James Anderson: The Story of a Cricket Legend’s Incredible Journey

Emerging from Obscurity: James Anderson’s Remarkable Rise to Cricket Greatness

In 2002, a young James Anderson burst onto the scene, taking an impressive 50 wickets for Lancashire in just 13 games. This remarkable performance caught the eye of the national selectors, and he was quickly drafted into the one-day squad for the tour of Australia and then the 2003 World Cup, where he ended up as England’s leading wicket-taker.

Captivated by Anderson’s potential, Nasser Hussain handed the baby-faced bowler his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s. Anderson’s debut was a resounding success, as he scooped up five wickets, sending the stumps crashing on three occasions, much to the delight of the watching photographers.

After a period in the wilderness due to injury and an ill-advised change to his action, Anderson was reunited with Stuart Broad as the opening pair on England’s winter tour of New Zealand in 2008. This partnership proved to be the start of something special, as Anderson learned to control the ball even when it wasn’t swinging, and to perfect a deadly length that was “hard to drive but full enough to get the edge.” The results were immediate, as Anderson claimed 34 wickets in seven Tests, including a stunning seven for 43 in the first innings at Trent Bridge against New Zealand, earning him a place as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.

Anderson’s career continued to soar, and his best domestic Ashes summer came in 2013, when he delivered a masterful performance in the first Test at Trent Bridge, picking apart the Australian batsmen with skill and stamina. This was capped off by him becoming the fourth England bowler to take 300 wickets, and soon overtaking the legendary Fred Trueman as England’s all-time fast-bowling great.

“This was also the summer of Anderson’s highest Test score of 81, again at his happy hunting ground, Trent Bridge.”

The summer of 2014 saw Anderson at the peak of his powers, collecting 37 wickets in seven games at an average of just 20.89. He particularly excelled in his torment of the visiting genius Virat Kohli, whose confidence was crushed by Anderson’s mastery.

Despite a few setbacks, including an incident with Ravindra Jadeja, Anderson pressed on, ripping through India in the final three Tests of the series, taking 13 wickets. In 2018, he collected another 33 wickets against India and Pakistan, including another nine at Lord’s, and becoming the highest-wicket taking seam bowler of all time.

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