McGrath challenges Anderson to reach 600 wickets

James Anderson should chase the 600-wicket mark according to former fast-bowling record holder Glenn McGrath.

Published : Sep 12, 2018 08:13 IST

England's James Anderson exults after taking a wicket.
England's James Anderson exults after taking a wicket.

England's James Anderson exults after taking a wicket.

Glenn McGrath has challenged James Anderson to reach 600 wickets after seeing the England bowler surpass his record as the most prolific seamer in Test history.

Anderson took the match-winning final wicket of the fifth Test against India on Monday, racking up his 564th scalp to edge ahead of Australia great McGrath.

The 36-year-old now sits fourth on the overall list, behind only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble.

And McGrath says Anderson should not think about easing off.

Read: Anderson becomes most prolific seamer in Test history

"If he can raise the bar to 600 wickets, that's an incredible effort," McGrath told BBC Radio 5 Live .

"I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He's been an incredible bowler for a long time. To have played well over 140 Tests and just keep running in, day in, day out, and remain at the top of his game, yeah, I'm very proud Jimmy's got there."

McGrath continued: "You always wonder whether anyone's going to get there. There was probably two guys I thought about — one was Jimmy and the other was [South Africa's] Dale Steyn.

"Being a fast bowler is the toughest part of the game and injuries do play a part. To think that Jimmy's played for so long and continued at the top of his game shows his work ethic, his physical and mental strength and everything else that goes into it.

"When it comes to the art of swing bowling, there is no-one better. I think of somebody like Wasim Akram, who is one of the greats of all time, and he could just do anything with a ball.

Also read: James Anderson's Test career in numbers

"Wasim swung it both ways, was a left-armer and had power through the crease.

"Jimmy is different. He's taller and right-handed, but the way he swings a ball — both ways at will — is what sets him apart. It's definitely an art form and when the conditions suit — like they often do at Lord's when it's overcast and the ball is swinging — no-one comes close to him.

"Most guys hit the deck, get the ball in the right area and hope for a little bit of swing. We don't see people with the skills of Anderson too often."

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