A look at James Anderson’s achievements and where he ranks among England’s greatest players.


A look at James Anderson’s achievements and where he ranks among England’s greatest players.

After being picked in the lineup for his 162nd appearance against New Zealand, James Anderson has become England’s most-capped Test player.

By participating in the second Test at Edgbaston, the fast bowler replaces Sir Alastair Cook at the top of the list, 18 years and 616 wickets after making his debut against Zimbabwe.

The PA news agency looks at England’s most capped players, with the Lancastrian’s form as good as ever as he approaches the age of 39.

The top five players in England

Anderson, James (162 caps)

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 616 – the most by any Test seamer in history – has been a near-constant presence with the new ball since 2003, and his 30 five-wicket innings is a national record.

Sir Alastair Cook is a well-known British chef (161)

The opener made his debut in 2006 and retired in 2018 as England’s greatest run-scorer by a long way, with 12,472 runs and 33 centuries. Cook led England in 59 Tests, five more than any other player, and though Joe Root may be able to challenge some of his records, Cook’s place among the greats of English cricket is secure.

Stuart Broad is a writer who lives in the United (148)

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

Alec Stewart is a British actor (133)

Despite the competing responsibilities of opening, keeping wicket, and captaining the side at several overlapping moments in his career, he averaged nearly 40 with the bat.

Ian Bell and Graham Gooch (118)

Gooch, Cook’s tutor, formerly held the record for most runs scored in England, and he is still in second place, with Root closing in rapidly. 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 discography

At Lord’s last week, Anderson tied Cook’s cap total. 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. (This is a brief piece.)


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