Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Beefy predicts Anderson record
England legend Sir Ian Botham expects fast bowler James Anderson to threaten his wicket-taking record and believes he is the best bowler in the world.
Anderson, third in the ICC’s Test bowling rankings, passed 250 Test wickets on the recent tour of Sri Lanka and is tipped to go past Botham’s long-standing record of 383.
"I don’t see any reason why he can’t beat it. I am getting a bit bored of it now anyway!" Botham joked.
"Jimmy is the best bowler in world cricket at the moment. I have watched him over the last two years carry the England attack – he is the leader of the pack and let’s hope he stays fit because he is the most feared new ball bowler around."
The 29-year-old led the England attack with distinction during a difficult winter that saw some inconsistent live scores and he has become a man for all occasions and conditions.
Anderson admitted the record is in the back of his mind but is simply enjoying being fit and healthy at the moment.
"Ian Botham’s record is a realistic possibility. But I don’t really think about it. My main focus is to keep fit, keep my place in the team and help England or Lancashire win games," said Anderson.
"If, in a few years’ time, I get close then great. I am happy with what I have achieved so far but it would be nice at the end of my career to look back on things like that."
Anderson’s battle with South Africa’s Dale Steyn, the world's number one Test bowler, promises to be one of the sport news headlines of the summer. The Lancashire quick is expecting a fierce encounter in the three-match series, which begins on July 19.
"Our biggest test will be South Africa – they will provide us with a huge challenge," added Anderson.