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.

 


Al-Ittihad banking on experience of Saad Al-Shehri to replace Ramon Diaz

Updated 19 September 2018
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Al-Ittihad banking on experience of Saad Al-Shehri to replace Ramon Diaz

  • Al-Shehri led the young Green Falcons to the last eight of the 2018 Asian Games
  • Diaz was fired on Saturday after two defeats in the opening two games of the Saudi Pro League season

JEDDAH: Al-Ittihad are not hanging around in replacing manager Ramon Diaz as the Jeddah club are set to appoint Saudi Arabia U-23 coach Saad Al-Shehri as their new boss.
Diaz was fired on Saturday after two defeats in the opening two games of the Saudi Pro League season.
The 3-0 defeat at home to Al-Qadisiyah at the weekend sent the eight-time champions to the bottom of the table and resulted in the instant dismissal of the Argentine who was handed the reins only in May.
Al-Shehri has a growing reputation. Without any over-age players, the 38-year-old led the young Green Falcons to the last eight of the 2018 Asian Games which included a famous 4-3 win over a strong Chinese team in the second round and then a narrow 2-1 loss to finalists Japan.
“The question for the club now is one of stability in the coaching side,” an Al-Ittihad official told Arab News. “There have been a lot of changes and it is time to grow the club and Al-Shehri could be the man to settle everything down. He deserves a chance.”
Al-Shehri is regarded as the opposite of Diaz. The 59-year-old South American had a stellar playing CV and a long coaching resume that stretches back to 1995 while the Saudi Arabian saw his promising career cut short through injury.
So far, the former physical education teacher has been heavily involved in youth football, winning titles at that level with Al-Ittifaq and Al-Nassr before leading the U-20 team to the knockout stage of the 2017 World Cup and a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
“He is young but has had plenty of time to prepare for a coaching career after he finished as a player in his early twenties,” added the official. “His football is more positive as we saw at the Asian Games and the players enjoyed that experience and he also knows the local players really well. Al-Ittihad want to play more aggressive football than under Diaz. He wasn’t here a long time but the style of play did not fit the expectations of fans.”
The club are keen to get the deal done as soon as possible, though Al-Shehri is holding out for a contract until the end of the season. In the meantime, Bandar Basirah will take temporary charge of the team for the crucial trip to Al-Taawon on Thursday, a team that has drawn its first two games of the season.
“I am proud to be part of this big club and I thank the management here for having faith in me,” Basirah said. “I don’t have a magic wand to wave to change everything overnight but we will do everything we can to make the fans happy. We don’t have much time to prepare for the next game but I trust the players and we are all focused on getting the victory and get our season really started.”
At the very least, there is a desire to play more entertaining football. “We know that we haven’t been at our best this season so far but we have studied the opponent well and are ready to get the three points.”
Assuming that Al-Shehri comes in sooner rather than later, there will be funds available to strengthen the team. President Nawaf Al-Muqairn has promised fans that better times are around the corner.
“We will give our players a chance in the coming weeks but when the time comes, we will not hesitate to strengthen the team with local and foreign talent.”