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.

 


Messi scores hat-trick as Barcelona thrash PSV

Updated 31 sec ago
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Messi scores hat-trick as Barcelona thrash PSV

  • Dembele’s goal was worthy of deciding any match but this was Messi’s night
  • Messi would have his second and third before the end, and a record eighth Champions League treble

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi pictures the Champions League ending with him hoisting the trophy and it began with him scoring a hat-trick on Tuesday as Barcelona put four goals past PSV Eindhoven.
An early kick-off at Camp Nou meant that before most of the tournament’s teams had even named their line-ups, Messi was up and running, his sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the area nestling in the top corner, exactly where it was intended.
Messi would have his second and third before the end, and a record eighth Champions League treble, but the game was up by then thanks to a superb strike from the excellent Ousmane Dembele.
Only when Barca were three ahead was Samuel Umtiti sent off for a second yellow card, meaning he will miss the trip to Wembley to face Tottenham next month. Even with 10 men, Messi completed his set for a 4-0 win.
Dembele’s goal was worthy of deciding any match but this was Messi’s night. After a miserable World Cup trying to retrieve the irretrievable Argentina, Barcelona’s now-captain proved his quality again to any doubters that are left.
Four goals already in La Liga, seven overall, neither age nor Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Spain appear to have taken the edge off.
“Normally if you score a hat-trick you frame it,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde. “But he makes the extraordinary routine.”
Even if Messi remains as good as ever, his team will need others to step up. Philippe Coutinho was impressive here and, after a difficult debut campaign, Dembele is finding his rhythm, and his place.
“Just as there is room for players that pass, there must be others that can make things happen,” Valverde said.
The 21-year-old’s driving run earned Messi his free-kick while a sizzling shot brought the goal his bustling display deserved.
Perhaps more importantly, this victory was a clean slate for Barcelona.
It was exactly 23 weeks ago that Roma pulled off one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in this competition and sent the club into a depth of disappointment that, in truth, not even winning the double could alleviate.
Instead, Madrid rubbed salt into the wound by making it look easy and winning their third in a row. “It is a thorn in our side,” Luis Suarez said. “It’s time to win the Champions League,” said Messi.
PSV’s coach Mark van Bommel knows what it feels like to walk out at the Camp Nou — he had a successful, albeit short, spell playing for Barca — but few of his players did.
Nick Viergever was one of them, for Ajax in 2014, but it was his rash challenge on Dembele in the 31st minute that conceded the free-kick a yard outside the penalty area.
Messi sized it up and sent it spinning away from the hand of Jeroen Zoet and into the top corner. It was his eighth free-kick scored in 2018. He has never scored more in a year.
The contest bristled at the start of the second half. Suarez’s delightful chip beat Zoet but not the crossbar. PSV were still in it and could have equalized when Hirving Lozano’s finish was blocked, crucially, by Gerard Pique.
Then three goals arrived in 15 minutes. First Dembele, after leaving two PSV midfielders for dead with a dragback, unleashed into the bottom corner. Van Bommel’s destructive instincts kicked in. “We should have stopped him,” he said.
Messi then latched onto a lob from Ivan Rakitic to slot home before Umtiti was sent off for a cynical block on Lozano.
It made no difference. Suarez set up Messi’s third, a brilliant flick allowing his captain the last word, after he had also had the first.