By Josh Powell | Ashes 2013
What do England need to do to win the Ashes? They need to find a load of cotton wool, wrap James Anderson up head-to-toe, and stop making him do marathon 13-over spells in order to dig Steven Finn out of a hole.
Anderson’s 10-wicket haul won the opening Test for England and his match-winning display has added further proof that he is the key man in the squad, when it comes to retaining the tiny urn.
England’s wicket takers: First Test v Australia
- Anderson: 10 at 15.8
- Broad: 3 at 31.3
- Swann: 4 at 41.3
- Finn: 2 at 58.5
Incredibly the ‘King of swing’ conceded just 158 runs from 56 overs, taking ten wickets and bowling 13 maidens. While Stuart Broad’s shoulder hampered his play, Graeme Swann disappointed and Steven Finn almost imploded, Anderson was at the top of his game to give England the first Test.
The Lancashire lad holds the key at Lord’s as well and is 13/8 to be England’s top wicket taker in the second test. That price might sound like liquid goal coming from the punting heavens to some people, but there’ll be plenty of people looking for a bet at juicier odds.
Step forward the Paddy Power traders who have, once again, been filling the water cooler with Tequila and decided in their infinite wisdom to offer 7/2 for Jimmy Anderson to be top England first innings wicket taker and England to win the match. Not too shabby for a bowler who, on average, is currently taking test wickets for less than 30 runs each.
England’s leading Test wicket takers
- Ian Botham: 383 at 28.4
- Bob Willis: 325 at 25.2
- James Anderson: 317 at 29.7
Another wicket-haul like the first Test would see Anderson leap-frog Bob Willis in the all-time list of Test wicket takers and he’ll continue to close in on Ian Botham’s record. His bowling average has dipped under 30 with that performance in the first Test and has put him up there with the best in the game.
- Can Anderson bowl Paddy over this week? Step up to the crease and check out the latest Ashes odds here