England were often criticised for not picking young talent. This raw talent, in his early 20s, bucked that trend.
He rocked the international scene in 2002/03 and his heroics earned him a place in the World Cup squad to cap a meteoric rise. His seamless transition from cricket's backwaters to the big time included the dismissal of Adam Gilchrist on debut.
Anderson announced his entrance to Test cricket with a five-wicket haul in his first match against Zimbabwe at Lord's in 2003. He is also the first Englishman to take a hat-trick in limited overs cricket.
Spates of injuries since then have seen him struggle to impose himself in the same manner, with a tendency to become despondent under pressure.
Anderson was named in England's squad for the 2004 West Indies tour but failed to find a place in the starting XI, in any of the Tests. He got his chance in the rain-marred ODI series, where he played four matches, taking four wickets.