back icon


1000 FC wickets under the belt and Anderson seems as hungry as ever

Last updated on 06 Jul 2021 | 07:39 AM
Google News IconFollow Us
1000 FC wickets under the belt and Anderson seems as hungry as ever

James Anderson bagged his 1000th wicket in first-class cricket in the ongoing county match between Lancashire and Kent

19 years is a long time span for a career in cricket. Let alone if that includes competing with the very best on the international front as well. When a player has spent as much time as James Anderson has on a cricket field, he becomes a walking record book. Each time when Anderson takes the field from now till whenever he decides to hang up his boots, there will be some record around the corner he is likely to break.

Anderson made his First-Class debut in 2002 against Surrey at his home ground Old Trafford, Manchester. After 19 years and 35 days, at the same venue, he registers his 1000th First-Class wicket, 216th player to achieve this feat in FC.

Making his FC debut two month before turning 20, Anderson bagged four wickets in his first appearance. Ian Ward was his first FC wicket. He ended up with 46 wickets in his debut season at an average of 20.3. Among bowlers who had 40+ wickets in the 2002 County Championship, his average was the second best. His 100th, 200th and 700th FC wicket came when he was playing County Championship and so did his 1000th. Only five away from his 1000th wicket at the start of the match against Kent, Anderson bagged a five-wicket haul in his seventh over itself. If Anderson has not already surprised everyone with the longevity of his prime, he went on to bag seven for 19 runs, his career-best spell.

Starting from Ian Ward till Heino Kuhn, Anderson has been a nightmare for every top-class batsman. Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Clarke, David Warner and Kumar Sangakkara are a few of his bunnies and that’s certainly one heck of an elite list.

Anderson’s high percentage of wickets in the multi-day format have come when he has donned the England shirt: 61.6 percent to be precise. Among the top 20 all-time highest wicket takers among pacers, Anderson’s percentage of international wickets is the sixth highest. Among those 20, only eight of the pacers have bagged more wickets in international than FC.


Just like fine wine, as years pass by, Anderson has grown richer. He has played 56 percent of his matches after turning 30, unmatched in comparison to any other pacer. This in itself is a great achievement as a quickie. More than half of his wickets in Tests have come after he has turned 30. In fact, among all the pacers, Anderson’s 349 wickets after turning 30 is the most. Only two other pacers have bagged more percentage of wickets after turning 30, Courtney Walsh (65.7%) and Sir Richard Hadlee (64%).

It is just not the wickets list that has seen a drastic improvement. Anderson had a bagged over 200 wickets at an average of 30.4 before turning 30 as compared to 23.6 after 30. Among pacers who have bagged 350+ wickets, there are very few bowlers who have excelled after 30+ and Anderson is certainly one of them. In this list, Anderson and Chaminda Vaas are the only two bowlers who averaged more than their age before turning 30.

But in the last decade, Anderson has put his over dependence on helpful conditions to well and truly registered himself as a great of the modern era. In fact, he turned out to be one of the most improved pacers among those with 350+ wickets. Anderson’s bowling average improved by 22.3 percent after he turned 30. In this list, only Sir Richard Hadlee had a better improvement percentage (28.6%).

When a player is improving each passing year irrespective of his age, why stop him? With the advent of T20 cricket, it will not be a surprise if Anderson turns out to be the last bowler to reach 1000 First-Class wickets. If his body supports for some more time, which as of now looks in great shape for another decade, there is a certain chance of him bagging 700 Test wickets or even overhauling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 200 Tests.  

Related Article