McGrath backs Anderson to break his record


No pace bowler has taken more Test wickets than Glenn McGrath, but the former Australia seamer believes his record could well be broken by James Anderson.

Already his country's most prolific bowler, England spearhead Anderson sits sixth on the all-time list of wicket-takers in the five-day format, after taking 18 scalps in two matches against Sri Lanka last month.

Anderson's tally of 451 wickets puts the 33-year-old 112 behind McGrath, who was one month shy of his 37th birthday when he played the last of his 124 Tests in 2007.

Asked if Anderson can go past his mark of 563, McGrath was quoted by Cricket Australia's official website as saying: "That's entirely up to him; if he stays on the park, then he can do that quite easily - and knock me off. And good luck to him."

McGrath added: "He's a quality bowler, there's no doubt about that. When he's firing and the ball's swinging, he's as tough (to face) as any bowler going around.

"He's played 115 Tests now, which for a fast bowler to play over 100 is exceptional. He's still bowling well, and he's still taking wickets.

"He's had a few [injury] issues in the past but he's come back well, and [how long he plays is] up to him now really. I was lucky enough to play through until I was 37, so I'm sure he's still got plenty of overs left in him."

Assessing Anderson's standing among the English pacemen he played against, McGrath stated: "He's a different bowler to Stuart Broad, and to 'Goughy' [Darren Gough] and [Andy] Caddick and those guys.

"But for the wickets he's taken, and when he's on song, he's as good as there's been from England, I think.

"I think Broad's got the potential to go on and be one of the greats as well, but Jimmy's up there - and now it's up to him how high he wants to set that mark."