JIMMY ANDERSON IS ENGLAND’S NUMBER ONE TEST PLAYER
PCA’s FTI MVP rankings provide proof that Jimmy Anderson is England’s stand out Test match player over the last five years
Jimmy Anderson has been England’s most valuable player during their rise to the top of Test cricket, according to analysis carried out by the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
After a hit-and-miss start to his international career Anderson, who turns 30 in July, has matured into one of the world’s finest fast bowlers.
With 258 wickets at 30.16 he overtook Brian Statham this winter to become England’s fifth highest wicket-taker of all time, having played two fewer Tests than his fellow Lancastrian.
England’s success is a consequence of the immense strength in depth the team enjoys, and no less than nine players have clocked up at least 500 individual ranking points over the last five years.
But even in a squad of such quality, there is always someone at the top of the pile, and Anderson’s performances over this period have outshone those of his teammates.
Collating all the data since the system’s inception in 2007, he tops the table with 1078.96 points – almost 100 points clear of his nearest rival, Graeme Swann.
He has also taken more Test wickets (212) than Swann (182) and fellow strike bowler Stuart Broad (147), who are behind him at number two and number four in the all-time rankings.
Not only that, he has bowled far more maidens (459) than the Nottinghamshire duo (324 and 343 respectively) and earned more bowling points (940.33 in comparison to 767.65 and 616.63).
Crucially, given that they are worth more in the FTI MVP Rankings and in the context of a Test match, Anderson has taken more top order wickets than his teammates. Since 2007 his tally reads 146, with Swann next on 110 and Broad on 84.
In Anderson’s case, that means 68% of the wickets he takes are between 1 and 6, in comparison to 60% of Swann’s and 57% of Broad’s.
Peter Moores, who was appointed England coach in 2007 and is now Anderson’s coach at county level, says he is not surprised he is the top-ranking England player over the last five years.
He added, “There are now a number of players in that dressing room whose selection is a given, but these stats spell it out in black and white that Jimmy is one of England’s most valuable players.
“He has always had bags of talent, yet he has matured into one of the finest bowlers in the world and is a significant reason why England reached number one Test status. He has taken wickets consistently wherever they’ve played and not just in English conditions.
“The exciting thing is that he is only just reaching his prime, and as long as he stays fit and healthy, there should be plenty more to come in the next few years – starting with this week’s Test against West Indies.”
Despite having only topped the Test MVPs once outright, Anderson has finished lower than third on only one occasion. He currently averages 21.5 points per game.
The statistics show how consistently he has performed since blowing New Zealand away with a match-winning 7 for 43 at bowler-friendly Trent Bridge in 2008.
The following summer he took 9 wickets in the match against the West Indies at Chester-le-Street, before an 11 wicket contribution against Pakistan in 2010, again in Nottingham.
Any doubts over his ability to perform away from home were erased by his 24 wicket haul at 26.04 in the Ashes winning series Down Under in 2010/11, and he took 5 for 72 at Galle in March this year.
He has also done his cause no harm with a batting average a fraction under 12, having established an England Test record for going 54 innings without being out for a duck.
The FTI MVP awards are a statistical benchmark used by the PCA, coaches and administrators to examine each aspect of a player’s game in relation to his peers at England or county level.
Now in their sixth season, the rankings reward players for every run scored, every wicket taken and every catch held. There are also bonuses awarded to those whose runs and wickets contribute to a win for the team, with captains earning points for their command of the side.
Bowlers receive higher marks for good economy rates, bowling maidens and for getting out batsmen higher up the order. There are also bonuses for five or more dismissals in an innings.
In addition, batting points are handed out for high run rates and the percentage of the team’s runs each batsman contributes. Fielding points are awarded for catches, run outs and stumpings.
With bowlers having the better of it so far in helpful early season conditions, England supporters will be hoping for more of the same from Anderson this summer – starting against the West Indies at Lord’s.
For more information on the FTI MVP ranking system, please visit www.thepca.co.uk. For more info on this release, contact Robin Hutchison at Earlybird Media on 07968 124 132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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