James Anderson took 7 wickets in the pink ball Test against the Kiwis on New Zealand soil. He seems to be giving new life to the cliché ‘Age is just a number’. Otherwise, even at this age can be a top-ranked bowler!
English pacer James Anderson, aged 40 years and 207 days, has returned to the top of the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings. Test cricket last saw a 40-year-old bowler top the rankings in 1936.
The ICC’s ‘historic’ rankings say Australian pacer Clary Grimmett became number one in 1936 at the age of 44 years and 2 months. But Grimmett is not number one on the list of oldest numbers ones.
In 1933, Australian left-arm spinner Bart Ironmonger became number one at the age of 50 years and 10 months. In all, James Anderson is number five in the oldest number-one record. The other two over 40 number one’s are ‘Tick’ Freeman (41 years 2 months) and Sidney Burns (40 years 9 months).
After 15 years in New Zealand, Anderson made a big contribution to England’s Test match win. He took a total of 7 wickets in two innings in that match. He has advanced two steps in the ranking. Pat Cummins dropped two places to number three on the day of Anderson’s rise to the top.
Cummins was demoted after not performing in the first two Tests of the series against India. Cummins took 2 wickets in 20.3 overs in the first Test in Nagpur. He took 1 wicket in 13 overs in the first innings of the second Test. But in the second innings, he didn’t bowl a single ball.
The Australian captain lost the number one spot after being at the top for 1466 consecutive days. But Anderson’s top position is going to be difficult for him to hold. Because Ravichandran Ashwin is number two. The Indian spinner has a rating of 864, which is just 2 less than Anderson.
Australia’s batsmen have no answer to Ashwin’s spin in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He took 14 wickets in the first two Tests. There are still two Tests left in this series. Where Ashwin has a chance to perform and rise to the top.
Anderson reached the top for the sixth time in a long career. After making his debut in this edition in 2003, he topped the list for the first time in 2016. He was last at the top of the Test bowlers’ rankings in 2018. Anderson lost the top spot to South African pacer Kagiso Rabada in November of that year.