'I am a huge fan of Anderson', says Kemar Roach
West Indies pace spearhead Kemar Roach heaped praise on his counterpart James Anderson for maintaining a terrific consistency in Test cricket. The 32-year-old put the spotlight on Anderson's bowling skills, stating he would like to emulate the latter some day. Roach's statement comes as England are West Indies are set to lock horns in the first of three-Test series on July 8.
"I am a huge fan of James Anderson. The way he has played for so long, to keep himself so fit is pretty amazing, what all he has done for England and for cricket all over the world and for fast bowling," Roach told ESPNcricinfo.
Roach highlights Anderson's propensity to swing the ball both ways. "Being able to move the ball both ways, and he is consistent with lengths and lines. It's very tough on the body and he has done a fantastic job of playing over 150 Test matches. It is something you want to emulate. Hopefully, I can get close to some of his achievements," he added.
James Anderson has been the linchpin of England's pace bowling attack ever he since he arrived on the international circuit. At present, the pace spearhead owns 871 wickets from 364 internationals at 27.64. He has accounted for 584 wickets in the longest format alone, the highest by an England seamer. Anderson currently holds the fourth spot on the tally of leading wicket-takers.
In 2018, Anderson overtook Glenn McGrath to become the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket. McGrath previously held the record with 563 wickets. Meanwhile, West Indies' Courtney Walsh is the only seamer to have claimed over 500 Test scalps. Anderson could become the first ever seamer to enter the 600-wicket club. He will chase the historic feat in the West Indies series.
Anderson has picked up 82 wickets in 20 Tests against West Indies at 22.15. He needs five more scalps to become the leading wicket-taker for England against the Caribbeans. Former bowler Fred Trueman holds the record with 86 scalps under his belt.
In the recently concluded intra-squad practice match, Anderson managed to scalp two wickets, playing for Team Stokes. He was later named in England's 13-member squad for the series opener against West Indies. The three-match series gets underway on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl. Besides, the Emirates Old Trafford will play host to the following two Test matches.
Full squad: Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone.