England's opening bowler and talisman James Anderson will be focussing on leading his country to victory in the fourth Test against India at Old Trafford.
Whilst he will hope to spearhead the English bowling attack to victory he will also be mindful of the fact that, by the end of the summer, he could be the new leading wicket-taker in England's Test match history.
Requiring just 12 more wickets to equal England legend Ian Botham's record Anderson will want to overhaul this during the current series as England face a lengthy lay-off from Test cricket until after the World Cup in February and March next year. Their next scheduled Test match is against the West Indies in April 2015. Anything could happen in a cricketers career in the next year so Anderson cannot take the new record as a given.
Anderson currently has 371 Test wickets whilst Ian Botham took 383 in his distinguished international career. Anderson has played 97 Tests for his country, whilst Botham took 102 games to achieve his feat.
The 32-year-old Anderson is crucial to England's hopes of achieving victory in this current series with India and that is why the England team and supporters would have breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Lancastrian was found not guilty of any wrongdoing, after his alleged push and abuse of Indian Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge, in the first Test match of the series.
With the on-going case and hearing hanging over him the Burnley express responded in style in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl with a man-of-the-match performance, taking match-figures of 7-77, that ensured England headed into the fourth Test with the series all-square at
Anderson has been a constant in the England side for a number of years now and, it is true to say, that when he is not playing England miss him more than any other player. When he does play, and his performances are not up to scratch, like in the second Test at Lords, England struggle for a leader on the pitch in the bowling department.
One of the greatest
James Anderson is undoubtedly one of the greatest bowlers of all time and he will go down in the history books in English and World cricket as a great exponent of the swinging ball with both orthodox and reverse swing. His ability to apply pressure to batsmen by not giving away
runs is admirable and many opposing batsmen, even some of the greats, have struggled to combat his accurate and probing bowling style. Even when he is not taking wickets he very rarely gives away easy runs. Particularly in English conditions he is feared by batsmen all over the World.
The Lancashire paceman will hope that he can not only continue his very successful career and break Ian Botham's record but will also want to the the first Englishman to achieve 400 Test wickets, a ground-breaking achievement in English cricketing history.