The remarkable career of James Anderson continues to reach new heights as the England quick overtook Australia captain Pat Cummins and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to become the No.1 ranked bowler on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Rankings.
Anderson rises to the top on the back of his seven-wicket haul for England during their emphatic 267-run victory over New Zealand in Mount Maunganui last week, with the evergreen 40-year-old ending Cummins’ four-year reign as the top-ranked Test bowler.
It is the sixth time that Anderson has held the title as the premier bowler on the Test rankings, with the right-armer first scaling the heights back in May 2016 when he went past teammate Stuart Broad and Ashwin to hold top billing in a distinguished international career that commenced way back in 2003.
More recently Anderson held on to the top ranking for five months in 2018, with the veteran speedster losing the top spot to South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada in November of that year.
But the old adage that life begins at 40 certainly rings true for Anderson, who has found a fresh lease of life under new coach Brendon McCullum as England have registered 10 wins from their last 11 Test matches.
Anderson has been a mainstay in the majority of those triumphs and the England legend now has collected a total of 682 Test scalps to be third on the all-time list for Test wickets behind spin duo Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708).
Oldest bowlers to be ranked Test #1
|Bert Ironmonger||50y 10m||Feb 1933|
|Clarrie Grimmett||44y 2m||Feb 1936|
|‘Tich’ Freeman||41y 2m||Jul 1929|
|Sydney Barnes||40y 9m||Feb 1914|
|James Anderson||40y 6m||Feb 2023|
Anderson’s lead at the top is very slender though, with Ashwin remaining in second place on a total of 864 rating points and just two rating points behind the England pacer.
Cummins drops to third on 858 rating points, but could still regain top billing with some strong performances during Australia’s ongoing Test series against India.
While the shakeup at the top of the Test bowler charts is the highlight of a big week of change on the rankings, there is also plenty of players on the move in other categories.
New Zealand pair Tom Blundell (11th) and Devon Conway (17th) rise to career-high positions on the rankings for Test batters, while England trio Ollie Pope (23rd), Harry Brook (31st) and Ben Duckett (38th) also earn the same recognition with their own highest ratings.
India players didn’t miss out completely on the latest rankings update either, with spinner Ravindra Jadeja moving up seven places to ninth on the updated list for Test bowlers.
Teammate Axar Patel – who is the second leading run-scorer for the series thus far with 158 runs – is also rewarded by moving up two places to fifth overall on the latest Test all-rounder rankings.
And while the majority of eyes have been on Test cricket during the past week, there has been movement at the top of the T20I rankings courtesy of the recently completed three-match series between Afghanistan and the UAE.
Afghanistan may have clinched a narrow 2-1 series triumph over the Emirati side, but the fact talisman Rashid Khan only managed four wickets from the three games saw the star spinner relinquish the top T20I bowler ranking to Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga.
There was some good news for UAE too – despite the series loss – with star batter Muhammad Waseem rising six places to seventh overall on the list for T20I batters after his 199 runs for the series at an average of 66.