England’s James Anderson on Tuesday became the first fast bowler to claim 600 Test wickets. He achieved the feat by dismissing Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on day five of the third Test at The Ageas Bowl.
Only three spinners namely Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619) have taken more wickets than him.
Anderson achieved the historic feat in his 156th Test match after 17 years of an international career. He had taken his first wicket while making a Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in London in 2003.
Former Australian bowler Glenn McGrath told BBC, “Absolutely incredible, I’m a big fan of Jimmy’s. Just the fact he’s still playing now, in his 156th Test atch, which in itself is just incredible.
“The rigours, the stresses that fast bowlers put on their body day in day out, to turn around and front up and just work your backside off is just absolutely incredible.”
The former Australian fast bowler compared Anderson to Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket. He said, “He’s set the bar a bit like Sachin has.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli tweeted, “Congratulations @jimmy9 for this outstanding achievement of 600 wickets. Definitely one of the best bowlers I’ve faced.”
Former Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akran wrote, “Champion bowler James Anderson! Congrats on reaching the first-ever 600 wickets for a fast bowler.. hard work, passion and never-day-die approach have been the hallmark of your career.. doyen of fast bowlers, best wishes for the rest of your career.”
Earlier his teammate Stuart Broad had claimed his 500th Test wicket during the series against West Indies. Broad told BBC, “It’s just a phenomenal achievement. He has got better with age and is someone who has inspired me throughout my career. He’s a role model to follow for every English cricketer and young cricketer coming through.
The last Test match ended in a draw giving England 1-0 series win against Pakistan.