Record-breaking England fast bowler James Anderson has insisted South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Australia’s Glenn McGrath are superior to him.
Anderson recently surpassed McGrath’s tally of 564, to become Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker among seamers.
Steyn, meanwhile, is one wicket away from outdoing the veteran Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s top Test wicket-taker.
‘I’ll tell you something about Glenn – he was a much better bowler than me. This is not false modesty,’ Anderson wrote in a column on Fox Sports.
‘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.
‘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.
‘Of the modern era, I’d happily tip my hat towards Dale. With his express pace, control and swing, he’s better than me, too.’
The 35-year-old Steyn ended a relatively successful stint with Hampshire in the County Championship earlier this month, and is eager to attain two key milestones in the longest format of the international game.
‘There’re 500 Test wickets and 100 Test appearances that I would still like to achieve,’ Steyn told BBC Radio Solent.
‘But the reality is they’re both going to be quite difficult to achieve and will take me some time, possibly another two-and-a-half years.
‘Will South Africa still want to pick a 38-year-old by then? I don’t know.’
The right-arm pace ace currently has 421 wickets in 88 Tests.