England v India: If Jimmy Anderson does get banned he could do with the rest

Fast bowler embodies the craziness of the relentless schedule which is now established for England cricketers

cricket correspondent

In the summer of 1973, Geoff Arnold bowled 1,861 balls in Test matches for England. No seam bowler before or since has delivered more. It was hardly a one-off, because in the preceding winter he delivered 1,455 balls.

It was a workrate that merited his nickname "Horse" (actually from his initials GG). But it almost pales by comparison with what Jimmy Anderson has done these past five years for England. Were he of equine extraction, there would be a strong case for cruelty charges being brought under at least Level Three of the ICC Code of Conduct.

Anderson, of course, is facing suspension after India said he physically assaulted Ravi Jadeja in the Second Test at Lord's last week. If the Burnley Express looks increasingly weary and irritable, his contribution to England may explain why. Anderson, more than any other player, embodies the craziness of the relentless schedule which is now established for England cricketers.

In return, they have never been better rewarded. It is probable that no England fast bowler in history has earned the sort of wages that Anderson is on. But no England fast bowler in history has worked as hard or bowled as much.

In each of the six home seasons starting in 2009, Anderson has bowled more than 1,200 balls in Tests. This summer his output has already reached 1,235 with three matches still to play. But he has also been expected to perform in the winter. Only once, in 2009-10, has he bowled fewer than 1,000 balls.

In between and on top, there have been one-day internationals. All this has allowed Anderson to become England's greatest wicket-taker across all formats of the game, and he is only 20 wickets short of finally overhauling Ian Botham's record of 383 Test wickets for England, which has stood for 22 years.

But the price he has paid is there in Anderson's eyes and in the manner he conducts himself. He is a man who perpetually wants to needle opponents, who gives no impression of enjoying the game despite being one of the most skilful manipulators of a cricket ball to have worn an England shirt.

The compressed programme of this summer's series against India has brought the matter to a head: five Test matches in 42 days, as well as the two already played against Sri Lanka.

A couple of generations have passed since fast bowlers used to deliver 1,000 overs a season – or say they did. They could not understand what all the fuss was about as the years went by. But those overs were frequently bowled in the pleasant backwater of the County Championship.

True, an England seamer might have to return to his county to play in two or three matches between Tests, but he did not have to come in at full tilt. Often it was a case of turning the arm over. Anderson's overs have all been bowled in the glare of the spotlight. There are no breaks in the ferocity of it. All his work is done at the top level, and the figures show that rotation is an occasional visitor in his life.

He has played 26 successive Tests since being rested in 2012 against West Indies, which, admittedly, he did not like. The record among fast bowlers for consecutive appearances is Matthew Hoggard's 40 between March 2004 and December 2006, in which he bowled 1,346 overs.

In the last World Cup in India in 2011 Anderson looked done in by the end. During a match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, which England lost, the camera panned on to him as he prepared to bowl once more and he looked as though he was auditioning to be the portrait of Dorian Gray.

His demeanour has gone from grumpy to surly. What was once almost endearing is now annoying. Without prejudging his Level Three charge under the ICC Code of Conduct which is to be held on Friday, he appears to be on the opposition's case perpetually.

He is a mild-mannered, reserved and deceptively clued-up chap off the field, but these days seems to play with a snarl and never a smile. Anderson's skill in England's cause cannot be doubted. Part of the reason England are not winning is because they have expected too much of Anderson and his like.

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing