Right-arm England pacer James Anderson is all set to break veteran fast bowler Glenn McGrath’s Test record during the five-match series starting Wednesday in Birmingham. Anderson, with 540 wickets, is just 23 wickets from equaling McGrath’s mark of 563, which stands as the most wickets taken by a fast bowler in 141 years of Test cricket. Also Read - I Have Not Thought About Never Playing Cricket Again: James Anderson
The 36-year-old had an amazing outing against India in 2014 when he scalped 25 wickets at 20.60 on home soil. And if he manages to replicate that performance, he can surely get past the legendary Australian. Also Read - James Anderson Invents Unique Workout to Maintain Fitness Amid Coronavirus Pandemic | WATCH VIDEO
McGrath became Test cricket’s most prolific fast bowler in 2005 when he surpassed the 519 wicket-tally of Windies great Courtney Walsh. Also Read - West Indies Offer to Host England's Home Test Series in Caribbean
He is currently the fifth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan leads the way with 800, and Australian spinner Shane Warne is second with 708. Legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble (619) and McGrath (563) are at third and fourth place respectively.
“To be as close to someone like Glenn McGrath as I am is still a bit surreal,” Anderson told Sky Sports ahead of the first Test against India at Edgbaston. “For me, (McGrath) is the greatest fast bowler that there has ever been. I’m just going to keep playing as well as I can and if I get there, I get there,” he added.
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McGrath, who captured Anderson as his last Test wicket in 2007, has nothing but respect for the Englishman who is set to take his mantle.
“Records are there to be broken,” McGrath had told cricket.com.au in January. “If Jimmy is good enough he’ll get there. If he keeps playing for another year or two he’ll definitely get there. If he can get it good luck to him. I wish him all the best,” he added.
Anderson is currently the number one ranked Test bowler and will be looking to prevent India win their first Test series in England since 2007. Anderson, who scalped nine wickets in the drawn two-Test series against Pakistan at home, had pushed South Africa seamer Kagiso Rabada following the Proteas’ 0-2 loss at the hands of Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded two-Test series.