Anderson assured of greatness
Posted in England in India 2012-13
There can be little doubt that James Anderson is now firmly established as one of England's greatest seam bowlers.
In claiming 12 wickets on England's first successful Test tour of India since 1985, Anderson again spearheaded his country's attack with distinction.
The Lancashire seamer has long been admired for his effectiveness on home soil, yet his performances away from England have been consistently impressive in recent years.
A master of reverse-swing, he has demonstrated a range of skills and attributes that enable him to take wickets in all conditions.
His success against India, which saw the 30-year-old demonstrate admirable control on largely unresponsive surfaces, certainly is not without precedent.
In only his second game on the sub-continent, the third Test at Mumbai in 2006, Anderson claimed match figures of 6-79 as Andrew Flintoff's men recorded a 212-run victory.
That match offered an indication of what was to come - and not just because it exhibited Anderson's ability to take wickets away from home.
In having Sachin Tendulkar caught behind by Geraint Jones for one, Anderson claimed the scalp of the game's most prolific run-scorer for the first time. He has gone on to dismiss the Little Master on nine occasions in Tests, more than any other player.
Anderson's performances in India this time round will have surprised few.
Since and including the opening Test of the 2010-11 Ashes in Australia, his record in away Tests has been remarkable; a tally of 54 wickets at an average of 26.53 does not flatter him one bit.
It was on the aforementioned Ashes tour that Anderson clearly demonstrated his capacity to excel on his travels, with 24 wickets across five Tests.
Although England's results the following winter were not nearly as impressive, their attack leader continued to excel against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, adding a further 18 breakthroughs in conditions that could hardly have been less helpful to pace bowlers.
In maintaining his outstanding run of winter performances over the last five weeks, Anderson has merely cemented his place among England's best.
A formidable performer enjoying his peak years, he will hope to prosper again on England's next overseas Test assignment in New Zealand, where greater assistance in the form of seam and swing can be anticipated.