Ian Chappell (Getty Images)
MELBOURNE: Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell heaped praise on all the bowlers who are a part of the 500 Test wickets club, calling them as “eclectic”.
His remark came as Stuart Broad became the most recent bowler to forge his name in the club.
There are now seven bowlers who have taken more than 500 wickets in the longest format of the game — Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), Anil Kumble (619), James Anderson (589), Glenn McGrath (563), Curtly Ambrose (519), and Stuart Broad (501).
“The seven members of the 500-Test-wicket club are an eclectic group of bowlers; two leggies, an offspinner, a swing bowler, and three seamers. The one missing ingredient is an out-and-out speed merchant, which is probably an indication of how tough on the body that is as an occupation,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Chappell as saying.
“Of the group, Broad has the best average for his best performance in Test cricket: a minuscule 1.88 for his 8 for 15 against Australia. However Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble has the honour of a record that won’t be broken: he was the first member of the group – and currently the only one – to have taken all ten wickets in an innings,” he added.
The former Australian skipper also said that it is unlikely that the records set by Muralitharan would be broken by anyone.
“Muralitharan has two records that will likely never be beaten. He has an incredible 67 five-wicket hauls and an almost equally amazing 22 ten-wicket matches. Warne is next on the list with a far distant 37 and 10 respectively,” Chappell said.
Broad had registered 500 wickets in the longest format in the third and final Test against West Indies in Manchester.
The pacer was left out of the first Test against Windies, but Broad staged a remarkable comeback in the second and third Tests.
“In an era of stringent media training Broad was refreshingly honest in an interview following his omission from England’s side for the first Test against West Indies,” Chappell said.
“He didn’t lambast the selectors; he just expressed his disappointment and then proceeded in the next two Tests to display why they were wrong. Any selector worth the title should be delighted at such a positive player reaction to an omission,” he added.