Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath has drawn parallels between James Anderson and batting great Sachin Tendulkar, saying that Anderson has set the standards for fast bowling as high as Tendulkar did for batting.
“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 (15,291) and the matches he’s played (200). Jimmy has done the same for fast bowling,” McGrath told the BBC.
Yesterday, James Anderson became the first fast bowler ever to take 600 Test wickets after he dismissed Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on the final day of the 3rd Test. He became the fourth bowler to be a part of the elite 600 club – only behind India’s Anil Kumble (619), Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800).
“I didn’t have the skill level Jimmy has. When he’s swinging that ball, both ways, in control, there’s no one better,” McGrath further added.
Interestingly, James Anderson became the leading wicket-taker among fast bowlers after going past Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 wickets in September 2018.
A 38-year-old James Anderson is England’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests
In addition to possessing the ability to swing the ball both ways, James Anderson also has more pace than what Glenn McGrath had even in his prime. While his average speed is 135 kmph, James Anderson, who is 38 years old now, still touches 140 clicks sometimes.
Having made his international debut in 2002, James Anderson stands out for longevity and is the cricketing equivalent of ‘fine wine’, which only gets better with age. James Anderson has picked 332 wickets after turning 30. To put that into perspective, Sir Ian Botham, who is England’s third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, has 383 wickets.