Senior England fast bowler James Anderson turned 39 on Friday (July 30). He is one of the most successful bowlers in the history of Test cricket. His ability to place the ball at the right spot and swing it both ways makes him one of the most unplayable seamers of the captivating game.
Anderson has so far taken 617 wickets in red-ball cricket in 162 matches. He is the third-highest wicket-taker in the longest format and first among fast bowlers. The next best pacer in terms of wickets is former Australian speedster Glenn McGrath (563).
Anderson is also only three scalps away to surpass India legend Anil Kumble to become the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. It is expected that he may leapfrog Kumble in the upcoming five-match Test series against India at home. The Test battle between the two nations starts in the first week of August at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Ahead of the epic series, all eyes will be on the high-quality battle between Anderson and Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The 2014 India tour of England was Kohli’s first-ever visit to United Kingdom (UK), which turned out to be a disaster. He managed to score only 134 runs in 10 innings at a dreadful average of 13.4. Kohli became Anderson’s bunny as he got out while facing the ‘Burnley Express’ four times.
However, in the next visit in 2018, Kohli turned the tables around completely as he didn’t give any chance to Anderson and never got out of his bowling during the entire series. The Delhi-lad finished the 5-match leg as the highest run-scorer. He scored 593 runs from 10 innings at a brilliant average of 59.30.
The upcoming battle will be Anderson vs Kohli 3.0, but who will emerge between the two this time around? Well, former English spinner Graeme Swann has the answer.
Swann remembered how the Indian captain struggled in England during 2014, and Anderson got him out for fun. Swann said that Kohli went back to work on his technique and dominated when he toured England in 2018. The 42-year-old backed Kohli to shine in the upcoming series as, according to him, Kohli can score runs anywhere in the world at any time.
“The thing with Virat Kohli is, the last time he came here absolutely dominated the series. And again, to put the negative stand there and say, ‘Oh, Jimmy Anderson got his out for fun’… Jimmy Anderson ‘used to’ get him out for fun in England, and it was embarrassing. Virat Kohli went away, worked on his game to the extent that he didn’t get out at all to Jimmy, and he dominated in England,” Swann told Sportskeeda.
“I am sure he’s watching the videos, remembering his techniques against that English attack, and I would back Virat Kohli to score runs anywhere in the world at any time,” he added.