James Anderson has the ability to break my record, says Sir Ian Botham

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Botham believes Anderson will be key to England’s success in the Ashes

England legend Sir Ian Botham believes pace bowler James Anderson has what it takes to break his record of 383 Test wickets after the 30-year-old recently became the fourth English bowler to surpass the 300 Test wicket mark during the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Botham noted that he was thoroughly impressed with the pace and ferocity Anderson had shown during the recent two-Test series against New Zealand as it gave him and the rest of the cricketing world a glimpse of what to expect during the Ashes, which begin on July 10 at Trent Bridge.

“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), 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.”

Botham also pointed out that the new-ball combination of Anderson and Stuart Broad had worked extremely well for England and the former all-rounder added that they should stick with it during the Ashes as well.

“It’s a good combination,” he said. “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 (for Australia), 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 (northern hemisphere) winter, on the surfaces we played (in New Zealand), which were very flat. 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.”

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