England’s James Anderson, a 40-year-old seamer, is back at the top of the International Cricket Council’s test rankings for the sixth time in his illustrious career, and he appears to be getting better with age like a fine wine.
Anderson, who is 40 years and 207 days old, has overtaken Australian paceman Pat Cummins, who had topped the ICC test rankings for four years. He is now the oldest player to do so.
In the first test that England won by 267 runs over New Zealand last week in Mount Maunganui, Anderson, who has taken more wickets than any other fast bowler in history, was crucial to England’s 10th victory in 11 tests.
His career total increased to 682 with his seven wickets, and for the first time since his debut series in 2003, his average is below 26. Anderson has taken 202 wickets in 56 tests since turning 35, a pitiful average of 20.56, and he does not appear to be losing his edge.
Clarrie Grimmett of Australia, a legspinner, was the oldest player to reach the top of the ICC test rankings in 1936.
In the second test, which begins on Thursday in Wellington, strike partner Stuart Broad will be back alongside Anderson.