Even as fans continue to debate whether James Anderson is the greatest Test pacer or now, the 41-year-old continues to pile up numbers that belies his age and the difficulties faced by pacers in Test cricket.
That James Anderson is now in his 22nd year in Test cricket is a testament to his longevity and greatness. That he has the most number of maiden overs by a visiting bowler in India since 2010 is a tribute to his consistency and smartness. In conditions that don’t offer assistance to fast bowlers, Anderson has played his role as a holding or run-containing bowler superbly.
This is reflected in this stat. In this regard, Anderson has surpassed even Nathan Lyon, who has bowled almost 200 overs more than Anderson in India.
In his 11 Test matches in India in the past 13 years, James Anderson has bowled 288.3 overs, out of which 78 have been maidens. This is the highest number of maiden overs earned by a visiting bowler in India since 2010. Nathan Lyon, who has sent down 483.2 overs, has bowled 61 overs, which is 17 fewer than Anderson’s tally.
To put this stat further in context: 27 percent of James Anderson’s overs in India since 2010 have been maidens, while for Lyon, even though the pitches have favored him, it is only 12 percent. Anderson’s economy of 2.54 in this period is significantly better than Lyon’s 3.16, which makes the England veteran’s feat even more remarkable.
Anderson may not have a lot of wickets to show – which is understandable considering the Indian pitches don’t offer him anything and that Indian batters – but even when England have lost the last two Test series in India, he has kept things tidy from his end.
This is what happened on Day 1 of the Vizag Test on Friday. Even on a good batting surface, India managed 336/6. While the spinners chipped in with the wickets, James Anderson created the pressure from his end, returning with brilliant figures of 17-3-30-1. At 41 years and 187 days, Anderson is now the oldest fast bowler to have played a Test match in India.