James Anderson and Glenn McGrath: A Statistical Analysis
While, we can compare the numbers, It won't be fair to compare these two players as they played majority of their matches in completely different eras. In fact, the only time these two played in the same era was between Anderson's debut in May, 2003 and Mcgrath's retirement in Jan, 2007.
So, having said that, let's find out how these two players' numbers stack up against each other under different circumstances.
To make the analysis more fruitful, we have analysed them under 4 situations viz., Overall performance, Ashes performance, Overlap period performance and Generic performance.
#1: Overall Performance
A- Overall Record
Mcgrath made his debut against New Zealand on the bouncy turf of Perth in the year 1993. His debut was a decent one as he took 2 wickets in the first innings including the important one of Mark Greatbatch.
When we look at Mcgrath's overall performance, it looks outstanding. He has taken 563 wickets in 243 innings at a superb average of 21.6 and a good strike rate of 52.9. His consistency looks amazing at 42.8%.
Overall, he has 11 Man-of-the-Match awards, 5 Man-of-the-Series awards and 29 five-wicket hauls to his name.
James Anderson had a dream debut against Zimbabwe in 2003 as he took a five-wicket haul at his favorite venue, Lord's.
Overall, he has a good record with 557* wickets in 263 innings at a good average of 26.9 and a good strike rate of 55.9.
He has 8 Man-of-the-Match awards, 5 Man-of-the-Series awards and 26 five-wicket hauls to his name. His consistency is just average at 33.5%.
B- Performance in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia
It is important to breakdown these stats into different situations, hence, let's find out how these two performed when playing in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.
As we can see, both have taken their maximum number of wickets playing in these 4 pace friendly conditions.
Mcgrath once again looks lethal with his performances with a better average, a better strike rate and a better consistency.
It is seen that the performance of these two players in these countries reflects their overall performance too.
C- Performance in Other Countries
This is where the things gets interestingly poor for Anderson. His average increases from 26.6 to 28.4 and his strike rate too increases from 54.4 to 64.4. Overall in countries other than South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia, he has taken only 2 five-wicket haul out of his 26 overall.
However, he has a Man-of-the-series award to his name. Something which McGrath doesn't have in these conditions.
McGrath on the other hand maintains his record in other countries too. His average, strike rate and consistency are all at par with his overall performance.