Former Australian cricketer and veteran pacer Glenn McGrath has lauded James Anderson, who scalped his 600th wicket in Tests during the third Test match versus Pakistan at the Rose Bowl, in Southampton.
Hailed by the cricket pundits as the ‘King of Swing’, Anderson is the only pacer and English cricketer to have reached the landmark of 600 wickets in Tests.
The 38-year-old now stands fourth on the list of leading wicket-takers in the longest format of the game, with Muttiah Muralidharan (800), Shane Warne (708), and Anil Kumble (619) occupying the first, second and third positions respectively.
Over the years, the Lancashire born cricketer has established himself as one of the biggest match-winners for England in Test cricket.
He is six Tests short to surpass former colleague Alastair Cook to become the most capped English cricketer in Tests.
In 156 Tests, the Swing Specialist averaged 26.79, picking 29 five-wicket hauls and 7/42 as best figures in an innings.
In the concluded 3-match series against Pakistan, Anderson picked 11 wickets at an average of 23.45, and 5/56 as the best bowling figures.
His 600th wicket was Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali, who nicked his delivery to the slips, only to be caught by Joe Root on the fifth day of the third and final match of the nerve-wracking series.
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There’s no one better than James Anderson: Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath, who grabbed 563 wickets in 124 Tests at an average of 21.64, and who was known for his accurate line and lengths, said that he didn’t possess the skills that the English pacer has.
“I didn’t have the skill level that Jimmy has. When he’s swinging that ball, both ways, in control, there’s no one better,” said Mcgrath to BBC.
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Nicknamed ‘Pigeon’, McGrath even drew comparisons of James Anderson with Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar and believes that the English pacer’s record would be tough to surpass.
“He’s set the bar a bit like Sachin has. No one is ever going to catch Sachin in Test cricket for the amount of runs he’s scored and the matches he’s played. Jimmy’s done the same for fast bowling,” added the former Australian speedster.
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James Anderson has turned 38 this year, an age where most pacers find it hard to play, and though he competes in just one format – Tests, with ODIs and T20Is last played in 2015 and 2009 respectively, it is really commendable and worth lauding as to how he has maintained his bowling prowess.
So far, the Burnley Express has picked 975 wickets in the first-class and is on the verge of reaching the 1000 wickets mark. If he maintains his form and fitness for a few more matches, then he might end up grabbing the required dismissals.