12 days of sporting Christmas: Jimmy Anderson breaks Glenn McGrath record

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Jimmy Anderson
Jimmy Anderson celebrates breaking Glenn McGrath’s record for the most Test wickets by a pace bowler

With the final ball of England’s Test summer, Jimmy Anderson became the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history.

Anderson, who has led the England attack expertly for the last decade, overtook Glenn McGrath by bowling Mohammed Shami to hand England a 4-1 series victory over India.

Anderson’s 564th Test wicket (he now has 565th) was the perfect end to the summer.

Joe Root’s side beat India, the No 1 ranked side in the world, Alistair Cook said farewell with a brilliant 33rd Test hundred and Anderson capped it off.

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What made it even more special was that Cook was there to see it happen.

Cook and Anderson are great mates, they have travelled the world together throughout their careers, and it would have been a shame if Anderson had broken the record in Sri Lanka.

Perhaps the only disappointment was that it was not an edge to Cook at first slip.

But Anderson will not mind too much, it was a moment for him to savour in a truly remarkable career.

After bursting onto the Test scene as a youngster in 2003, Anderson was forced to go away and remodel his action.

Jimmy Anderson and Alistair Cook
Anderson and Alistair Cook walk off the pitch together for the final time at the Oval

He’s been a regular for England since 2006 and, considering a stress fracture hampered his progress then, his fitness ever since is one of the main reasons he has been able to break McGrath’s record.

As well as his phenomenal control of the ball, and ability to swing it both ways with ease, Anderson has worked incredibly hard to make sure his body is up to the rigours of international cricket.

Although the year ended with a tougher test in Sri Lanka, where England won 3-0 but Anderson only took one wicket in the first two Tests as spin dominated, he will remember it for a long time.

That England cricket fans were able to celebrate Cook’s farewell and Anderson’s record-breaking feat within 24 hours of each other, meant it was one of the most memorable ends to a summer outside of an Ashes victory.

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