James Anderson, England’s evergreen great, has become the first paceman to bowl 35,000 deliveries in Test cricket. Anderson has made 163 caps since his debut on 22 May 2003 against Zimbabwe, taking 621 wickets at an average of 26.6.
As the players warmed up for the second Test at Lord’s, the cameras inevitably focused on Jimmy, a fitness doubt going into the game due to a tight quad. It was even posited by Ian Ward on Sky Sports that the chief reason Joe Root had elected to bowl at the toss was Anderson eventually being declared available for selection.
Almost everything that can be said in admiration of the Burnley man has already been said, with tribute after tribute being directed at his skill, his longevity and his record. The biggest compliment he can be given is that, as he bowled his 35,000th delivery, it came out as metronomically and efficiently as it did 18 years ago – if not more.
With India resolutely and seamlessly passing the 100 mark without the loss of a wicket, Jimmy remains the home side’s go-to bowler, their talismanic, wicket-taking weapon, athough one strangely ignored for the first hour and a half of the afternoon session. Indeed, that status seems to solidify with every Test match as England’s greatest bowler continues to sharpen his threat. Here’s to several thousand more instances of that noble run-up adorning our summers.