James Anderson © Getty Images
James Anderson © Getty Images

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow usually is the best-placed man to enjoy and appreciate the famous seam and swing of James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker. He has reposed faith in Anderson to push for greater glory at another one of his happy hunting grounds Nottingham at Trent Bridge which happens to be the venue for the third Test between India and England in the 2018 series.

The 36-year old seamer is still fit and raring to go in the longer format of the game. His outstanding match returns of 9/43 in the second test spelt the death-knell for India at Lord’s. His control of the swinging ball is impeccable and batsmen invariably end up fending and poking and giving up their wicket, at the deliveries he bowls with amazing consistency.

“Just take that last game at Lord’s…nine wickets for 43 runs. There’s no reason he can’t keep going, body permitting,” said Bairstow. “His stats are speaking for themselves and there’s potential for him to break every record going for a seamer, I don’t think he’s too far off,” Bairstow said.

WATCH: James Anderson – The King of Swing

Anderson’s best figures in terms of ascending averages in Test cricket:

Overs BPO Mdns Runs
Wkts
Econ Ave SR Opposition Ground Start Date
25.1 6 11 45 10 1.78 4.5 15.1 v Sri Lanka Leeds 19-May-16
25.2 6 10 43 9 1.69 4.77 16.8 v India Lord’s 9-Aug-18
37 6 15 71 11 1.91 6.45 20.1 v Pakistan Nottingham 29-Jul-10
36.1 6 12 73 9 2.01 8.11 24.1 v West Indies Lord’s 7-Sep-17
36 6 11 98 9 2.72 10.88 24 v New Zealand Nottingham 5-Jun-08
42.3 6 10 125 9 2.94 13.88 28.3 v West Indies Chester-le-Street 14-May-09
55.5 6 13 158 10 2.82 15.8 33.5 v Australia Nottingham 10-Jul-13

Anderson’s spell at Lord’s was remarkable in terms of the damage it wreaked on the Indian batting line-up. His returns of 9/43 in the second Test were his personal second-best in terms of bowling average through a completed match and the 14th best on the same scale in the history of the game, with minimum 9 wickets as a qualifier.

Best BBM in terms of averages in Test cricket:

Player Overs BPO Mdns Runs
Wkts
Econ Ave SR Opposition Ground Start Date
J Briggs (ENG) 33.3 4 16 28 15 1.24 1.86 9 v South Africa Cape Town 25 Mar 1889
H Ironmonger (AUS) 22.5 6 12 24 11 1.05 2.18 12.4 v South Africa Melbourne 12-Feb-32
GD McGrath (AUS) 33 6 21 27 10 0.81 2.7 19.8 v West Indies Brisbane 23-Nov-00
ERH Toshack (AUS) 19.3 8 7 31 11 1.2 2.81 14 v India Brisbane 28-Nov-47
GA Lohmann (ENG) 25.3 5 11 45 15 2.1 3 8.5 v South Africa Port Elizabeth 13 Feb 1896
GAR Lock (ENG) 24 6 15 29 9 1.2 3.22 16 v New Zealand Lord’s 19-Jun-58
CA Walsh (WI) 36 6 15 55 13 1.52 4.23 16.6 v New Zealand Wellington 10-Feb-95
GAR Lock (ENG) 37.4 6 19 48 11 1.27 4.36 20.5 v West Indies The Oval 22-Aug-57
SF Barnes (ENG) 37.4 6 14 57 13 1.51 4.38 17.3 v South Africa The Oval 12-Aug-12
FS Trueman (ENG) 16.4 6 7 40 9 2.4 4.44 11.1 v India Manchester 17-Jul-52
JM Anderson (ENG) 25.1 6 11 45 10 1.78 4.5 15.1 v Sri Lanka Leeds 19-May-16
MD Marshall (WI) 27.4 6 10 41 9 1.48 4.55 18.4 v England Manchester 30-Jun-88
JC Laker (ENG) 68 6 27 90 19 1.32 4.73 21.4 v Australia Manchester 26-Jul-56
JM Anderson (ENG) 25.2 6 10 43 9 1.69 4.77 16.8 v India Lord’s 9-Aug-18

Anderson is just 10 wickets behind Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 leading into the third test at Trent Bridge. The fit seamer from Lancashire would look to become the leading wicket-taker amongst seamers by overtaking McGrath by the end of the Test series.

Leading wicket-takers amongst seamers in Test cricket:

Player Span Mat Inns Balls Runs
Wkts
GD McGrath (AUS) 1993-2007 124 243 29248 12186 563
JM Anderson (ENG) 2003-2018 140 261 30778 14839 553
CA Walsh (WI) 1984-2001 132 242 30019 12688 519
N Kapil Dev (INDIA) 1978-1994 131 227 27740 12867 434
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ) 1973-1990 86 150 21918 9611 431

The Lancastrian already has 60 scalps at Trent Bridge – 19 more than closest challenger Alec Bedser – and Bairstow is looking forward to watching a master at work again. “It’s great fun, you’re always in the game,” he said. “It’s fun until he throws the big in-ducker in and you’re not expecting it so it goes for four byes. I think a lot of batsmen would like to know which way the ball is swinging when it’s Jimmy but I don’t think he gives you too many clues,” the wicket-keeper batsman said.

“It’s literally a case of him slightly changing his action and wrist position, he doesn’t drop his left shoulder when he bowls the inswinger like a lot of bowlers tend to do. That’s what makes him so lethal and so dangerous in England. Both Jimmy and Stuart (Broad, his new ball partner) will be licking their lips when it comes to the next Test,” he concluded.