There are only six bowlers in Test history to have taken 500 or more wickets. Jimmy Anderson is the latest entrant to the 500-wickets club and now joins Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Glenn McGrath and Courtney Walsh.
Taking 500 Test wickets is more than just a difficult task and the fact that only six bowlers have been able to achieve it shows how hard it is to get there. Some really great pacers like Wasim Akram and Shaun Pollock are missing from this list and it only heightens the prestige of this achievement.
It is always more difficult for a bowler than a batsman to have a long Test career and hence the longevity of all these six bowlers must be lauded. Anderson is already in the 14th year of his career and looks set to continue for a couple more years, if not more. Murali (18 years), Warne (15 years), Kumble (18 years), McGrath (14 years) and Walsh (17 years) all had very long careers. Most of them suffered from serious injuries during their careers but all of them were passionate about playing and bowling despite possessing niggles and aches.
Hence we should doff our hats to all these six great athletes who are part of this exclusive club. Let's take a brief look at them individually.
James Anderson became the latest to get 500 wickets in Test cricket, against the West Indies at Lord’s. Anderson achieved this feat in his 129th Test match and now becomes the only English bowler to reach the 500-wicket mark in Tests.
The Lancastrian is renowned for making the red ball swing at will. An Anderson out-swinger to a right-handed batsman is one of the most beautiful things to watch in cricket. This same out-swinger made Virat Kohli miserable during India's tour in 2014. Kohli travels again – this time as India captain in the English summer of 2018. It will be interesting to watch how the second instalment of the rivalry unfolds.