McGrath, Walsh, Anderson & the top five wicket-taking seamers

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In bringing up his 500th wicket in Test matches, James Anderson joined an elite club.

The England star became only the third seamer to achieve the feat and one of just six bowlers in total.

Anderson accounted for West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite as he fittingly reached the landmark at Lord's on Friday.

Here we take a look at how Anderson stacks up against the five most prolific wicket-taking pacemen in Test cricket history.

GLENN MCGRATH (AUSTRALIA) - 563 

Line and length - McGrath had a command of the basics of seam bowling like nobody before or since. His pace alone may not have been enough to frighten batsmen, but his sheer consistency and unmatched tactical nous were enough to unsettle even the very best. He brought up his 500th wicket in 111 Tests, with the landmark scalp coming at Lord's, where Marcus Trescothick was the victim, edging to the slips. McGrath's average of 21.64 is the best of any of the sport's top 12 leading wicket-takers.

 

COURTNEY WALSH (WEST INDIES) - 519

The first man to reach the 500-wicket mark in Tests, Walsh enjoyed a phenomenal 17-year career at the highest level. His new-ball partnership with Curtly Ambrose ranks among the most devastating in cricket history, while Walsh was also able to shine for West Indies either side of his fellow quick's 98 Tests. Renowned for his ability to bowl long spells, the tall and pacy Jamaican remained a potent threat beyond his 38th birthday, claiming 25 wickets in his final series against South Africa.

 

JAMES ANDERSON (ENGLAND) - 500

Anderson's England career can effectively be split into two parts. After enjoying a rapid rise to prominence as a youngster, his early years in international cricket were blighted by inconsistency, attempts to remodel his action and injury troubles. However, for the past decade, Anderson has led his country's attack with distinction, his development into one of the most skilled bowlers in the world earning deserved praise. He became England's record wicket-taker in April 2015, surpassing Ian Botham, and has continued to thrive thereafter.

KAPIL DEV (INDIA) - 434

One of four great all-rounders whose careers overlapped, along with Botham, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee, Kapil was particularly effective with the ball. His tally of 434 wickets - primarily gained through a mastery of accuracy and swing - has not come under threat from any other Indian seamer. Kapil's career highlight came in 1983, when he led India to a shock World Cup triumph at Lord's. His all-round talents saw him named Wisden's Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002.

 

RICHARD HADLEE (NEW ZEALAND) - 431

It was Hadlee who Kapil replaced as Test cricket's most prolific wicket-taker in 1994. Another all-rounder whose most consistent work came with the ball, Hadlee shouldered immense responsibility as New Zealand's standout bowler and rose to the challenge time and time again. Viewed by many as the complete fast bowler, his strike-rate of 50.8 is superior to the seven players who have taken more Test scalps.