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Anderson leads Test MVP Rankings for the summer ahead of Cook's final cap.
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With the final Test of the summer drawing a curtain on a successful stay at home for the England team, it is James Anderson who leads the PCA Most Valuable Player Test Rankings, however, all eyes will be on the departing Alastair Cook.
England’s leading run-scorer has called time on his illustrious 12-year stay at the top of the order, and leaves with a host of records that may never be matched. Sixth on the all-time leading run-scorer list in Test cricket, he has the most centuries, catches and caps for England including most consecutive Tests.
However, he admitted that the “mental edge” that has carried him through his career has waned and the Kia Oval Test Match will be the last time the 33-year-old wears the Three Lions.
One man who shows no sign of departing the Test arena anytime soon is the evergreen James Anderson. The fast bowler has 121.59 MVP points, a lead of 23.07 over Sam Curran in second, and is on the verge of another massive milestone in the sport.
Anderson needs just five wickets to overtake Australian great Glenn McGrath as the most successful seam bowler of all time. He will have the opportunity to do this on home soil at the Kia Oval, however, his incredible record in England is not as fruitful in South East London as it is around the country. In 12 Tests, he has taken 39 wickets at 33.38.
This could open the door for young Sam Curran to steal the top spot in the Rankings after a remarkable debut year in the whites of England. He has 98.52 points over four Tests, and is showing what an exciting prospect he is with bat and ball.
Playing on his home ground, he will know the Oval conditions as well as anyone. With the 20-year-old growing in confidence and stature with every game, it is not unthinkable that he could pip Anderson to the top spot with another inspired performance.
Stuart Broad is only a point behind Curran in the Rankings, with the bowler also closing in on a milestone of his own. He needs just one wicket in the fifth Test to overtake Sir Richard Hadlee to eighth on the list of leading Test wicket takers. Four wickets will take him above the great Kapil Dev.
Three points separate Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler in the Test Rankings, with the trio helping England out of some difficult holes with the bat. Woakes and Buttler recorded their maiden Test hundreds this summer, and with an unchanged team it will mean Woakes misses out and Buttler will have a chance to add to his supper which sees him lead the England Overall MVP.
Stokes is starting to look back to his best as well. With the series sealed, this could allow all to play with more freedom and at their destructive best.
Finally, PCA Player of the Month for August Moeen Ali returned to the Test team for the first time this summer and made an instant impact, taking ten wickets in the match and being named MVP for his efforts. He accrued a massive 40.66 points for his efforts in Southampton.
To view the England MVP Rankings, click here.