England's highest wicket-taker James Anderson etched a record to his name during the fifth Test match at the Oval. The 36-year-old became the most successful fast bowlers in the history of Test cricket after he took the final wicket on the fifth day.
Mohammed Shami was Anderson's 564th victim, which meant he now surpasses the Australian spearhead Glenn McGrath's record of 563 wickets in Test cricket. In the process, the England bowler wrapped things up in style as it helped the hosts secure a 4-1 series win over India.
In the overall rankings for Test bowlers, James Anderson sits at fourth place, behind bowling greats Anil Kumble, Shane Warne and Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, who sits on top with 800 wickets to his name.
Anderson had drawn level with two wickets on the fourth day, but England couldn't force victory as the match entered the fifth day. The final day set up an interesting contest with KL Rahul assisted by Rishabh Pant, who looked to chase down the gigantic total of 464 set by England.
But just when all hopes seemed lost, Adil Rashid provided England the breakthrough and the highlight of the fifth day. Rashid produced a stunning leg-break that secured the prized scalp of KL Rahul.
Bowling around the wicket to Rahul, he delivered the ball right in the rough, which made it spin big time. The batsman, standing on the backfoot, hoping to deadbat it, was beaten as the ball clattered into the stumps. It seemed like a carbon-copy of the wicket Warne took in 1993.
That wicket triggered India's collapse as records kept tumbling one after another. While many may argue that India probably did not deserve a 1-4 series hammering but that's how things pan out when a visiting team misses opportunities when they come their way and clinch defeat from the jaws of victory.
But it was a great advertisement for Test cricket with result in all 5 Test matches. While India can take some heart from the fact that barring Lord's Test match they were in the series in all the other 4 matches.
In the end, India's position as numero uno as top Test ranking may not be affected but its image as the worlds best has taken a severe beating with its famed batting line up brutally exposed and open for scrutiny.
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