James Anderson: The numbers behind Test cricket's most successful fast bowler

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James Anderson has played 143 Tests, a record for a pace bowlerEngland's James Anderson is now the most successful pace bowler in Test history.Fifteen years on from his Test debut, Anderson's five wickets against India at The Oval took him past Australia great Glenn McGrath and on to 564 wickets.So how has the man nicknamed the 'Burnley Express' got there[/img]

From debutant to record-breaker
James Anderson's changing teammates
[img]" alt="Image of James Anderson in England squad photo in 2018">
James Anderson: The numbers behind Test cricket's most successful fast bowler

Anderson made his debut as a 20-year-old against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2003.His first over in Test cricket cost 17 runs but in his third he bowled opener Mark Vermeulen.He finished the innings with 5-73, the first of 26 five-wicket hauls in his Test career.Anderson now has 564 Test wickets to his name, meaning only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble have taken more.
Click to see content: MostwicketsinTests
Click to see content: Wicketsbyopponents
Click to see content: Wicketsbyground
Click to see content: Averagebyinnings
Improving control?
When selected, Anderson has been a consistent wicket-taker throughout his England career, ever since his five wickets in his first innings.But over time he has seen his economy rate - the average runs conceded in an over - drop significantly as he has become a more accurate, miserly bowler.He now concedes about two runs less per over than when he was most expensive in the early stage of his career.
Click to see content: andersoneconomyrate
Still getting better?
This is a worrying sight for Anderson's opponents: he seems to be improving with age.His bowling average has been lower in the past two years than at any point in his career. There may well be more wickets to come...
Click to see content: Andersonyearbyyearaverage
Simon Hughes, the AnalystI divide Anderson's Test career into four phases:1. Arrival. He burst on to the scene charging in to bowl his swingers, taking wickets but also going for plenty of runs as he tended to strive too often for the unplayable delivery and bowled a lot of hittable half-volleys.2. Disruption. Soon after he made it into the England team there was a general obsession with pace - it came mainly from then head coach Duncan Fletcher - and there was an attempt to lengthen and straighten Anderson's run-up and change his action slightly. He lost his natural outswing for a while, got into trouble for running on the pitch and was generally expensive, going at about four runs an over.3. Graduation. By about 2010 he had reverted to his original run-up, rediscovered his natural skill and fine-tuned it to become a consistent wicket-taker, excelling at home and spearheading England's climb to become the number one Test team in the world.4. Sophistication. Since being spared playing one-day cricket, he has been able to save his precious skills for the Test format. With fitness and expertise, he has evolved into a supreme wicket-taking machine, adept in all conditions, using subtle variations to command great respect from all the world's batsmen to become the most successful Test seam bowler of all time.
Can you name the batsmen James Anderson has dismissed more than five times in Tests?
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