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 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-arm pacer 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).
His rise to the top at the spritely age of 40 years and 207 days also means he is the oldest bowler to hold the top ranking since Australian great Clarrie Grimmett did so back in 1936.
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. (ANI)