Glenn McGrath has garnered 537 wickets in Test and James Anderson has secured 450 Test wickets so far © Getty Images
Glenn McGrath has garnered 537 wickets in Test and James Anderson has secured 450 Test wickets so far © Getty Images

Legendary Australian pacer Glenn McGrath said on Saturday that England quick James Anderson can go on to surpass his tally of 563 Test wickets, provided the latter stays fit. Anderson breezed past the 450 milestone in England’s most recent Test against Sri Lanka this week. He now has 451 scalps to his credit, 112 less than that of McGrath. The Australian is fourth on the list with the likes of legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan (800), leg-spin great Shane Warne (708) and former India captain Anil Kumble (619) preceding him. “That’s entirely up to him; if he stays on the park, then he can do that quite easily – and knock me off. And good luck to him,” McGrath spoke on Anderson. ALSO READ: James Anderson top-ranked ICC Test bowler; Ravichandran Ashwin secondHe further added while speaking to cricket.com.au, “He’s a quality bowler, there’s no doubt about that. When he’s firing and the ball’s swinging, he’s as tough (to face) as any bowler going around,” McGrath said. “He’s played 115 Tests now, which for a fast bowler to play over 100 is exceptional. He’s still bowling well, and he’s still taking wickets.” Anderson also spoke to The Telegraph UK and added, “In the back of my mind I think I can get 500 Test wickets. And what has helped me during the last three or four years has been thinking about staying as fit as possible so I get on the field. Then I can contribute to us winning games. If I do that and stay in the team it means I will get wickets. I would like to play the 2019 Ashes. I will be 37 then.” 

McGrath on the other hand feels achieving 500 at the moment can be kept on stand-still as fitness plays a major role atleast until 2019 Ashes. He believes fitness in the key to success, “Being a fast bowler is tough on the body, there’s no doubt about it. You have to stay fit and strong, and injury free. He’s had a few issues in the past but he’s come back well, and (how long he plays is) up to him now really. I was lucky enough to play through ’til I was 37, so I’m sure he’s still got plenty of overs left in him.” McGrath has scalped 62 wickets in 2005 prior to adding 24 Test wicket during the final 13 months of his time in Baggy Green. ALSO READ: Glenn McGrath: It is a tough decision to choose between nation and IPL

He further added, “You become a little bit more experienced and you know how to go about things. You learn how to recover, and out in the middle you know about taking wickets, creating pressure and setting batsmen up. I think you just know yourself better – the way you work and how you work at your best. Anderson would definitely know that now and would be making sure he’s always recovering well.” McGrath feels Anderson’s experience has been at par in comparison to experienced pacers in England. “He’s a different bowler to Stuart Broad, and to ‘Goughy’ (Darren Gough) and (Andy) Caddick and those guys. But for the wickets he’s taken, and when he’s on song, he’s as good as there’s been from England I think. I think Broad’s got the potential to go on and be one of the greats as well, but Jimmy’s up there – and now it’s up to him how high he wants to set that mark.”