Stuart MacGill gives England leggie Mason Crane some tips. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Stuart MacGill gives England leggie Mason Crane some tips. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Anderson will break my record: McGrath

Jimmy Anderson is just 42 wickets away from breaking McGrath’s mark. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Jimmy Anderson is just 42 wickets away from breaking McGrath’s mark. Picture: Phil Hillyard
CRICKET: Glenn McGrath says it's inevitable he will hand over his mantle as the top fast bowling wicket-taker in Test history to Jimmy Anderson, an accolade he believes the English swing king deserves.

Anderson has endured some horror tours of Australia in the past, but despite England's failures this summer, the 35-year-old pace leader has shown the way with 16 wickets at an average of 26 runs for each scalp.

Meanwhile, another former Australian Ashes star Stuart Macgill was in the SGC nets mentoring England debutant-in-waiting Mason Crane, a leg-spinner after his own heart.

 

Despite his age, Anderson has at least shown he might have another 18 months in him, long enough to get to a potential Ashes farewell on home soil in 2019.

Anderson has 522 career wickets and is fast closing in on McGrath's mark of 563 - only spin trio Muttiah Muralitheran, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble have more.

McGrath, who played until age 37, reached his record in just 124 Tests (Anderson has already played 133), but the Australian great said Anderson has left no doubt this summer that he is a champion of the game and of Ashes cricket.

"If he's got a couple of years left in him he'll do it quite easily," said McGrath, who is proudly celebrating 10 years of the McGrath Foundation's Sydney Pink Test.

"Good luck to him. To have played as many Tests as he has and taken as many wickets just shows a quality bowler. The nature of the beast being a fast bowler (means), to play that many Tests to start with is a good achievement.

"If he plays long enough he'll get me and deservedly so."

Glenn McGrath knocks over Andrew Flintoff’s castle. Picture: Phil Hillyard.
Glenn McGrath knocks over Andrew Flintoff’s castle. Picture: Phil Hillyard.

McGrath said there have been few more dangerous bowlers than Anderson when the ball swings, and even when he hasn't this Ashes series, he's shown his rare skill in a losing team.

"When the ball's swinging around he's as good as anyone in world cricket. His record speaks for itself," McGrath said.

"He's come out here, the tracks have been not your normal quick, bouncy tracks but he's done well.

 

"There's been a few other tough times (in his career) but I think the Australian public have seen Jimmy when he's performing and how hard it is for the batsmen to face him. He's done better this trip, but his record speaks for itself."

One of McGrath's Ashes trademarks was the wood he held over former England captain Mike Atherton, dismissing him a record 19 times in Ashes cricket.

Stuart MacGill gives England leggie Mason Crane some tips. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Stuart MacGill gives England leggie Mason Crane some tips. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Nathan Lyon has got struggling English spinner Moeen Ali six times from seven innings this summer - a stunning exhibition of dominance.

McGrath admits Moeen will find it hard to break the shackles of being Lyon's bunny if he's lucky enough to survive the axe for the Sydney Test.

"When you've got a bit of an edge over someone it is always in the back of their mind that you've got someone out quite a few times," he said.

"I used to try to talk it up a little bit before a Test series or match and add a little bit more pressure.

"Whether Nathan will come out and do that I'm not sure but it is one of those things.

"It's been a tough tour for (Moeen)."


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