Moeen Ali calls James Anderson a ‘joke’ ahead of his final Test

James Anderson, Moeen Ali

James Anderson is set to play the final Test match of his career at Lord’s. The first Test match against West Indies, starting on July 10, will be his last for England. He has 700 Test wickets before this Test.

Against the West Indies, he has taken 87 wickets in 22 Test matches. The next Test match will be his 188th, the second highest after Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 Test matches.

Ahead of the first Test match against West Indies, James Anderson spoke about keeping his emotions in check. England’s cricketing fraternity is all set to host the champions for the last time in Test cricket.

Former England cricketers have already written columns and spoken about Anderson’s greatness. Moeen Ali is the latest to join the initiative with his latest column for The Guardian.

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James Anderson, a one-of-a-kind cricketer

He spoke of his admiration for Anderson and his huge impact on Test cricket. In his column, he called James Anderson a one-of-a-kind cricketer and the greatest seam bowler.

“There were times during my Test career, sitting in the dressing room quietly reflecting on things, when I could hardly believe how lucky I was to be in the same England team as Jimmy Anderson. He really is a one-of-a-kind cricketer and, in my opinion, the greatest seam bowler of all time,” Moeen wrote.

Ali further spoke about how Anderson was already an established Test bowler when he made his Test debut in 2014. He recalled England’s victory in the 2012 Test series in India. Two years later, Moeen Ali himself took 19 wickets in the famous 2014 Test series against India.

“The funny thing is that I made my Test debut in 2014 when Jimmy was 31. So he had already been an international for 11 years, just shy of his 100th cap. He had won the Ashes home and away, formed a great partnership with Stuart Broad and had been instrumental in a historic series win in India two years earlier. In that match, against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, he took seven wickets to give him 350 Test wickets and, apparently, that was only half a job. What a ridiculous player. A joke, really,” Moeen Ali added.

The English all-rounder has since retired from Test cricket, but will witness the passing of another England legend into the twilight of his career and his final Test match. Anderson’s longevity as a cricketer and his love for Test cricket have always been topics of conversation.

Meanwhile, he has kept his action simple. He has made technical changes to his bowling action since the time he made his international debut in 2003. He took just five wickets in his last Test series against India and will be keen to make an impact with the ball in his final Test.

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