Guwahati: England pacer James Anderson became the first seamer in history to pick up 600 international Test wickets, as he got Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali out in the final afternoon of the third and final Test of the three-match series at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.
Anderson, whose Test career began in 2003, became the second-fastest man to the landmark taking 33,717 balls, just six balls behind Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 33,711 balls to do the same.
Anderson became the first Englishman and the fourth bowler overall to achieve this milestone, with the all-time greats Muttiah Muralitharan (800) from Sri Lanka, Shane Warne (708) from Australia, and Anil Kumble(619) from India ahead of him in this elite list.
A five-for on debut against Zimbabwe in 2003 launched Anderson’s red-ball international career, and he never really looked back from then on as he went on to establish himself as the leader of the England attack under Andrew Strauss’ captaincy.
He only got better and better as went on playing for England, usually in alliance with his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad, who joined him in the 500 clubs earlier this season.
“Broady being out there as well. Me being out there for his 500th wicket this summer was incredibly special, and for him to be out there today made it so much more special for me.” Anderson said in the post-match press conference, speaking about his great partnership with Broad.
Anderson already holds numerous Test records playing for England. He became England’s most prolific bowler in his 100th Test match against West Indies in 2015, dismissing Denesh Ramdin to reach 383 victims and overtake Ian Botham, and then he became the most prolific seamer in Test cricket ever, when he removed India’s Mohammed Shami at The Oval in 2018, moving on to 564 wickets surpassing Glenn McGrath.
The 38-year old seamer has made it clear in the post-match press conference that he has no immediate plans to retire and has previously expressed his desire to return to Australia for one more Ashes series at the end of 2021.
A quick recap into the key milestones in Anderson’s Test career, from his first wicket to his 600th.
1st wicket: Mark Vermeulen (Zimbabwe), at Lords in 2003
100th wicket: Jacques Kallis (South Africa), at The Oval in 2008
200th wicket: Peter Siddle (Australia), at Perth in 2010
300th wicket: Peter Fulton (New Zealand), at Lords in 2013
383rd wicket (highest wickets for England): Denesh Ramdin (West Indies), in Antigua, 2015
400th wicket: Martin Guptill (New Zealand), in England, 2015
500th wicket: Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies), in England, 2017
564th wicket (most wickets by a seamer): Mohammed Shami (India), at The Oval in 2018
600th wicket: Azhar Ali (Pakistan), at the Ageas Bowl in 2020