 against India at Lord's
Daisy becomes leader
His penchant for inconsistency moved some to label Anderson 'daisy'. Some days, such as his blistering 5 for 73 against New Zealand at Wellington
, he does. Some days he doesn't, such as the next Test at Napier
where he took 1 for 153 from 24 overs in the match. However as England desperately looked to move on from 2005 by ditching Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison, Anderson was elevated to 'leader' the attack.
May 2008 to September 2009
As England went through from Vaughan to Pietersen before settling on Strauss as their captain, Anderson became a more vocal figure in the dressing room and on the field. Visibly growing into his senior role he became Strauss's go-to bowler and his nerveless batting at Cardiff
secured England a crucial draw in the opening Test before his 4 for 55 in the first innings helped skittle Australia at Lord's
and set up an Ashes victory.