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Anderson can become the best fast bowler ever, feels Alec Stewart

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James Anderson became the sixth bowler and third fast bowler to take 500 Test wickets
Sahil Jain
Modified 10 Sep 2017

What’s the story?

After James Anderson got his 500th Test wicket on day two of the third test against West Indies at Lord’s, the entire cricketing world has been applauding the Burnley lad for his outstanding effort as he became the first England bowler to take 500 Test wickets.

Former England captain and wicketkeeper Alec Stewart too praised Anderson and also went on to say that once Anderson crosses McGrath’s tally of 563, he can be termed as the best fast bowler ever.

“He’s a great of the game,” Stewart told BBC Radio 5 live. “His longevity is remarkable. Once he goes past McGrath, he is 100 per cent the best fast bowler ever and he deserves that. If he plays another four years, he can take another 130 to 150 wickets.”

The ex-England stumper also said that Anderson is getting better with age and looks after his body well. “He (Anderson) is a shy lad, a fierce competitor and he is getting better and better. He thinks he will be able to play until 40.” Stewart added.

“He will still be able to bowl over 80mph and with his skill levels he can cause problems for a few more years. He also looks after his body well and has a great appetite for the game. We’re talking about a world great and he’s right up there with McGrath, Ambrose and Walsh.”

“His skill levels are second to none. I was still playing when he made his debut. He looked a good player but I never thought he’d get to 500 wickets.” he further added.

In case you didn’t know…

James Anderson needed just three wickets to become the 6th bowler in Test history to take 500 wickets when the third test started. And with the way things went it in the first session (where he picked up two wickets), it looked like he would get to the milestone on the first day itself. But a fiery spell from Ben Stokes ensured Anderson had to wait for another day.

On day two, in West Indies’ second innings, Anderson lived up to the hype created as he got the landmark in his second over castling Kraigg Braithwaite.


The details

Anderson has had an excellent summer where he has remained fit and played all seven tests in the English summer. He started the summer with 467 Test scalps and he got to the much-awaited 500-mark in the last Test of the season. He went on to reveal that he felt relieved and a bit emotional when he got the 500-landmark.

What’s next?

Anderson, after a busy summer, gets a much-needed break for about 40-45 days as England play limited-overs cricket against the West Indies before the big test – The Ashes. He will be spearheading England’s attack down under as they look to defend the ‘urn’.

Author’s take

James Anderson is one of the greats of the game and one of the best fast bowler the game has ever seen. And with him desiring to play for another 2-3 years provided he remains fit, he could not only go past McGrath’s tally but also touch the 600-mark and go on to beat Kumble’s tally of 619 and end up as the 3rd highest wicket-taker in Test history.

Published 10 Sep 2017, 11:41 IST
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