Former West Indies batter Brian Lara paid tribute to James Anderson, saying he bowled one of the best balls he ever faced.

Anderson is preparing to lace up his bowling boots for the final time at Lord’s, playing his 188th and final Test for England at the same ground where he made his debut in 2003.

He has taken 700 wickets and one of them was against one of the greatest batters to ever play the game, when he dismissed Lara at the Oval in 2004.

And Lara, who scored 11,953 Test runs over a 16-year career, ranks that as the best ball he faced.

“He bowled me one of the best balls I have ever faced,” he said on BBC Breakfast.

“He was the last English bowler to get me out, it was my last Test at the Oval against England.

“It was a little bit of an in-swinger which I shaped to hit through mid-on and it hit the pitch and straightened and it took my edge.

“You had to be a decent batter to edge it, that is all I can say.”

Anderson, who was nicknamed the ‘Burnley Lara’ owing to his batting prowess as a youngster, will bow out against the West Indies, 21 years after making his debut.

Lara added: “He had the goods and look what he has done over 188 Test matches, a tremendous career.

“Fitting for him to go out at Lord’s. He has had a tremendous career, the longevity of it, he has been playing for 21 years.

“It shows that if you really put your mind to it, you’re committed and you have the discipline, you can go well.”