After a barnstorming start to the international summer, England’s Burnley-born swing bowler, James Anderson, has been ranked as the number one Test bowler in the world for the first time in his 13-year Test career.
Anderson, who has taken 18 wickets at an astonishing average of 7.72 in two Tests against Sri Lanka this year, has usurped his new-ball partner, Stuart Broad, to the number one spot, with the Nottinghamshire quick dropping down to third after India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.
Three five-wicket hauls in four innings, including a ten-wicket haul at Headingley, against Angelo Mathews’ Sri Lanka have propelled the ‘Burnley Express’ to the top of the International Cricket Council Test bowling rankings.
The 33-year-old is just the fourth English bowler to top the rankings since Sir Ian Botham blazed a trail, claiming the number one berth in 1980, before Steve Harmison and Stuart Broad both spent time as number one in 2004 and 2016 respectively.
Anderson’s tally of 451 Test wickets places him sixth on the all-time leading Test wicket-takers list, some 68 scalps behind West Indies’ Courtney Walsh. Since the home Ashes series in 2009, the wily swing bowler has taken more wickets than any other bowler in the world, with 323 at an average of 26.11.