‘Never be beaten’: McGrath’s bold Anderson claim
GLENN McGrath has offered former Ashes rival James Anderson stunning praise as he prepares for the Englishman to surpass his all-time Test wickets record for a fast bowler.
Anderson needs just seven wickets to pass McGrath's 563, and become Test cricket's fourth-greatest ever wicket-taker.
McGrath boldly claimed on Monday that he would be the last person to ever be dethroned as the most prolific Test quick.
"With the nature of the game these days, and the amount of Twenty20 cricket, I believe no fast bowler will ever go past him," McGrath wrote for the Daily Mail.
"It is only a matter of time now before he gets there and I will be getting in touch with him as soon as he does to say well done."
Anderson's next chance to surpass McGrath comes in Hampshire against India in the fourth Test starting Thursday night.
The 36-year-old is in brilliant form this series, taking 17 wickets at 14.88. He leads the wicket tally by six over Ishant Sharma.
Anderson is the ICC's number one ranked Test bowler and has taken 557 wickets at 26.85 across 141 matches.
McGrath took 124 matches - and has bowled 1,817 deliveries less than Anderson - to take 563 wickets at 21.64.
"Records are nice and I've been very proud to have taken more wickets than any fast bowler in Test history, but any high is there to be beaten and I will be equally proud of Jimmy when he goes past me because the fast bowlers' union has to stick together, whichever country we come from," McGrath wrote.
The 48-year-old paid tribute to Anderson's work ethic over 15 years of international cricket, adding that he is "as good as anyone" when the ball is swinging.
"But when it isn't he comes back towards the pack a little bit," McGrath conceded.
Anderson told Sky Sports last month that he believes McGrath is the greatest fast bowler of all time.
"To be as close to someone like Glenn McGrath as I am is still a bit surreal," said Anderson, who was dismissed by McGrath's last ever Test delivery in 2007.
The Australian became Test cricket's most prolific fast bowler in 2005, when he surpassed the 519 wickets of West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh.
"I'm just going to keep playing as well as I can and if I get there, I get there," Anderson said.