More than 14 years ago and on his debut, a nervous 20-year-old with puppy fat bowled Mark Vermeulen with an inswinger at Lord’s
When Jimmy Anderson’s 500th Test wicket finally came it had a very familiar feel to it, though you would need a long memory to say precisely why. It was late on Friday afternoon when he bowled Kraigg Brathwaite, the batsman stuck half-forward and beaten by an inswinger that whipped by the bat and knocked over his middle stump. Cut back 14 years, three months and 16 days ago, to Anderson’s debut and his first Test wicket, in a match against Zimbabwe here at this same ground. It was late on Friday afternoon when he bowled Mark Vermeulen, the batsman stuck half-forward and beaten by an inswinger that whipped by the bat and knocked over his middle stump.
If the setting was the same and the dismissal looked similar, the teams have changed out of all recognition. Anderson is the only man who played on either side in that match who is still in Test cricket today, and even he has changed almost beyond recognition.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/08/jimmy-anderson-500th-test-wicket
Attempt to make Test wicket-taking history held up by West Indies lower-order batsman impervious to an English master at work
Jimmy Anderson recently explained that fate is what keeps him sane, a crutch that helps him cope with the vagaries of the game. “You have to try to think that way,” he said, “because cricket is a game where you can bowl out of your skin and get no wickets, and you can bowl a pile of rubbish and get five-for.”
At 35, he has grown to be pretty phlegmatic about it all but even his faith in the kismet of cricket must have been tested on Thursday afternoon, which he, and everyone else at Lord’s, spent waiting for a wicket which never came. At stumps, Anderson had 499 Test wickets. He needs one more to become the first Englishman to take 500.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/07/jimmy-anderson-magic-500-wickets-england-west-indies