Glenn McGrath, Dale Steyn better fast bowlers than me: James Anderson
James Anderson leapfrogged Australian legend Glenn McGrath to become the highest wicket-taking fast bowler in Test cricket. However, the England pacer believes that McGrath is a far greater bowler than he is and his bounce, relentless accuracy, aggression and ability to move the ball makes him much superior.
“He was a much better bowler than me,” Anderson wrote in his column for Fox Sports. “This is not false modesty. I may have gone past his wicket tally, but I honestly believe McGrath’s bounce, relentless accuracy, aggression and ability to move the ball made him superior. He had everything.”
“I also loved McGrath’s attitude. He had plenty of a snarl on the field — a bit like me, I suppose — and was super-competitive. He hated giving away runs or not taking wickets. We’ve shared a beer a few times and he’s a cracking fellow. I listened to the way he prepared for games and it really helped me.”
James Anderson became the leading fast bowler in test history as he bowled Mohammed Shami to seal victory for England over India at the Oval on Tuesday.
It was Anderson’s 564th test wicket in 143 matches, moving him ahead of Australian great McGrath.
He is now fourth on the all-time list behind a trio of spinners; Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619).
But, despite his many achievements, Anderson said that there are a lot of areas where he needs to improve and called South Africa’s Dale Steyn ‘the best in the modern era’.
“I heard him say once that he practised for when the ball didn’t swing. So if it did swing, it was a bonus. That philosophy has been a big part of my development. You so often see bowlers pick out a lovely new ball from the bag at nets and it looks great when it swings in the air and nips off the seam with batsmen playing and missing. But you have to simulate match situations.”
“Of the modern era, I’d happily tip my hat towards Dale Steyn. With his express pace, control and swing, he’s better than me, too,”
Glenn McGrath hailed Anderson’s achievement and said that he can become the first fast bowler to claim 600 wickets. Anderson did not rule out the possibility and said that he will try his best.
“McGrath reckons I can go past 600 Test wickets — I’m on 564 — and I don’t see why that is not possible because I feel fit, enthusiastic and surprisingly fresh for a 36-year-old after five Tests in little more than six weeks,” he said. “But I remember McGrath saying he went into the 2006-07 Ashes in Australia with no plans to retire but, by the end of that series, he knew his time was up.”