England’s 1000th Test match: Alastair Cook and James Anderson, England’s record-setters

On Wednesday at Edgbaston, England will become the first team to reach the landmark of 1000 Test matches when Joe Root’s side take on Virat Kohli’s top-ranked India. It is fitting that their two most successful players will feature in this historic Test match.

Alastair Cook and James Anderson, by all means, are giants of the Test format and have contributed heavily to England cricket’s success in what has been their third most successful decade, the 2000s, after the 1910s and 1950s.

Cook, 33, is England’s most capped played (156) and captain (59), the joint second most successful with 24 wins and stands right at the top of the run charts with 12,145 – the only Englishman to cross the 10,000-mark. Behind him is Graham Gooch with 8,900. No Englishman has scored more than Cook’s 32 Test hundreds.

In the all-time list, Cook is at sixth behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921), Ricky Ponting (13,378), Jacques Kallis (13,289) and Rahul Dravid (13,288). The next most successful active Test batsman after Cook is South Africa’s Hashim Amla with 9,022.

In October 2016, Cook had become the become the first England batsman to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, and the youngest overall, beating Tendulkar’s record set in 2005 by 169 days  at the age of 31 years and 157 days.

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He made his Test debut against India at Nagpur in March 2006, scoring 60 and 104*. As his career progressed, the leadership potential identified at a young age was proven true and he took over the Test captaincy from Andrew Strauss in late 2012. As captain, Cook scored 4844 runs at an average of 46.57, with 12 centuries and 24 half-centuries.

Anderson, who today turned, 36, is England’s leading wicket-taker of all time with 540 from 138 Tests and if he lasts all five matches against India this summer is in line to surpass Glenn McGrath’s mark of 563 to become the most successful fast bowler of all time.

Behind him are his new-ball partner Stuart Broad (417), Ian Botham (383), Bob Willis (325) and Fred Trueman (307). For bowlers to have bowled at least 2,000 deliveries, Anderson has the best average of the current England squad – 27.23.

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A Test career that started in 2003 with a five-wicket haul on debut versus Zimbabwe at Lord’s has seen the Lancastrian surpass several milestones. In 2015, Anderson went past Ian Botham’s long-standing England record of 383 Tests wickets in his 100th Test. In 2016 he crossed 450 with a match-winning haul of eight wickets as England went up 2-0 over Sri Lanka. It was after that performance – which followed ten wickets at Lord’s – that Anderson soared to the top of the ICC rankings for Test bowlers for the first time in his illustrious and record-setting career.

In September 2017, he became only the third fast bowler – and sixth overall – in the game’s history to reach the milestone of 500 Test wickets; this moved him back to No 1 in the ICC rankings. During this year’s Ashes in Australia, Anderson and his long-time pace partner Stuart Broad overtook Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh to become the most successful new-ball pair in Test history.

Anderson has had the most success against Australia, claiming 104 wickets in 31 Tests, followed by 82 in 19 matches versus India. He has featured in four Ashes series wins: in 2009 he took 12 wickets from five Tests, followed by 24 from five in 2010, 22 from five in 2013 and 20 in three Tests in 2015.