Ashes hero and England record-breaker - James Anderson's Test highlights

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James Anderson became only the third seamer to reach 500 Test wickets on Friday as England took on West Indies at Lord's.

Already England's record wicket-taker in the five-day format, Anderson demolished Kraigg Brathwaite's middle stump to bring up his latest landmark.

Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath are the other pacemen to have claimed 500 Test scalps, while iconic spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble have also reached the landmark.

In honour of Anderson joining such an elite club, we pick out the highlights of his Test career to date.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Anderson had already made a notable impact in one-day cricket, following a rapid rise to prominence, when he made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's in May 2003.

The fresh-faced newcomer bowled Mark Vermeulen to claim his maiden Test scalp, before running through Zimbabwe's tail in devastating fashion to finish with 5-73.

Six more wickets came Anderson's way in the next Test against Zimbabwe, while he picked up seven against South Africa at Trent Bridge - a venue that would frequently prove a happy hunting ground - in his fifth Test.

However, the Lancastrian's career went downhill amid attempts to remodel his action and injury struggles, and it was not until 2008 that a reinvigorated Anderson fully established himself in England's team.

 

KING OF THE SWINGERS

By the time New Zealand visited England in 2008, Anderson and a certain Stuart Broad were part of a new-look England attack that was starting to thrive.

Anderson proved irresistible in the first innings of the Trent Bridge Test, claiming the first six wickets to fall en route to figures of 7-43 that remain his best in Tests.

New Zealand's batsmen simply could not find an answer to the swing of a player who went on to be named one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year.

 

AN ASHES HERO

Anderson was certainly recognised as a key figure for England and the undoubted leader of the attack when Andrew Strauss' side headed to Australia for the 2010-11 Ashes.

He duly claimed 24 wickets in the series, his most notable contribution coming in Adelaide as he struck in each of his first two overs - the first of which also included a run-out - to reduce the hosts to 2-3.

England's 3-1 series win ended a long barren streak in Australia and Anderson could hardly have done more.

 

SUCCESS AGAINST THE ODDS IN INDIA

If Anderson's performances in Australia proved he had developed into much more than a simple swing bowler, his efforts in India at the end of 2012 confirmed his status among the most skilful seamers in world cricket.

He was particularly effective in the second half of a four-Test series that England won 2-1, performing admirably on pitches that offered minimal assistance to fast bowlers.

"We struggled in the batting department but the difference between the bowling sides was James Anderson," said India skipper MS Dhoni after his side had been beaten.

 

ANOTHER TRENT BRIDGE MASTERCLASS SINKS AUSTRALIA

Anderson definitely made the difference at Trent Bridge in a thrilling opening to the 2013 Ashes.

England prevailed by 14 runs in a nerve-jangling finale, Anderson taking the last four wickets to finish with five in the second innings and 10 in the match.

Hailing Anderson in a report for ESPNCricinfo, esteemed cricket writer David Hopps stated: "Once limited if the ball did not swing conventionally, he has grown into the best dry-wicket pace bowler in the world."

 

ENGLAND'S BEST

Ian Botham had been England's record wicket-taker in Tests for 23 years before his tally of 383 scalps was surpassed by Anderson in April 2015.

Anderson had Denesh Ramdin caught at first slip to take his own career haul to 384 during a drawn first Test with West Indies in Antigua. 

"Taking over from an English legend is a hugely proud moment for me," said Anderson, while Botham added: "I couldn't be happier. I've enjoyed watching him bowl; he richly deserves it."

Not that Anderson was finished there. He has remained prolific since passing Botham and may now have his eyes on McGrath's record haul for a Test seamer of 563 wickets.