Is Jimmy Anderson the best bowler in the world?
In the build-up to the third test of this year’s Ashes, legendary Pakistani player Wasim Akram has labelled England’s bowler the best in the world. Speaking to the BBC Akram, a legend of the game in his own right said: "Jimmy Anderson is leading from the front. For me he is the best bowler of this era. He does it consistently, with the new ball and the old ball."
Anderson is part of an England team in total control of the series, boasting a 2-0 lead against Australia going into the third test at Old Trafford on Thursday. Anderson has already taken 13 wickets in the Ashes so far and the 31-year-old’s career total of 320 Test wickets makes him England’s third best bowler of all time, behind only Ian Botham and Bob Willis.
England’s dominance over the tourists in the series so far, coupled with consistent rumours of splits in the Australian camp mean that the bookies are heavily backing the home side at 4/5 to win a third and decisive test. A draw sees odds of 5/2 and an unlikely Australian win is a 4/1 shot. Despite their woes, many long time followers will know that no matter what, test cricket is never a foregone conclusion and the fact that Australia came close to a win in the first test means that they could feasibly upset the odds this time round.
However there’s no debate with the bookies about the destination of the famous Ashes urn, with England 1/33 to retain the trophy. Australia are 40/1 long-shots to do the unthinkable and reverse their fortunes in spectacular style and 18/1 is what you get for a drawn series.