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Glenn McGrath challenges James Anderson to reach 600 wickets

Sporting News logo Sporting News 12-09-2018
a man in a white uniform swinging at a ball: England's James Anderson. © Getty Images England's James Anderson.

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.

Complete coverage: India's tour of England

© Reuters

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.

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

© Reuters

"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.

© Reuters

"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.

"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.

© Getty Images

"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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(Video by ESPN Cricinfo)

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