Next in line: Five candidates to become James Anderson’s successor

James Anderson, the legendary English fast bowler, has defied Father Time for years, remaining a vital cog in the England Test attack. However, at 42, questions about his successor naturally arise. Who will step up and fill the void left by one of the greatest bowlers of all time? Here, we explore five promising fast bowlers who could be next in line to spearhead the English Test bowling attack.

James Anderson’s impact on English cricket transcends mere statistics. His swing, seam, and relentless determination have inspired a generation of bowlers. However, with age comes the inevitable decline, and cricket fans are starting to look towards the future. Identifying Anderson’s successor is a crucial task for England, and several young fast bowlers are vying for that prestigious role.

This article delves into five English fast bowlers who possess the skills and potential to become the next James Anderson. We’ll analyze their strengths, weaknesses, and how they might adapt to the demanding role of leading the England Test attack.

Proven Performers: Experience and Pace
Ollie Robinson: Raw Talent with a Point to Prove

Ollie Robinson, despite already being 30 years old, is a relatively late bloomer in Test cricket. He burst onto the scene in 2021 with a fiery spell against India at Lord’s, taking a crucial wicket and showcasing his raw pace and swing. Injuries have hampered his progress, but when fit, Robinson has displayed the potential to be a genuine match-winner. His ability to generate steep bounce and seam movement, especially in helpful conditions, makes him a dangerous proposition for any batsman.

However, consistency has been a concern for Robinson. He needs to overcome injury issues and refine his control to become a reliable leader of the attack.

Stuart Broad: The Stalwart Seeks Redemption

While not necessarily a successor in the traditional sense, Stuart Broad, Anderson’s long-time bowling partner, deserves a mention. At 37, Broad still possesses exceptional swing bowling skills and a wealth of experience. If he can maintain his fitness and rediscover his rhythm, Broad could offer valuable support and guidance to a younger generation of fast bowlers.

Rising Stars: Youthful Exuberance and X-Factor
Matthew Potts: Accuracy and Control with a Sting in the Tail

Matthew Potts, the 25-year-old Durham pacer, has impressed with his consistent performances in the County Championship. His ability to swing the new ball and maintain a tight line and length makes him a valuable asset. He showcased his talent on his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s, picking up the crucial wicket of Kane Williamson.

Potts might not be the express pace bowler England is traditionally known for, but his accuracy and control can be equally effective, especially in swinging conditions.

Saqib Mahmood: A Swinging Weapon with Raw Power

Saqib Mahmood, the right-arm fast bowler of Pakistani descent, possesses a potent combination of swing and raw pace. He impressed in the 2019 Ashes series in Australia, displaying his ability to trouble the best batsmen in the world. Injuries have hampered his progress, but when fit, Mahmood can be a genuine game-changer.

Developing greater consistency and learning to adapt his pace to different conditions will be crucial for Mahmood to reach his full potential.

Rehan Ahmed: The Teenage Prodigy with Bags of Potential

Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old leg-spinner, might not be a traditional fast bowler, but his inclusion on this list highlights the depth of talent available to England. Ahmed’s exceptional leg-spin bowling offers a different dimension to the attack and can be particularly effective against sub-continent teams. While his experience at the highest level is limited, Ahmed’s talent is undeniable, and he could be a crucial part of England’s future bowling attack.


Replacing James Anderson will be a monumental task. However, England has a pool of talented young fast bowlers ready to step up and take on the challenge. From the experience of Robinson and Broad to the youthful exuberance of Potts, Mahmood, and Ahmed, England has a variety of options to consider. Who will ultimately become the next James Anderson remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the future of English Test bowling looks bright.

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