LONDON - James Anderson will not be caught once the England cricketer becomes the most prolific fast bowler in Test history, says Australia's current record-holder Glenn McGrath.
Anderson has 557 wickets, just six fewer than the retired McGrath ahead of the fourth Test against India, which starts on Thursday. McGrath, who played his last Test in 2007, expects Anderson to surpass his record and that it will then stand the test of time.
"Jimmy Anderson deserves everything he gets, and even though he is an Englishman I will be delighted for him when he goes past my record and becomes the most prolific fast bowler in Test history," he wrote in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
"I have an awful lot of respect for Jimmy. Good luck to him. I believe once he goes past me he will never be beaten. Records are nice and I've been very proud to have taken more wickets than any fast bowler in Test history, but any high is there to be beaten and I will be equally proud of Jimmy when he goes past me because the fast bowlers' union has to stick together, whichever country we come from."
Anderson, 36, made his Test debut in 2003 and has played 141 Tests for England. Spin bowlers occupy the two three places on the overall list of Test wicket-takers - Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took 800 wickets, ahead of Australia's Shane Warne (708) and India's Anil Kumble (619). McGrath is currently in fourth position.
"Anderson has been an incredible performer for such a long time and he has played far more Tests, 141, than any fast bowler in history, so his record speaks for itself," McCgrath continued. Being a fast bowler is the toughest job in the game and people do not see the hard work off the field that goes into spending as much time at the top as Jimmy has.
"We put ourselves through a lot more pain than anyone else. So for Anderson to still be at the top of his game after 15 years in international cricket and with so many overs under his belt just shows his work ethic and his physical and mental strength. Recovery and preparation are so important and you have to dig so deep and really want it to carry on going at the highest level as Jimmy is doing."