Emotional James Anderson pays tribute to Alastair Cook after breaking Glenn McGrath's record at The Oval
James Anderson became the most successful fast bowler in Test history when he sealed England's 118-run win over India at The Oval on Tuesday.
With just one wicket to fall, and Anderson needing one more to break the record of 563 he had shared with retired Australia great Glenn McGrath, the 36-year-old Lancashire paceman bowled Mohammed Shami to give England victory in the fifth Test and a 4-1 series win.
India were dismissed for 345 on the fifth and final day, having been set a mammoth 464 for victory.
They collapsed to 2-3 before a sixth-wicket stand of 204 between opener Lokesh Rahul (149) and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (114) gave them hope of an improbable win.
But leg-spinner Adil Rashid took 2-3 in 12 balls to remove both century-makers after tea, with India then struggling at 328-7.
The scale of India’s task could be seen from the fact that no side have made more in the fourth innings to win a Test than the West Indies’ 418-7 against Australia at St John’s, Antigua in 2003.
Alastair Cook was named man-of-the-match after England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer made 147 in his final innings before international retirement.
“I’m happy Cookie was on the field to see that wicket,” an emotional Anderson told Sky Sports. “He is my best mate and he’s been brilliant – there for me all the time.”
As for his record-breaking strike, Anderson added: “Thankfully, Joe [Root, the England captain] let me take the new ball eventually which gave me a chance to get that wicket.”
Cook, who also made a hundred on Test debut against India in Nagpur, said: “It’s been an amazing week, one you couldn’t script. To see Jimmy pass Glenn McGrath today was great.
"No chance I’m coming back. This week cannot be beaten. I can walk away with my head held high, like I’ve always wanted to do.”
On Anderson’s record-breaking wicket, his teammate Jonny Bairstow added: “It was the perfect ball. You want to bring the stumps into play. To see them cartwheel – the stumps drop back and the bails to go – was unreal.
“Now he has gone past Glenn McGrath, that’s something that can never be taken away. So many records in this game have gone. It just shows the amount of experience and class in the dressing room.
“It’s been an emotional week. I was not expecting it when Cooky told us. It was great for him to have his mates and family in the box and to score the hundred. He says he will sleep for a week now it’s all over, but I’m not sure he will get that with Alice [his wife] about to drop.”
India captain Virat Kohli, who tried to lead from the front with 593 runs this series, praised the fight shown by Tuesday’s century-makers.
“Credit must go to Pant and Rahul for standing up,” he said. “They showed the character we have in the team and the kind of cricket we played in the series.
“There will be things that we will think about. We missed quite a few opportunities, but we have no regrets. We decided to be fearless.
“I’m not saying that the scoreline is not fair, but it does not mean we have been outplayed in every game. We can take a lot of heart from that.”