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Sir Ian Botham expects James Anderson to beat his England Test wicket haul

James Anderson: Backed by Sir Ian Botham to break his record

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Sir Ian Botham expects James Anderson to go far beyond his England record haul of 383 Test wickets.

Lancastrian Anderson took seven wickets in the recently-concluded Lord's Test with New Zealand to become only the fourth England player to reach the 300 wicket milestone.

Now on 305 ahead of this week's second Test at Headingley, Botham expects Anderson to push on.

"I've been impressed with Jimmy for years," Botham said. "I think he's magnificent. He's been the leader of the pack for a long time and will be for a long time to come. He gets better and better. I think he'll get 484 (Test wickets). I think he'll go sailing past (my record).

Anderson joins 300 club

"If I can get Jimmy to have a glass of wine with me, we'll open a very good bottle of wine and enjoy it when he goes past it, because I can't think of a better person to take the mantle over."


Stuart Broad claimed eight Black Caps' wickets at Lord's, including seven in the second innings which saw England complete victory a day early.

Botham hailed the combination of Anderson and Broad and predicted a strong summer for Alistair Cook's side, including in the Ashes series with Australia, should the bowlers continue firing.

He added: "It's a good combination. You've got the tall bowler who hits the back of a length, Stuart Broad, and you've got the swing bowling and the skills of Jimmy Anderson at the other end.

"That's the combinations that work for years and years - (Dennis) Lillee and (Jeff) Thomson, myself and Bob Willis, Broad and Anderson. There's no secret recipe. They're just a good combination.

"It's a perfect build-up for England. New Zealand caused them problems in the winter, on the surfaces we played, which were very flat.

"England started a little slowly here (at Lord's) in this Test match, but got better and better and the way the bowlers came out on that final day, it was obvious they wanted a day off. They were magnificent.

"The runs will come, we know that, (Kevin) Pietersen's to come back into the side. But if the bowling department continue that form, look out Australia."