James Anderson has said Glenn McGrath is better bowler than him despite breaking surpassing the Australian great’s wicket-tally to become the most prolific pacer in Tests.
James Anderson went past Glenn McGrath in his most recent Test at the Oval to become the fourth-highest Test wicket-taker of all time with only spinners Murali Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble ahead of him now. Anderson now has 564 Test wickets one more than what McGrath took before retiring at the end of 2006-07 Ashes.
Just a few days ago, Anderson achieved the highest ranking by an England bowler in Test history. His performance against the world number one India proved that he is arguably the best fast-bowler in the world right now. However, Anderson feels that when it comes to bowling, McGrath is well ahead of him.
“I’ll tell you something about Glenn McGrath — he was a much better bowler than me. This is not false modesty,” he wrote in his column for The Sun.
“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.
And 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,” he added.
Well, in terms of average, McGrath remains markedly better than Anderson. McGrath got his scalps at 21.64 runs apiece in his 124-Test career as compared to Anderson’s average of 26.84 in a career that has already seen him play 19 more Tests than McGrath. Interestingly, it was Anderson who was McGrath’s last Test scalp. At that time, Anderson had taken just 46 wickets in Tests.
The England pace spearhead further hailed McGrath’s attitude and revealed how he learnt from him
“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.
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,” he wrote.
Among present bowlers, Anderson considers South Africa’s Dale Steyn as the best.
“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,” he wrote.
Anderson, meanwhile, finished the series against India as the highest-wicket-taker. The right-arm pacer picked up 25 wickets in 5 Tests as England won the series 4-1.