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Anderson takes the field for his final test at Lord's

Anderson takes the field for his final test at Lord's

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No fast bowler has taken more than the 41-year-old Anderson's 700 Test wickets and only India batting hero Sachin Tendulkar has played more matches (200) in the format

Staff Correspondent

Publisted at 4:54 PM, Wed Jul 10th, 2024

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James Anderson was thrust straight into the action in his final Test as England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to field against the West Indies at Lord's on Wednesday.

Stokes's decision was greeted by huge cheers from the crowd at the 'Home of Cricket', with spectators eager to see Anderson do what he does best in the paceman's 188th and final Test of a record-breaking career spanning two decades.

No fast bowler has taken more than the 41-year-old Anderson's 700 Test wickets and only India batting hero Sachin Tendulkar has played more matches (200) in the format.

Overcast skies promised to assist swing bowler Anderson, who made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's back in 2003.

But looking ahead to the 2025/26 Ashes, England believe now is the right time to end his international career.

"We can expect from Jimmy complete heart, desire to win games for England," said Stokes at the toss. "He's a consummate professional. That first ball that's bowled today, the crowd will be right up."

Both teams had already named their sides for this first of a three-match series, with England handing debuts to the Surrey duo of wicketkeeper Jamie Smith and fast bowler Gus Atkinson.

"Gus and Jamie coming for debuts is always an exciting thing," he added. "They've got a very high ceiling, very talented."

West Indies gave a debut to Mikyle Louis as the 23-year-old batsman became the first cricketer from his home island of St Kitts to represent the West Indies in their 96 years in Test cricket.

"We would have bowled too but we've got a job to do with the bat now, we'll focus on that," said West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite.

He added: "Batting first at Lord's, what an occasion. We've got to enjoy it, that's what I'm telling the boys, and we've got to believe to achieve."

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