James Anderson goes past Ravi Ashwin on the list of most fifers in Test cricket

Day three of the second Test between South Africa and England was special for England fast bowler James Anderson. Anderson set a new record for himself when he went past India’s Ravi Ashwin and South Africa’s Ian Botham to record his 28th five-wicket haul in the longest format of the game. Ashwin and Botham have taken 27 five-wicket hauls with the red ball. Anderson has now moved to the eighth spot in the list of most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket. Anderson dismissed Faf du Plessis (1), Dwaine Pretorius (4), Keshav Maharaj (8), Kagiso Rabada (0), and Anrich Nortje (4) in the first innings against South Africa.

Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has the most number of fifers in Tests (67 in 133 matches), followed by Aussie great Shane Warne (37 in 145). New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee is third on the list with 36 fifers in 86 matches. India’s Anil Kumble is on the fourth spot with 35 fifers from 132 matches.

Talking about the proceedings of the game, England bundled out South Africa for 223 runs with Anderson striking with the first ball of the day to send back Kagiso Rabada. He then got the last wicket, that off Anrich Nortje in the 89th over. England has taken a lead of 46 runs.

After a 107-run defeat in the first Test, England captain Joe Root had considered dropping Anderson from the playing XI in the second Test, a move that he would have regretted.

“If difficult decisions have to be made down the line then they will be,” Root had said at a press conference. “It’s a fine balance, you’ve got to look at the surface and at an attack you feel is best going to counter that and best counter the opposition,”  he said. 

“I think the ideal scenario is to have people pushing them all the time so that they’re constantly trying to improve themselves. They’ve got fantastic records behind them and they’ve produced fantastic things for England in the very recent past. You don’t want to wish those guys away or look back and think ‘we’ve forced Jimmy Anderson out”.  he concluded.