‘He’s the GOAT, isn’t he?’: Dom Bess praises Jimmy Anderson, and blames bad light on the three dropped catches in 10 balls that prevented the England paceman reaching 600 Test wickets
- England’s Dom Bess has branded Jimmy Anderson as the ‘greatest of all time’
- The paceman is aiming to be the first seamer to take 600 Test wickets
- Bess blamed bad light on a spate of missed catches off Anderson’s bowling
Jimmy Anderson’s quest to become the first seamer to take 600 Test wickets was slowed by a spate of dropped catches on the third evening of the third Test against Pakistan in Southampton.
Anderson, who finished the day on 598, still collected his 29th Test five-for as Pakistan were bowled out for 273, then asked to follow on, 310 behind England.
But spinner Dom Bess blamed the three catches that went down in 10 balls off an infuriated Anderson on bad light – and suggested conditions could have endangered the tourists’ tailenders.
England bowler Jimmy Anderson has been branded as the ‘greatest of all time’ by Dom Bess
‘He was very frustrated,’ said Bess. ‘It’s no excuse but it was really dark out there. I was stood at square leg when Azhar Ali pulled one off Jofra and I did not see it. If that is hit straight at me, I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to be doing.
‘When you’ve got numbers 10 and 11 out there facing Jofra, it’s seriously dangerous. If one of them gets hit, what happens then? We should have gone off earlier. We all want to be playing cricket, but there’s got to be more common sense in terms of the players’ wellbeing.’
Rory Burns and Zak Crawley both put down a catch in the slips in the same Anderson over to reprieve Azhar Ali and Mohammad Abbas, before Azhar – who finished with a superb unbeaten 141 – was missed by Broad at mid-on.
The spinner blamed bad light on a spate of missed catches that stalled Anderson’s record
When Broad instantly reprieved himself by running out Abbas, Anderson was still glowering, and England seemed unsure whether to celebrate. He briefly cheered up when he removed last man Naseem Shah.
Match officials have been under pressure this week to keep the players out in the middle after coming in for criticism during the weather-ruined second Test.
But Bess argued that the reading on their light meters had been around 700 when the players were taken off in the previous game, and as low as 430 last night.
The paceman is aiming to be the first seamer to reach 600 Test wickets, currently on 598
He added: ‘We’re in a great position. We talk about our blueprint, which is scoring plenty of runs, and now we have two days to bowl them out. There’s a little bit of weather around, but you’d like to think with the bowling attack we have that we can produce the goods.
‘Jimmy’s the GOAT [greatest of all time], isn’t he? There was chat about potential retirement, and then he comes back and absolutely tears it up. That just shows how good he is.’