England vs India: James Anderson stands tall in an era of ageless champions

September 2035. Oval. The ultimate ash test for summer.

As England celebrate a 4-1 win in the series, playing the kind of hyper-aggressive test cricket they learned at The Hundred, 37-year-old Sam Curran called time in his international career.

“It’s a dream,” Curran says. “Not just to finish like this on my turf, but to do that wicket-sharing with Jimmy. We’ve had such a strong new ball partnership for the past decade.”

Curran discovers his fellow opening pitcher and nods James Anderson into the spotlight.

“I’m very pleased for him,” Anderson, 53, says, in sight of 1,200 test wickets. “Of course I will miss him, but I will enjoy watching him fool himself on Strictly Come Skateboarding.

“Yeah, we’re going to need to find a new opening thrower, but we thought so when Stewart Broad retired. And Chris Wokes. And Olly Robinson. And Jofra Archer.”

We live in the age of the lifelong sports champion.

Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Pirates to success in the Super Bowl at the age of 43. 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer at Euro 2020. Germany’s Dorothy Schneider won the gold for dressage team at the Tokyo Olympics at the age of 52. He had knee surgery in the hopes that he could extend his career into his forties.

At 39 years and 26 days old, and it took 3-6 years to set England on the path to kicking India out for a measly 78, James Anderson has been alongside modern stars drinking the elixir of eternal class.

Not a seasoned warrior, but an absolute master of his craft capable of making a cricket ball that dances with a small movement of his fingertips. Not aging like fine wine, but turning water into wine.

Anderson’s bowling average in 2021 – 19.51 – is his best in a calendar year since 2017 and the second-best test career he started in 2003.

On average, he was bowling faster this summer than he did in 2015 and was the fastest player in England on the first day of the third Test at Headingley.

The graphic shows James Anderson's test career record: 165 Tests, 35,334 balls, 620 wickets, 26.46 average, 56.17 hits, best numbers 7-42
The stats are correct at the end of the first rounds of India

Longevity does not happen by chance. It is a way of life.

In early 2018, Anderson joined the BBC Test Match Special to comment on England’s one-day series in Australia. He was just part of the side that crushed him 4-0 in the ashes. He was angry.

“Why does everyone in the media keep saying I’m never going to tour Australia again?” He said.

“Of course I’ll be back. Why would I want it to be my last memory of playing in Australia?”

Earlier this summer, Anderson was back with the BBC, covering an international one-day event at Emirates Riverside.

England scrambled to beat Sri Lanka, allowing everyone to watch the Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany.

Not Anderson – a football fan, remember. He was wearing training equipment, playing bowling in the field.

He’s talked in the past about ways he could extend his career, even if the idea of ​​a vegan diet never came to fruition.

“As I get older, I feel like I have to work a little harder in the gym,” he said on Wednesday. “I feel like I’m cutting into the net, trying to save for when it matters in the middle.

“The biggest test in Test cricket is mentally, being ready to bowl big spells and play big matches. That’s something I’ve always had.”

Handing 35,334 balls in a Test Cricket does take its toll, even if you’ve got a smooth movement like George Clooney holding your wife and asking if she’d like to dance.

There were times when Anderson’s right shoulder was in so much pain that he couldn’t lift a toothbrush to his mouth. He says his quads can flare up when he has his first “sit” of the day.

“It still hurts,” he said. “You find a way to bear it.

“Coming off the field during the second test at Lords, everything is pretty painful, but it gives a lot of satisfaction knowing I’ve made a change in the team.”

It’s not just wear and tear.

For every test Anderson takes the ball, he must also hit.

The way England have been hitting lately, Anderson’s time between removing his bowling shoe and pecking on his pillow rarely extends the length of one of his rings. Tailor’s Podcast.

When he gets to the middle, he faces the possibility of being bombarded similar to what happened to Gaspreet Bumrah in a frightening barrage of rangers at Lourdes, when Anderson said it was like a Bumrah. He didn’t even try to get him out.

However, Anderson retaliated. Not by basic intimidation of short balls, but by surgical deconstruction of India’s highest order on a wonderful morning at Headingley. In the right hand, a scalpel is as dangerous as a sledgehammer.

This was an exposition on how to take advantage of the hint of motion, maintain metronomic control of length and provide an examination that India failed with disastrous consequences.

He only took five balls before KL Rahul drifted off into an unnecessary drive. Cheteshwar Pujara played a bowed striker as a man whose boots were full of concrete.

The headline, main course and coup of grace was to find the edge of Virat Kohli, whose nightmares must be haunted by a man from Burnley. Seven times Anderson Kohli declined in Test cricket – no one else did that much.

It was not only Anderson who set the scene for England’s best day of Test cricket this summer but also reflected the momentum from horror show That was the end of the second test and perhaps a change in the course of a series that India was about to dominate.

His characters were pure. Three wickets for six runs of eight overs, with five spinsters. He wasn’t required to run again, as three other players – all at least 10 years younger than him, including one who was just four years old when Anderson gave his first Test – zip through India’s middle and lower rankings.

It seems increasingly pointless to speculate about how long Anderson might last.

He threw a hint during the second test, when he said he hoped his five-point space wouldn’t be the last time he appeared on the Lord’s Honor Board. He will be around 41 years old when England plays there again.

Then again, perhaps England’s problem will not be replacing Anderson, but finding partners at the other end.

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