Bowling a cricket ball fast is essentially an exercise in contorting the human body into an unnatural and often painful shape, then delivering the ball with enough pace, accuracy and movement to try and get the batsman out. In Test cricket history, no pace bowler has undergone this task more than James Anderson三级成人视频. He has already delivered 32,359 balls, a number that will mushroom further from Boxing Day.
In Centurion, Anderson will become the ninth cricketer to play 150 Test matches. It is, most obviously, a testament to his multifarious skills. But it is, too, a testament to how Anderson, and England, have managed his body. In some ways this is the most remarkable part of Anderson’s career三级成人视频: simply that, into his 38th year and 17 years after his international debut, he is still here, willing his body to keep bowling fast - fast enough, anyway - and outsmarting opposing batsmen with his swing, seam and savvy.
To understand the depth of Anderson’s achievement, glance through the batting averages of the eight men to play 150 Test matches before him. These read 53.8, 51.9, 51.1, 55.4, 51.4, 52.3, 45.4 and 50.6; it is quite a drop to Anderson’s 9.7. He has played more matches than any ever specialist bowler, and fully 15 more than the next most fast bowler. When he walks out at Centurion, Anderson will do so as not merely as a cricketing marvel but as a medical marvel too.
三级成人视频His longevity is part serendipity, and mostly a tale of remorseless personal drive.
First, the serendipity. Anderson is “naturally lean and built well to be a fast bowler,” observes Ben Langley, the ECB’s medical lead. “Extra weight is the enemy of the fast bowler.” And Anderson’s diverse multi-sport upbringing, Langley suggests, “means his body has adapted well to many movements and stresses, providing him with a longer-term protective effect.”
These traits gave Anderson the physiological make-up that made it possible to sustain a long career. As Simon Jones or Mark Wood would attest, not all pace bowlers are as lucky.
To convert these gifts into a 17-year international career, Anderson has taken ownership over every facet of his game. “He prepares very hard on the cricket field but also maximises opportunities for rest and recovery,” Langley explains. “He doesn’t bowl for the sake of it, every ball has a purpose. When he trains, it’s as hard as he plays which prepares him at the right intensity.
“He keeps his preparation refined, does what he knows works for him and will scrutinise any input from science and medicine before accepting them into his regime.” Anderson’s desire to extend his career has encompassed exploring new diets, including considering becoming vegan earlier this year.
三级成人视频“Jimmy’s a brilliant professional,” says Peter Moores, Anderson’s former coach with England and Lancashire. “If you watch Jimmy warm up before a game now he’s very specific in what he does - he doesn’t waste overs or energy.”
Anderson has pared back his method, so that he is “technically efficient with his running and bowling action,” Langley explains. This enables Anderson to consistently deliver 20 or more overs in a day’s play, run more than 40kms over a Test match - and to do so in the back-to-back Tests that have become the norm. His recent calf injury has both highlighted how much England miss him and how rare such absences have been. Since Moores selected him for the second Test in New Zealand in March 2008, the moment when Anderson became a regular, he has played 129 of England’s 150 Tests.
三级成人视频This not only attests to Anderson’s skills and shrewdness in how he manages himself. It is also because he is extraordinarily tough. The strain that Anderson has put on his shoulder over his Test career is such that getting out of his seat after flights can be a struggle. It hurts when he puts a T-shirt on in the morning. And it even hurts when he brushes his teeth.
Throughout his career, “There have not been many occasions when I have bowled pain free,” Anderson wrote last year. He frequently takes ibuprofen to numb the pain.
Yet Anderson does not allow the strain on his body to hinder his performance. “He effectively blocks out the noise of injury,” Langley explains. “Jimmy rarely believes he is injured so his mindset remains focussed on performance.”
三级成人视频Anderson has said that, “If I wasn't playing for England then I'd be playing for a weekend side somewhere.” This passion has sustained him throughout his career. “He just loves playing," Moores observes. "He loves Lancashire, he loves England. The great players that go on have all got a deep-seated love for the game.”
三级成人视频A sportsman of Anderson’s ilk is tritely described as once in a generation. But to England, Anderson has been a player of two generations.
Darren Gough was England’s pre-eminent swing bowler of the 1990s; Matthew Hoggard was their pre-eminent swing bowler of the 2000s. Gough had a nine-year Test career, Hoggard an eight-year one. So in duration, Anderson’s career is the equal of both of them combined. In substance, it is considerably greater: he has played 24 more Tests than Hoggard and Gough combined, and bowled over 1100 overs more. Most importantly, he has taken 98 more wickets than Hoggard and Gough combined, and more frugally.
三级成人视频The comparison with Gough is particularly instructive. Besides representing different coloured roses in county cricket, the duo share skiddy actions, a relish for bowling at high-octane moments, the heart to bowl on the flattest pitches at the worst times and both an ability to extract swing with the new ball and reverse swing with the old.
The most salient contrast with Gough, perhaps, is less one of skill - however exceptional Anderson’s gifts - than of management. Anderson has now played almost exactly the same number of first-class games as Gough: 246 to 248. But while Anderson played 149 Tests but just 82 first-class county games, along with a smattering of England warm-up or A-team matches, Gough played 170 first-class county games to go with his 58 Tests.
三级成人视频When Gough played, international players were considered county employees who turned out for England. Now, England players are emphatically England employees who sometimes turn out for their counties.
三级成人视频The process began with the introduction of central contracts in 2000, accelerating as the schedule has become more remorseless, and England’s financial resources have allowed greater investment in supporting the team. Unlike in Gough’s era, Anderson’s county appearances have been rationalised for the benefit of his country. Crucially, too, Anderson’s white-ball commitments have been managed assiduously, even before he stopped playing one-day internationals after the 2015 World Cup.
三级成人视频And so in some respects Anderson’s longevity has been vindication for English cricket’s strength & conditioning age, the years of big money in cricket and central contracts. Much of this era - Loughborough, the coterie of support staff and the way that England have sought to manage players’ diets - has often been mocked. Yet the two quick bowlers in Test history who have bowled the most deliveries - Anderson and Stuart Broad - have both emerged from this era. Previous generations of English pace bowlers were too often enervated by their treatment from England and their counties; the care with which Anderson has been treated has elongated his career and extended his greatness.
三级成人视频The moment of Anderson’s 150th Test match will be vindication for the drive, skill and insatiable thirst for self-improvement that have underpinned a remarkable career. But for English cricket, Anderson’s landmark will also be a collective triumph.