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5 of James Anderson’s best moments across his 187 Tests for England

James Anderson has taken 700 wickets for England (Rebecca Naden/PA)
James Anderson has taken 700 wickets for England (Rebecca Naden/PA)

James Anderson will bring the curtain down on his epic England career with one final Test match at Lord’s this week against the West Indies.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five of the 41-year-old seamer’s best moments across his 187 Tests, in which he has taken 700 wickets – by far a record for non-spin bowlers.

Test wicket number one – Mark Vermeulen, Lord’s (May 2003)

You never forget your first and as the eulogies have poured in following the announcement he was being pensioned off, Anderson’s maiden Test wicket 21 years ago has had a prominent airing. It was a terrific delivery – Anderson clipping the top of off-stump, even if Zimbabwe opener Vermeulen made it look better than it was by playing down the wrong line. The then 20-year-old was off and running.

Test wickets 191 & 192 – Ricky Ponting & Michael Clarke, Adelaide (December 2010)

James Anderson celebrates dismissing Australia captain Ricky Ponting (Gareth Copley/PA)
James Anderson (second right) dismissed Australia captain Ricky Ponting in 2010 (Gareth Copley/PA)

After escaping Brisbane with a draw, Anderson snaring Australia’s captain and vice-captain to leave the hosts three down with just two runs on the board was the moment the tide turned in the 2010/11 Ashes. Both Ponting and Clarke were persuaded to go hard at deliveries swinging away, only to edge to Graeme Swann at second slip. Anderson’s wickets and Alastair Cook’s runs secured a seminal 3-1 England win.

Test wicket 280 – Sachin Tendulkar, Kolkata (December 2012)

Anderson starred in England's series win in India in 2012 (Rui Vieira/PA)
Anderson starred in England’s series win in India in 2012 (Rui Vieira/PA)

A remarkable spell of fast bowling on a spinner’s paradise at Eden Gardens was rewarded when Anderson found the outside edge of the India great, with Matt Prior holding on to a fine low catch. Having also dismissed India’s superstar-in-waiting Virat Kohli among his six-wicket match haul, Anderson’s contributions were described as “the major difference” in England’s 2-1 series victory – no travelling team has won a series in India since.

Test wicket 308 – Michael Clarke, Trent Bridge (July 2013)

Anderson was fired up after dismissing Michael Clarke at Trent Bridge (Rui Vieira/PA)
Anderson (right) was fired up after dismissing Michael Clarke at Trent Bridge (Rui Vieira/PA)

Anderson, by now, was working on the wobble seam delivery and seemed to have it perfected with a stunner to leave one of the best batters of the age looking like a novice. The ball moved in then away, kissing the top of off-stump and the bad blood between the pair meant an even more pumped-up celebration that usual from Anderson. His 10 wickets in this match – his best haul against Australia – secured a gripping win.

Test wicket 564 – Mohammed Shami, Kia Oval (September 2018)

Anderson became the most prolific seamer in Test history six years ago (Steven Paston/PA)
Anderson became the most prolific seamer in Test history six years ago (Steven Paston/PA)

Anderson became the most prolific fast bowler of all-time – overtaking Australia’s Glenn McGrath on the list of Test wicket-takers – and it was almost a carbon copy of his first wicket. Which is more, it sealed a 4-1 series victory for England over India in what was Cook’s final Test.