Nasser Hussain has compared James Anderson‘s feat of 700 Test wickets to Don Bradman’s batting average of 99.94.

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James Anderson dismissed Kuldeep Yadav in the second innings of the fifth Test in Dharamshala to reach 700 Test wickets. He became the first pacer and only the third bowler in the history of Test cricket to reach there.

Speaking on the Sky Cricket podcast, Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, heaped praise on Anderson and compared his achievement to Don Bradman’s batting average of 99.94. “Unbelievable! I reckon it’ll end up one of those stats in years to come, a decade or something, or more than that, [which] people will look back and go, “How did he do that?”, Hussain said.

“Not just the 700 [Test wickets] as a seam bowler, but he’s going to be pushing 200 Test matches by the time he calls it a day. It’s going to be like [Don] Bradman’s 99.9 (Test batting average). You look back on it and go, ‘How can he average 99.9 in Test match cricket?’ And I think long after Jimmy is retired, we’ll all look back and go, ‘How did that fast bowler get to 700 wickets and play the best part of 200 Test matches?'”

Having debuted in 2003 under the captaincy of Hussain, Anderson is currently sitting on 187 Test matches, second only to Sachin Tendulkar’s 200. Hussain acknowledged the extra effort that fast bowling demands and appreciated Anderson’s longevity and his hunger to reach where he has.

“Bowling fast is seriously hard work. Getting out of bed the next day to strap those boots on and you’re sore and you’re stiff and captains like me and you (Atherton) throwing you the ball at 6 o’clock in the evening for that second new ball: ‘Can you go again for us please, Jimmy?’ And he just does it.

“The skill, the fitness, the hunger, the love of the game. I mean he is unique. He is utterly, utterly brilliant, and it’s an absolute joy to have been around Jimmy Anderson as a captain and as a player and now as a broadcaster.

“Shane Warne’s next in his sight – 708 [Test wickets]. He’ll probably go past that this summer. He’ll probably end up sitting between those two all time great spinners Warne and Murali.”

On the same podcast, Michael Atherton singled out Anderson’s love for competition as the factor behind his longevity: “I don’t think you can play on for that length of time, whether you are a batter or a bowler actually, unless you have an inherent love of playing and of competing,” Atherton said.

“As we all know, Test cricket is really tough. And for the fast bowlers, it’s more of a physical kind of endurance and toughness rather than the mental wear and tear that batters tend to go through.”

England’s next Test assignment is a three-match home series against the West Indies in July this year.