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PIX: Anderson first pace bowler to take 700 Test wickets

Last updated on: March 09, 2024 11:37 IST

'Nobody will ever take more than 700 Test wickets as a fast bowler.'

IMAGE: James Anderson celebrates after dismissing Kuldeep Yadav to complete 700 wickets in Test cricket, in Dharamsala on Saturday. Photographs: BCCI

England's James Anderson became on Saturday only the third bowler, and the first seamer, to claim 700 Test wickets during the fifth and final Test against India in Dharamsala.

The 41-year-old, already the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket's history, entered his 187th match two wickets short of the 700-mark.

Anderson clean bowled Shubman Gill on Friday and Kuldeep Yadav became his 700th victim on day three of the contest, when the left-hander fell caught behind.

Anderson held the ball aloft while his team mates mobbed him.

The travelling 'Barmy Army' fans gave him a standing ovation as Anderson led his team off the field at the innings break at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium.

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan leads the all-time chart with 800 wickets from 133 Tests, followed by Australia spin great Shane Warne (708).

While Anderson is immensely skillful, his remarkable longevity, attributed to his smooth action, as a fast bowler continues to amaze the followers of the game.

"At the foothills of the Himalayas, James Anderson has reached the insurmountable summit for a fast bowler in Test match cricket," former England bowler Steven Finn told the BBC.

"Nobody will ever take more than 700 Test wickets as a fast bowler. He's a remarkable man and player and he's still going."

India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar praised Anderson's 'stellar achievement'.

"A fast bowler playing for 22 years and performing so consistently to be able to take 700 wickets would have sounded like fiction until Anderson actually made it happen ..." Tendulkar said on X.

Former England captain Alastair Cook also marvelled at the seamer's durability.

"I sat in a selection meeting 10 years ago and we were discussing ... when we were going to rest and rotate him because he can't keep playing all those test matches," Cook said on TNT Sports.

"His hunger to get better and win games of cricket for England is unbelievable.

"The physical challenges he has overcome to be able to play 190 Test matches is a joke and his skill is a joke."

Anderson made his England debut in a one-day international against Zimbabwe in 2002 and played his first Test five months later against Australia.

In his 22 years in international cricket, the Lancashire player has established himself as a complete bowler, who can make the ball talk with his command on swing bowling - both traditional and reverse.

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