James Anderson may have just broken Glenn McGrath’s record to become the most successful pace bowler in Test history, but he’s also quashed suggestions that he’s the best of all time.
In a column for the Sun, Anderson openly admitted that McGrath was a much better bowler than himself, and laid out his reasonings for saying so.
“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,” Anderson wrote.
“It is not a random, top-of-the-head assessment, either.
“I’ve been studying all of the great fast bowlers since I was about eight years old.”
Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami to seal victory over India in the fifth Test at the Oval this week, claiming his 564th Test wicket in his 143rd match to move ahead of Australian great Glenn McGrath.
McGrath said he has great respect for James Anderson after the Englishman replaced him as the most prolific pace bowler in Test cricket.
But Anderson admired the Aussie’s determination and the way he played the game, saying he was a class above the rest.
“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,” Anderson said.
“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.”
Anderson not considering retirement yet
England’s James Anderson has no immediate plans to retire after becoming the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history, but the 36-year-old does not rule out a sudden decision to end his international career.
“I read something that McGrath said – he went into the 2006 Ashes with no intention of retiring and then by the end of it, he thought his time was up,” Anderson said.
“That could happen to me, who knows? I don’t like looking too far ahead. I don’t think it helps certainly me or the team.”
Anderson, who made his Test debut in 2003, said retirement thoughts had not crossed his mind yet as he was still able to cope with the physical demands of the game’s longest format.
“I don’t really think about it – I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me; the next game, the next series – whatever it is,” he said.
England embark on a tour of Sri Lanka with Test matches scheduled in November before travelling to West Indies early next year and Anderson’s focus is firmly on those challenges.
“So I’ll go away now – we’ve got a decent break before Sri Lanka – and try to get myself in as decent as condition as possible to cope with the rigours of bowling seam in Sri Lanka, which can be tough.”