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James Anderson returns to top of ICC Men's Test bowling rankings for sixth time

James Anderson becomes the oldest player to top the ICC Men's Test Bowling rankings after seven wickets in England's victory over New Zealand after taking over from Australia captain Pat Cummins.

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Ben Stokes paid tribute to Stuart Broad and James Anderson after the England pair became the most prolific Test bowling partnership in history following the victory over New Zealand.

For the sixth time in his career, James Anderson sits atop the ICC Men's Test bowling rankings after his seven-wicket haul to steer England to victory in their first Test against New Zealand. 

The 40-year-old finished with figures of 4-18 in New Zealand's second innings to reach 682 career Test wickets, leaving him 26 shy of second-placed Shane Warne (708 wickets) in the all-time standings led by Muttiah Muralitharan's 800 wickets.

He reclaims top spot from Australia captain Pat Cummins, who drops below Ravichandran Ashwin into third having been No 1 since February 2019.

Anderson, who will turn 41 on July 30, is the oldest bowler to lead the Test rankings since Australia's Clarrie Grimmett in 1936.

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Ben Stokes hailed England's 'brave' performance as his side beat New Zealand in the first Test, while Tim Southee heaped praise on James Anderson and Stuart Broad

Ollie Pope has, meanwhile, risen six places to 23rd in the batting rankings, with Harry Brook's fine form lifting him 12 places to 31st and Ben Duckett moving up 13 spots into 38th.

This time last year Anderson said he was "praying" his England career was not over after both he and Stuart Broad were left out of England's squad for their March 2022 West Indies tour.

England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker had claimed 640 scalps at the time, adding 42 since then as a key contributor to the red ball team's rejuvenation under Brendon McCullum.

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Michael Atherton believes England Test captain Ben Stokes sees James Anderson and Stuart Broad as an 'integral' part of the team.

Victory over New Zealand saw Anderson and Broad become the most prolific bowling partnership in Test cricket history as they leapfrogged Glenn McGrath and Warne's combined total of 1,001 wickets in games played together. The England duo would close out the match with 1,009.

Such has been Anderson's sustained production that he has taken 202 wickets in 56 games at an average of 20.56 since turning 35, with the England great set to celebrate his 41st birthday during this year's Ashes.

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