James Anderson scalped his 564th Test victim in the form of India’s Mohammad Shami on the final day of the series, at The Oval. With this, he overtook McGrath’s record of 563 wickets which was the most amongst fast bowlers in Tests. But we’re prejudiced enough when it comes to accepting these new acclaimed owners of records as legends.
“If he stays on the park, then he can do that quite easily – and knock me off. And good luck to him.” – Glenn McGrath’s words on James Anderson, from a couple of years back.
“Once James Anderson goes past my record, it will never be broken.” – was what he said last month.
And today, with Mohammad Shami’s wicket to wrap up the final Test and a 4-1 series victory over India. England won the fifth Test match of the series by 118 runs and Anderson went past the legendary Aussie’s tally of 563 wickets.
Adding another feather to the Chef’s cap, or may I say apron, Cook was adjudged the Man of the Match. While Sam Curran and Virat Kohli were awarded as the Players of the Series. An emotional James Anderson admitted that his achievement was made all the more special because his team-mate, former captain, and best friend Alastair Cook was on the field to witness it.
Strange bearings in Test Cricket have always yoked Glenn McGrath and Jimmy Anderson together. Right from Pidge’s retirement to this day.
Glenn McGrath had bid farewell to Test Cricket by claiming his 563rd and final wicket from the very last ball he would ever deliver in Test cricket.
His last Test victim was none other than Anderson, who was caught at midwicket as he slogged across the line leaving Australia with a target of 46.
Australia was only left with a formality of chasing the target in order to wrap up a 5-0 Ashes whitewash. It was for the first time in 86 years that the Australian cricket team had won an Ashes series in a clean sweep against their nemesis England. However, the series had ended on an emotional note for Australia with Justin Langer, Shane Warne, and McGrath, of course, signing off from International Cricket.
At that point, the man of the hour James Anderson had 46 wickets at 38.39 to his name. Few could have imagined that the same player could ever come anywhere rivaling the legendary McGrath. Let alone the possibility that one day he might surpass Pigeon as the fast bowler with the highest number of wickets in Test Cricket history.
Anderson now has 564 wickets at a bowling average of 26.84, in 143 Test matches. Only three spinners have more Test wickets- Muttiah Muralitharan(800), Shane Warne(708) and Anil Kumble(619).
He played his last ODI on March 13, 2015, against Afghanistan at Sydney. Ever since that, his Test cricket stats have only gotten better.
|Matches||Wickets||Bowling average||Best figures||5WI|
|2003- February 2015||99||380||29.72||7/43||16|
|March 2015- present||44||184||20.89||7/42||10|
It’s about time we stopped shying away from acknowledging the fact that James Anderson is no less than a legend. Not just a legend for England Cricket, but a legendary fast bowler in Test Cricket.