A look at James Anderson’s record and where he stands among England greats

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James Anderson will this week become England’s most capped player when he makes his 162nd Test appearance.

Barring injury, Anderson will jump to the top of the list on Thursday when the second Test against New Zealand gets under way at Edgbaston.

With the Lancastrian’s form more impressive than ever even as he approaches the age of 39, the PA news agency takes a look at England’s most capped players.

James Anderson, second left, celebrates his 600th Test wicket, against Pakistan last year
James Anderson, second left, has improved with age and passed 600 Test wickets (Alastair Grant/PA)

England’s top five

James Anderson (161 caps)

England’s record wicket-taker with 616 – the most by any Test seamer worldwide – Anderson has been a near-constant presence with the new ball since 2003 and his 30 five-wicket innings marks another national record.

Sir Alastair Cook (161)

James Anderson embraces Sir Alastair Cook, left, after the former England captain's 161st and final Test
Anderson embraces Sir Alastair Cook, left, after the former skipper’s final Test (Adam Davy/PA)

Making his debut in 2006, the opener retired in 2018 as England’s leading run-scorer by a distance with 12,472 including 33 centuries. He captained his country in 59 Tests – five more than any other player – and, while Joe Root could challenge several of his records, Cook’s place among the greats of English cricket is established.

Stuart Broad (147)

James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad
Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad have shared the new ball throughout their Test careers (Glyn Kirk/PA)

Anderson’s long-time new-ball partner, Broad will seek this summer to be the third Englishman to reach 150 caps. Only Anderson has more than Broad’s 518 Test wickets for England.

Alec Stewart (133)

Averaged almost 40 with the bat despite the competing demands of opening, keeping wicket and captaining the side at various overlapping points in his career.

Graham Gooch and Ian Bell (118)

Cook’s mentor Gooch previously held the record as England’s leading run-scorer, and remains second with Root closing fast. Bell matched his cap tally and played in five Ashes-winning sides on his way to nearly 8,000 elegant runs at 42.69.

Anderson’s record

James Anderson's Test wickets at England grounds
James Anderson’s Test wickets at England grounds (PA)

Anderson matched Cook’s caps total at Lord’s last week. He now has 105 wickets at HQ, one of only three bowlers along with Sri Lanka spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath to reach three figures at a single venue – Broad is five away from joining him in that category at Lord’s.

He also has 64 at Trent Bridge, a ground where he averages under 20 and which will host the first Test of the late-summer series against India. At Edgbaston, venue for the second Test against New Zealand on Thursday and his first chance to set the caps record outright, he has 44 wickets at 22.02 in 11 Tests.

Beyond Cook, only six other Test cricketers have more caps than Anderson. Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 for India will be out of reach but former Australia captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting share second place on 168, surely within range for Anderson. Jacques Kallis played 166 Tests, with 164 apiece for Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rahul Dravid.

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