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England's James Anderson becomes first fast bowler to 700 wickets in Test cricket

James Anderson dismisses India's Kuldeep Yadav to become first seamer and third bowler overall to 700 Test wickets; spinners Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan other players to the milestone; Anderson, 41, took first wicket on debut at Lord's in 2003, bowling Zimbabwe's Mark Vermeulen

James Anderson (Getty Images)
Image: England's James Anderson is the third bowler overall to 700 Test wickets, after Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne

England's James Anderson has become the first fast bowler and third player overall to take 700 wickets in Test match cricket.

The seamer, 41, dismissed India's Kuldeep Yadav on day three of the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala to reach a landmark that had only previously been attained by spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708).

Anderson removed India tailender Kuldeep caught behind by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes in his 187th Test for England, closing in on 21 years after he took his first Test wicket on debut by bowling Zimbabwe's Mark Vermeulen at Lord's in May 2023.

Sir Alastair Cook, who captained Anderson in 49 Tests, said on TNT Sports: "It is a superb achievement. His hunger to get better and win games of cricket for England is unbelievable.

"The physical challenges he has overcome to be able to play nearly 190 Test matches is a joke and his skill is a joke."

The Lancashire bowler endured a difficult Ashes series last summer, taking five wickets in four Tests at an average over 85, but has returned to form in India, taking 10 wickets in four Tests at an average of 33.50.

Anderson's Milestone Wickets

  • 1. Mark Vermeulen, Zimbabwe
  • 50. MS Dhoni, India
  • 100. Jacques Kallis, South Africa
  • 150. Graeme Smith, South Africa
  • 200. Peter Siddle, Australia
  • 250. Lahiru Thirimanne, Sri Lanka
  • 300. Peter Fulton, New Zealand
  • 400. Martin Guptill, New Zealand
  • 500. Kraigg Brathwaite, West Indies
  • 600: Azhar Ali, Pakistan
  • 700: Kuldeep Yadav

Anderson and former England team-mate Stuart Broad (604) - who retired at the end of the 2023 Ashes - are the only fast bowlers to reach 600 wickets in Tests, with Australia's Glenn McGrath third on 563 and West Indies' Courtney Walsh fourth on 519.

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Anderson became the most prolific seam bowler in Test cricket in September 2018 against India at The Kia Oval, when he removed Mohammed Shami to pick up his 564th Test wicket and move past McGrath.

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Michael Atherton believes England fast bowler, James Anderson has to be considered as one of his country's greatest sportsmen.

The paceman was the first English bowler to 500 Test wickets a year earlier when he bowled West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite.

Anderson has taken 32 Test five-wicket hauls for England and 10 wickets in a match on three occasions - twice at Trent Bridge and once at Headingley.

Anderson's former England team-mate Steven Finn added on TNT Sports: "At the foothills of the Himalayas, he has reached the insurmountable summit for a fast bowler in Test match cricket.

"Nobody will ever taken more than 700 Test wickets as a fast bowler. He's a remarkable man and player and he's still going."

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