Sir Ian Botham: James Anderson will sail past my England record
England legend Sir Ian Botham says James Anderson will sail past his record 383 Test wickets after joining the 300 club
Sir Ian Botham has hailed James Anderson for becoming the fourth England bowler to surpass the 300-wicket barrier in Test cricket.
Anderson, 30, joined the illustrious ranks of Bob Willis, Fred Trueman and Botham to have taken 300 scalps in the longest-form of the game during England’s first Test victory over the Black Caps at Lord’s.
And the 57-year-old reckons the Lancashire star will easily eclipse his record tally of 383 Test dismissals.
“I’ve been impressed with Jimmy for years,” Botham said.
“I think he’s magnificent. He’s been the leader of the pack for a long time and will be for a long time to come. He gets better and better.
“I think he’ll get 484 [Test wickets]. I think he’ll go sailing past [my record of 383 wickets].
“If I can get Jimmy to have a glass of wine with me, we’ll open a very good bottle of wine and enjoy it when he goes past it, because I can’t think of a better person to take the mantle over.”
Botham was the linchpin of England’s team during the 1980s, coming to the fore with fast-bowler Willis in the 1981 Ashes, to complete one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sporting history.
And with this year’s Ashes around the corner, Botham believes England have developed another bowling partnership of note in Stuart Broad and Anderson.
“It’s a good combination. You’ve got the tall bowler who hits the back of a length, Stuart Broad, and you’ve got the swing bowling and the skills of Jimmy Anderson at the other end,” he added.
“That’s the combinations that work for years and years – [Dennis] Lillee and [Jeff] Thomson, myself and Bob Willis, Broad and Anderson. There’s no secret recipe. They’re just a good combination.”
England will take on New Zealand on Friday in the final Test of the current two-match series, which they lead 1-0, before they compete for the Ashes against old foes, Australia, in July.
“It’s a perfect build-up for England. New Zealand caused them problems in the winter, on the surfaces we played, which were very flat,” added Botham.
“England started a little slowly here [at Lord’s] in this Test match, but got better and better and the way the bowlers came out on that final day, it was obvious they wanted a day off. They were magnificent.”