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James Anderson: five great Test hauls on road to 700


England’s James Anderson became just the third bowler and first paceman to take 700 Test wickets when he dismissed India’s Kuldeep Yadav during the fifth Test at Dharamsala on Saturday.

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At the age of 41, the veteran spearhead is appearing in an England record-extending 187th Test despite undertaking one of the most arduous roles in the five-day game for more than 20 years.

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AFP Sport looks at five of Anderson’s most memorable Test performances.

Anderson, having already made a name for himself at the 2003 World Cup, marked his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in May 2003 by taking 5-73, with four of his victims bowled. It was the first of his 32 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket.

Nottingham’s Test venue has a reputation for helping swing bowlers, so it was no surprise that Anderson enjoyed one of his best returns at Trent Bridge in June 2008, when he took 7-43 against New Zealand. He accounted for the first six wickets to fall as England won by an innings and nine runs.

A longstanding criticism of Anderson has been that he is far more effective in home conditions, where he has a bowling average of 24.50, than abroad (30.22). But Anderson did take 24 wickets in the 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia as England triumphed 3-1, and was the leading bowler on either side. England have not won a series in Australia since.

Indian pitches have long had a reputation as a graveyard for seam bowlers, yet by taking six wickets in the third Test in Kolkata in December 2012, Anderson played a key role in a seven-wicket win that contributed to a 2-1 series success — England’s first in India for 28 years.

Anderson made history by becoming the first seamer to take 600 Test wickets when he had Pakistan captain Azhar Ali caught in the slips by Joe Root during a rain-marred encounter at Southampton in August 2020. The match was played during the Covid-19 pandemic and there were no spectators to acknowledge his feat, with Anderson having to make do with the applause of his team-mates.

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