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Five golden summers: when English cricket bathed in Anderson’s magic
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Five golden summers: when English cricket bathed in Anderson’s magic


Jimmy Anderson came from nowhere in 2002 to take 50 wickets for Lancashire in 13 games and was whistled up as a sub, first to the one-day squad in Australia and then to the 2003 World Cup, where he was England’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament. The captain, Nasser Hussain, liked the look of this young pup and picked him for the first Test against Zimbabwe at Lord’s. There, baby faced and with honeyed tips, he scooped up five wickets, sending the stumps caterwauling three times to the ecstasy of watching photographers and so caught the eye that Ferrari sent a helicopter to pick him up for a party.


After some years in the wilderness, following injury and an ill-advised tweak to his action, Anderson and Stuart Broad were put together as an opening pair on the winter tour of New Zealand as the 2005 Ashes-winning attack was disbanded. It was the start of a beautiful partnership and a career-changing summer followed. Anderson learned to control the ball when it wasn’t swinging and to polish a length that was “hard to drive but full enough to get the edge”. Wickets tumbled, 34 in seven Tests, including an astonishing seven for 43 in the first innings at Trent Bridge against New Zealand. He was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

James Anderson of England celebrates taking the wicket of Daniel Flynn of New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 2008View image in fullscreen


His best domestic Ashes summer, and his first (and only) 10-wicket Ashes match, picking apart Australia in a thriller in the first Test at – once again – Trent Bridge. It was an outstanding display of skill and stamina, fast bowling without mercy. Alastair Cook asked for 13 overs without respite on the final morning and Anderson delivered, picking up the final four wickets as England won by 14 runs, though not before Stuart Broad had told him to “stop being an absolute tool” – or words to that effect – for shouting at the fielders. At Lord’s he became the fourth England bowler to take 300 wickets and soon overtook England’s other all-time fast-bowling northern great Fred Trueman.


Anderson had the ball on a string, collecting 37 wickets in seven games at 20.89. He tortured the visiting genius Virat Kohli, whose confidence was crushed, making five single-digit scores and being dismissed by Anderson four times. This was also the summer of his highest Test score of 81, again at happy hunting ground Trent Bridge. His summer was marred by an incident with Ravindra Jadeja, an argy-bargy in the corridor leading to the dressing rooms that could have resulted in Anderson being banned for the series, though in the end both players were let off. Anderson, suitably fired up, then ripped through India, taking 13 wickets in the last three Tests.

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Collected another clutch for the basket, this time 33 wickets in seven Tests against India and Pakistan. Kohli returned, so discombobulated by his adventures with Anderson in 2014 that he intended to warm up by playing for Surrey. That didn’t come to pass and Kohli overcame his Anderson mojo with a magnificent series. But Anderson pressed on, making the most of helpful conditions at Lord’s to take another nine and becoming the highest wicket-taking seam bowler of all time with the final wicket of the series at the Oval. As he sent Mohammed Shami’s stumps flying, he also sealed the envelope on victory and Cook’s England career.

Source: theguardian.com