Home > Features > Facts and figures >

James Anderson’s 250 ODI wickets for England: Another glittering achievement for swing merchant

James Anderson is the only England bowler to have taken 250 ODI wickets © Getty Images
James Anderson is the only England bowler to have taken 250 ODI wickets © Getty Images

On May 25, 2014, James Anderson became the first bowler from England to take 250 One-Day International (ODI) wickets. Bharath Ramaraj looks back at Anderson’s ODI career and his twinkling achievement.

Back in 2002, a young tearaway quick from Burnley, by the name of James Anderson burst on to the scene by tormenting opposition ranks in County circuit with his pace and late swing. He impressed County cricket’s cognoscenti, especially, when in a televised game played between Lancashire and Hampshire at Old Trafford, he took three wickets with his boomerang-bending swing bowling.

Marcus Trescothick, the England and Somerset opener, was one of those impressed by Anderson’s heavy dollops of skill. When the England camp was ravaged by injuries during the Ashes 2002-03, Trescothick recommended Anderson’s name to the England camp and the rest is history.

From nowhere, Anderson was suddenly given a window of opportunity to bowl at the likes of Mathew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Gilchrist clambered into his bowling and the 20-year old cut a forlorn figure that day. However, in the next game, England played against Sri Lanka, and Anderson showed sheer willpower to make a rousing comeback. He plotted the downfall of Sanath Jayasuriya with a well-disguised slower one and finished up with creditable figures of two for 48.

Since then Anderson has gone onto trail the sunshine of glory many times. In the ICC World Cup 2003, he bowled an out-swinging yorker to send Mohammad Yousuf’s stumps somersaulting in the air. He was suddenly the talk of the town and everyone expected too much from him.

Despite taking a hat-trick against Pakistan at the Oval in 2003, he soon lost the plot. His action was remodeled which didn’t help his cause. There were occasions when Anderson passed the litmus test of bowling on flat decks with flying colours. For instance, he did well in Pakistan and India in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in 2005-06, but was a touch inconsistent.

It was only when Anderson went back to an action that was based on his old one, did he bowl with a relaxed state of mind and began to taste the glory of success. However, when England toured India in 2008-09, he was scattered to shreds by Indian batsmen. He kept pitching it up to the Indian batsmen on flat decks. No wonder the batsmen feasted on his bowling. It also has to be said that Kevin Pietersen, the captain tended to favour taller and hit the deck bowlers like Steven Harmison, Stuart Broad and Andrew Flintoff over him.

In the ICC World Cup 2011, Anderson misfired. After a long tour of Australia, he looked jaded and yet again in an attempt to generate swing, he pitched the ball up. Since that World Cup though, Anderson has been in fine fettle. He is now the leading wicket-taker for England in ODIs and when playing against Sri Lanka in the second game at Chester-le-Street, he took his 250th ODI wicket.

Leading wicket-takers for England in ODIs:

Player M W Ave ER 5WI
James Anderson 177 250 28.85 4.96 2
Darren Gough 158 234 26.29 4.38 2
Andrew Flintoff 138 168 23.61 4.33 2
Stuart Broad 108 168 28.37 5.22 1
Ian Botham 116 145 28.54 3.96 -
Phil DeFreitas 103 115 32.82 3.96 -
Paul Collingwood 197 111 38.68 4.96 1
Tim Bresnan 84 108 35.2 5.45 1

Figures accurate as of May 26, 2014.

Anderson, since 2011 World Cup, has changed his modus operandi ever so slightly, as he looks to bowl back of a length, angling it into the batsmen and extracting seam movement on most occasions. Only when he finds swing in the air does he look to bowl a fuller length. He has reaped the rewards for it, as since the World Cup, he has taken 60 wickets in 35 games at 21.08.

When on song, Anderson has the ability to penetrate every crevice in the batsmen’s defence with subtle changes of wrists and fingers. The England think-tank will hope that his below par performances in the Ashes 2013-14 was just an aberration, and he can continue to scale compelling peaks in the near future.

Here is a bowler who has come a long way from the days when Lancashire’s player-development manager John Stanworth had to persuade their coaching staff to have a look at him. A fairy tale story indeed!

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Australia to play an ODI in Ireland

Rajasthan U-19 player slams record 18 sixes in double ton

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Eden Gardens may host fourth ODI

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Drink ginger tea to relieve a migraine naturally

Australia to play an ODI in Ireland

Allocate spectrum to telcos within 90 days after payment: Panel

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s double standards; Puneet Issar’s aggressive avatar

Box Cricket League 2014: All you need to know about the sports reality show

How BMI and BMR play a role in weight loss

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Microsoft to rebrand Nokia to Microsoft Lumia: Report

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here