Where does James Anderson stand in the pantheon of great Test bowlers?

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The pace ace's 464 wickets have come at an average of 26.84. (AFP)
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Updated 13 September 2018
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Where does James Anderson stand in the pantheon of great Test bowlers?

  • Anderson went past McGrath to become the most successful fast bowler in Test history.
  • He now lies fourth on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

On Tuesday James Anderson took his 564th Test wicket to become the game’s most prolific fast bowler. He is where he stands in the list of all-time top 10 Test wicket-takers.

MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN (Sri Lanka) 800 wickets in 133 Tests
The Sri Lankan spinner was rated greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers Almanack in 2002 and has the number of wickets to back that up. His career, however, was beset by controversy over his bowling action for much of his international career.



 

SHANE WARNE (Australia) 708 wickets in 145 Tests
The Aussie ace’s time in the middle was not without controversy, but there was no disputing the brilliance of his bowling. After decades dominated by pace attacks (Lillee and Thompson in the 70s and the West Indies fast bowlers of the 80s) Warne reminded everyone that spin and guile were just as effective a weapon — a true superstar who transcended the sport.



 

ANIL KUMBLE (India) 619 wickets in 132 Tests
In a country that produces world-class spinner after world-class spinner to be the best of the bunch is no mean feat. He was the mainstay of the India attack for over a decade and carried the nations hopes on his shoulders both as captain and the side’s spin king. Bowled quicker and flatter than his fellow legspinner Warne, but was no less effective.



 

JAMES ANDERSON (England) 564 wickets in 143 Tests
The king of swing has carried the England attack for over a decade and proved himself his country’s greatest ever bowler. Has got better with age and claims he feels as fit as ever. He will surely become the first fast bowler to get to the magical 600 mark within the next 12 months.



 

GLENN MCGRATH (Australia) 563 wickets in 124 Tests
He was not even the quickest fast bowler of the great Baggy Greens side of the 1990s and early 2000s, let alone the world. But he was certainly the most feared. His line and length were impeccable, with batsmen never really able to impose themselves on the pace ace. His partnership with Warne is arguably the greatest the game has ever seen.

 


COURTNEY WALSH (West Indies) 519 wickets in 132 Tests

When you think of great Windies bowlers there is a high chance you will think of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose and Colin Croft before Walsh. But the tall Jamaican has more wickets than all of those greats. He never really got the accolades he deserved until the end of his career and his partnership with Ambrose will go down as one of the most feared ever.



 

KAPIL DEV (India) 434 wickets in 131 Tests
Along with Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan the Indian was one of the four great all-rounders of the late 1970s and 1980s, but Dev ended up with more wickets than all his illustrious rivals. He memorably led India to World Cup glory in 1983 and will go down as one of the all-time greats of the game.



 

STAURT BROAD (England) 433 wickets in 123 Tests
If he can stay fit and motivated James Anderson’s partner-in-crime may well, one day, overtake his England teammate. Broad has not always had it easy in the side but whenever his place has been in doubt he has produced some of the greatest spells the game has seen (The Oval in 2009, Trent Bridge 2015, Johannesburg 2016).



 

RICHARD HADLEE (New Zealand) 431 wickets in 86 Tests
New Zealand’s first truly world-class player was handy with the bat and brilliant with the ball. Most, if not all, of the Kiwis’ victories during the 1970s and 1980s were down to him. He carried the attack with his accuracy with many batsmen of the era crediting him as the toughest bowler they faced.



 

RANGANA HERATH (Sri Lanka) 430 wickets in 92 Tests
The only left-armer in the top 10, Herath has carried the Sri Lanka attack in the absence of Muralitharan with his left-arm spin. Still going, expect him to move up the rankings.

 


Juventus crowned Italian Super Cup champions

‘I’m very happy to have won my first title with Juventus,’ Cristiano Ronaldo said. (Photo/General Sports Authority)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Juventus crowned Italian Super Cup champions

  • Ronaldo’s glancing header sinks AC Milan 1-0 at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City Stadium

JEDDAH: A historic Wednesday evening at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium saw Italian champions Juventus beat AC Milan in the final of the 31st annual Supercoppa Italiana.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal as Juventus lifted the Supercoppa Italiana for the first time since 2015 with a 1-0 victory in front of a sold-out 61,235-capacity crowd.

As only one should expect when two of the most successful Italian clubs go head to head, a tactical and elegant, albeit very physical, display of football was at hand. 

Cheerful roars from the Jeddah crowd resonated throughout the night, in the kind of buzzing atmosphere that only a cup final brings.

Juventus, the Serie A champions, began brightly and were the first side to settle into the game, threatening with frequent sweeping moves.

Juventus and Portuguese international Joao Cancelo could have opened the scoring in the 16th minute after being played through on goal, but the defender’s zooming effort lacked the necessary precision and whisked past the far post with the Milan keeper rooted in his spot.

A maddening crescendo of noise erupted when Juventus and French international Blaise Matuidi thought he had opened the scoring in the 33rd minute after being played through by Costa before being flagged offside. 

Juventus did not have too much longer for another opportunity though, with Ronaldo’s acrobatic half volley from just outside the six-yard box bouncing and nestling agonizingly just over the bar and sparing Donnarumma’s blushes in the process.

Christiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in his last seven finals. (Reuters)

Milan, who qualified for the final as runners-up to Juventus in last season’s Coppa Italia, had struggled throughout the first half to settle into the game. They gradually grew into their own though, and nearly broke the deadlock at the stroke of halftime with a stinging drive from Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu.

After a slew of opportunities had Juventus failing to build a halftime lead, Milan nearly made them pay for their squandered chances by starting the second half like bats out of hell. 

Milan’s confident pressing start to the half was almost rewarded in the 47th minute when a Ronaldo tackle inadvertently set up Cutrone with a clear sight on goal.  The striker turned and blasted an effort that rattled off the crossbar — the closest either team had come thus far.

And just when the tide seemed to have turned for Milan in the second half, their confidence building with every minute, a perfectly floating cross from Pjanic found Ronaldo with yards of space, and he made no mistake directing a swift header into the back of the net in the 61st minute and sending Juve supporters into a frenzy.


• AS IT HAPPENED: Cristiano Ronaldo's goal gives Juventus Supercoppa Italiana victory over AC Milan in Jeddah >>

• Arab News Matchday gallery >>


Things went from bad to worse for Milan in the 73rd minute. Franck Kessie came rushing in with a recklessly timed tackle, crunching his studs into the shins of Emre Can, which resulted in him seeing a straight red and leaving Milan with 10 men and a subsequent insurmountable uphill battle.

The final whistle came soon after, and with it brought Juventus a record eighth Supercoppa. It goes without saying that there is nothing quite like the atmosphere of a cup final, but this was a historic and monumental occasion for Jeddah. 

The first major European cup final match being held in Saudi Arabia is now in the books, and with it brought an added sense of passion and excitement. 

Thousands of men, women and children showed up enthusiastically, were highly supportive of both teams, and were thoroughly entertained. It was a successful and memorable night that will surely pave the way for many more.

Addressing a prematch press conference on Tuesday night, Juventus Captain Giorgio Chiellini had defended the choice of Jeddah as the venue for the game against a backdrop of criticism by some. He said that it was “right” to give the Saudi port city the chance to host the showpiece match.

“We (footballers) cannot change the world but initiatives such as this can provide a new start.”

Juventus had been experiencing a worrying trend in cup finals of late. Despite securing the Serie A and Coppa Italia double for three seasons running, they had lost back-to-back Supercoppas and seven out of nine European Cup finals. 

Chiellini, however, firmly believed that his team would change the trend and the team did make their captain proud. 

Juventus now holds the outright record of most Italian Super Cups with eight titles. (Arab News photo by Ali Khamg)