England vs Pakistan 2020: James Anderson Is The GOAT – Dom Bess
James Anderson completed a five-wicket haul in the third Test against Pakistan to move within two of becoming the first pacer to claim 600 scalps. (AFP)

James Anderson is England’s Greatest of All Time’ (GOAT), said offspinner Dom Bess after the veteran pacer closed in on an unprecedented 600 Test wickets with just two more to get in the Pakistan second innings.

Only Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) have crossed the 600 wicket mark but no fast bowler has ever breached the mark which is a testimony to Anderson’s longevity in international cricket.

The 38-year-old Anderson returned with his 29th five-wicket haul (5-56) on Day 3 of the ongoing third Test against Pakistan to achieve 598 wickets in red-ball cricket.

His exploits saw Pakistan being dismissed for 273 as England enforced follow-on.

“He’s the GOAT (greatest of all time) isn’t he? He’s the GOAT of bowling and England’s greatest,” Bess was quoted as saying by Press Association.

“Myself, Dom Sibley, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley have all grown up watching him play. It’s phenomenal to stand there at point watching him nick people off and hit people on the shins, to watch him take as many poles as he does and do it so consistently.”

Bess, who was just six years old when Anderson made his debut in 2003, said: “It’s an amazing thing for an individual but I think when Jimmy does his business, he does it for the team.

“There was chat about his potential retirement (recently) and then he comes back and absolutely tears it up. That just shows how good he is.”

England, who are leading the three-Test series 1-0, had declared their first innings at 583 for 8, courtesy a double hundred by Zak Crawley and a hundred by Jos Buttler.

(PTI)