England fast bowler James Anderson has drawn level with South African counterpart Makhaya Ntini in Test cricket’s leading wicket-takers.
Anderson, who earlier this month passed former all-rounder Ian Botham as England’s most prolific wicket-taker in the longest format of the international game, completed match figures of six for 90 in England’s convincing nine-wicket win over the West Indies in the second Test in Grenada on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Anderson now has 390 Test wickets, the same amount achieved by Ntini. Both players took 101 fixtures to reach the tally, though the Englishman required one more innings – and averages almost a full run more than Ntini, whose international career ended in 2010.
Anderson will have the opportunity to surpass Proteas pace ace Dale Steyn’s 396 wickets in the third and final Test, which will start in Barbados on Friday. Steyn, currently first in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for Test bowlers, and Anderson, who occupies fifth position, have often drawn comparison.
‘No disrespect to Dale, but the way James can swing the ball both ways – I don’t think Dale can do that quite as well as James, but Dale has the advantage of being able to bowl quicker. Dale has been the number one bowler in the world for quite a long time in terms of the number of wickets he takes. Those two are in the same class,’ insisted England Test captain Alastair Cook last year.
Steyn and Anderson are 12th and joint 14th respectively in Test cricket’s list of leading wicket-takers. Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, Australian Shane Warne and Indian Anil Kumble are first, second and third respectively.