England pacer James Anderson became the first fast bowler to complete 600 Test wickets, on Day 5 of the rain-curtailed third Test against Pakistan, which ended in a draw. England's premier fast bowler in Tests, Anderson made his Test debut in 2003 against Zimbabwe at Lord's, one year after his international debut. He is 38 now and has played Test cricket for 17 years and is not willing to stop any time soon, with the 600th wicket giving him more energy to continue representing England in whites.
Here, we look at all key milestones in Anderson's career, from his first wicket to his 600th.
In his debut match at Lord's against Zimbabwe, Mark Vermeulen became Anderson's first victim when he completely misread the line of the ball. It was a straight delivery from Anderson but Vermeulen ended up playing inside the line, the ball beat the bat and clipped the top of off stump. This is how the journey began for Anderson.
In the 4th Test against South Africa at The Oval in 2008, Anderson claimed his 100th wicket, and it was a big one too. Proteas' batting mainstay Jacques Kallis fell in the trap of Anderson in the first innings of the match for just 2 runs. Jimmy swung the ball in from good length and Kallis was caught in front of the stumps. The ball hit his left pad and umpire Aleem Dar had no questions in his mind and raised the finger as England went on to celebrate his 100th dismissal.
Anderson's 200th Test wicket came in form of Australia'a Peter Siddle in the third Ashes Test in 2010 played at Perth. It was a perfect delivery to a tail-ender. He pitched it up and swung it away. Siddle had a go at it and the ball took the edge, flew to Paul Collingwood in slip, who was not known for dropping many.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 25, 2020
New Zealand's Peter Fulton was Anderson's 300th Test victim during the first Test at Lord's between England and Black Caps in 2013. Anderson bowled in the popular off stump channel, and Fulton was in two minds whether to go forward or not, the ball took the edge and flew to Graeme Swann in slips. That was it. The 300th.
Another Kiwi fell to the brilliance of Anderson and this time in 2015 when New Zealand toured England. This time, it was Martin Guptill. Anderson angled it in to Guptill and drew him forward but the edge took the ball to the slip where Ian Bell took a safe catch, giving Anderson 400 reasons to celebrate the wicket.
Not a bad way to reach 500 wickets milestone as Anderson clean bowled West Indian opener Kraigg Brathwaite with a massive inswinger, in the third Test during West Indies' 2017 tour. The right-handed batsman had no clue about the delivery and before he knew it, the ball had done the damage. There it was, number 500 for Anderson.
Azhar Ali would be remembered for his fighting hundred in the third and last Test at Southampton. But he would also be remembered for becoming the 600th victim for Anderson. The England pacer bowled in the off stump channel, the ball sprung off the pitch, surprising Azhar as he edged it to Joe Root in slip. Anderson, after watching catches being dropped and the rain almost delaying the occasion, had a smile on his face and a deep sense of satisfaction as he became the first fast bowler to claim 600 wickets in Tests and only the fourth bowler to the milestone.
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