New Zealand in England 2013 May 20, 2013

Anderson 'most skilful in world' - Saker

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David Saker has hailed James Anderson as "the most skilful bowler in the world" following his performance in the first Test of the series against New Zealand at Lord's.

Anderson claimed the 13th five-wicket haul of his Test career in the first innings to become just the fourth England bowler to take 300 Test wickets. Now Saker, England's bowling coach, believes that Anderson has every chance of becoming the first to reach 400.

While Saker accepted that Anderson lacks the pace of South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, he believes Anderson's desire for continual self-improvement has helped him develop into one of the top seam-and-swing bowlers in world cricket, with a rare ability to swing the ball both ways from a well-disguised action.

"To me, he is the most skilful fast bowler in the world," Saker said. "I know Dale Steyn is an outstanding bowler, but when you watch the way Jimmy goes about things, he has more skills in his locker. Steyn might be a little quicker but watch Anderson deliver those skills and it's just mind-blowing. When he gets it right, there's no more skilful bowler in the world.

"Jimmy keeps getting better. I don't know whether his figures say that, but he's the one player I've coached that is never satisfied with what he's got. For him it would be easy to be satisfied because he has so many skills, but he keeps working on things in training. I've never met a guy as good as him who keeps wanting to get better.

"I remember watching him as a supporter of the Australian team. He could swing the ball but you could always get a four off him. Now it's really hard to get runs off him. He's very rarely cut. He has excellent control and he always tests the batsman. He's a class bowler.

"He has a body that can play for a lot longer, too. We hope he can go beyond 400 wickets and become England's greatest wicket-taker. He has a really nice action, he's a seasoned campaigner and he knows how to manage his body. We hope he can stay on the park for another five or six years."

Saker was almost equally effusive about Stuart Broad. It was Broad who produced the match-clinching performance in the final innings against New Zealand, taking his Test-best figures of 7 for 44 and, though Saker admitted Broad lacked the consistency to be categorised as a great bowler, he suggested such a scenario was possible in the future.

"When he gets everything right, there aren't many better in the world," Saker said. "We'll be talking about that spell for a long time. It's as good a spell as you'll ever see anywhere. He has days where he just tears teams apart and he did it again there.

"The one thing that stands out from the greats to the very good is the greats are consistent. Stuart still has things to learn about bowling. But in my book he's still getting better every time and he's learning a lot from having some down times. He's come back bigger and better from some down times in India. Those things happen. There are a lot of bowlers who have gone through times which are a bit tough."

Saker has made extravagant claims over the strength of England's bowling before. Almost exactly a year ago, he suggested the England attack was "as good as" the Australian attack of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, et al. but, on this occasion, he admitted there was room for improvement from the England unit. Steven Finn, who is struggling for rhythm, is a particular concern for Saker at present.

"He probably isn't bowling as well as he could, but he's getting wickets," Saker said. "He's got that knack of getting wickets. He's got the pace. We're just working on a few little things but I'm sure he'll be all right and confident by Leeds.

"In the first 13 or 14 overs in the first innings we were good, but then we went away from what we knew was going to work. We bowled too short and we got cut quite often. It was the one easy scoring shot to play in the game. There's no trick in cricket: if you bowl a ball that's going to hit the stumps, it puts the batter under pressure. We did that really well on the third morning and in the second innings."

Saker expressed admiration for the New Zealand team, too, but suggested that their impressive performance in the series between the countries in New Zealand may have contributed to England producing a much-improved showing at Lord's. Having bowled them out for just 68 in the second innings, though, Saker feared the tourists may struggle to recover their confidence before the second Test starts in Leeds on Friday.

"The one thing we've learned in recent months is that New Zealand are a bloody good cricket team," Saker said. "They've competed extremely well against us and we've found it really hard to get them out. And their bowlers have been as good as any bowling attack. They've been so disciplined. I think we were all surprised how good they were in New Zealand. So we had a real steely look about us as we're so impressed by the way they've played.

"But it can definitely hurt you being bowled out for 68. When the ball moves, we have a lot of teams' measures. We've some good skilful bowlers. Some days in England it is very tough to bat and now we have a chance to keep kicking them."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Donsshaddow on | May 21, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    If Dale Steyn is like a tiger hunting prey, James Anderson is like a gazelle. Both are masters of their art. The fact that James doesn't have express pace works to his advantage as he has developed the ability to swing the red/white ball in most conditions. There seems to be an air of confidence in his approach to the crease. This confidence has helped his control and this control has helped him pick up wickets more regularly. Mr Saker says that Jamie is 'the most skilful bowler in the world'. There's nothing wrong with that. In an age where batsmen hold all the aces, players like James, Dale, Starc, Lasith, Tino need to be treasured as they are the best cricket has at the moment.

  • POSTED BY threeslipsandagully on | May 20, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    A lot of you here don't seem to have bothered to read the article before commenting. James Anderson is an entirely different bowler to Dale Steyn and relies on different bowling tools, which is exactly what Saker is saying. His detractors can say what they like, but the fact is that Anderson is one of the most complete and well-rounded pace bowlers in the world right now - if not THE most - and would walk into just about any attack.

  • POSTED BY Handy87 on | May 20, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    The comments about Anderson's averages overlook the fact that he has averaged 25 in test cricket over the past 3 years which is not far off Steyn. I think Steyn is definitely number 1 but the gap in recent times hasn't been as much as people here are saying. Anderson suffered from inconsistency in his first few years of test cricket and was in and out of the team- he perhaps was exposed to test cricket too early which knocked his confidence and then was carried around as 12th man far too often when he could have been perfecting his art for Lancashire. Averages are deceiving- Anderson is better than his average of 30 and I truly believe it will be well below that by the time he retires.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 25, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    @SuperSharky: Fair comment but what amuses me is that even for these two you are talking of fav conditions. There are a number of bowler in the world who will make the batsmen dance in fav conditions. A rookie like Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets the ball to move alarmingly even in India, imagine what movement he would get in England. I am not saying that Bhuvi is more skillful than Steyn or JA, that comparison will be ridiculous but the simple point is that on a green top, you don't need too much skill to make the ball talk. All you need is application. M Starc was magical in Aus vs SL and WI and yet he turned out to be toothless in the Test Series in India.

    Undoubtedly JA will bowl several beauties in fav conditions but he won't be the only one capable of doing that nor would he be the one who would bowl the best or most beauties.

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | May 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Jimmy Anderson is the most skillful bowler, but Steyn is still the most dangerous bowler. I would hate to be an opening batsmen, who had to face a World XI team with Steyn from the one end and Anderson from the other end. If it isn't on a flat track in India, then it would be totally unfair to the opposition. On a green mamba track with cloud cover, they will be called a murderous gang-pair. But if some-one had to stick a gun to my head and orders that I can only pick one of them in my team, then I'll pick Steyn.

  • POSTED BY poms_have_short_memories on | May 24, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I think it is relative to the quality of batsmen that are around at the time. Since 2008, which is apparently when James Anderson has become such a great bowler, there has been probably two batsmen( Amla and Clarke) that have been the best in the world. Compared to who Glenn McGrath had to bowl at, Tendulkar, Lara, Yousaf, Inzy, Pietersen, i guess there is no comparison. As an Aussie fan I'm not going to say that Anderson is crap, because he isn't, but he's certainly not great, and Steyn is as skilled as Anderson, just 8-10 kph faster. In line with my previous argument, I think Allan Donald was better than Steyn. But isn't just personal opinion at the end of the day?

  • POSTED BY letsgoproteas on | May 23, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Shan156 - no one is arrogant... and if you read all the comments they come from all over the world.

    I think everyone in general, is just tired of reading the constant "over hyped" articles about very average english players.

    Jimmy is good. not great. its a common theme in your team.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 23, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    @Shan156: I know it. For me and many like me Viru is one of the finest players of the last 10 years and when one sees that he was a reluctant opener then it becomes even more impressive. But we are digressing. Talking about JA, I have said it in the past too that I like seeing him bowl. I am not saying that he is poor or not skillful or not among the top bowlers in the world. But when I hear ppl making claims that JA is a proven wicket taker in ALL conditions and point to his recent bowling in India as if .... then I got to set it straight. I find it comical that these people claim they speak on facts yet the facts are 22W in 7T in India and 42W in 14 T in Asia. How is that a proof beats me.

    Had Zak been fitter then I would have said that perhaps he had a better claim when it came to skill. Zak had everything in greater quantity that JA had except fitness and the chance to play on more fav conditions.

    JA is someone who makes great use of conditions. That is skill too but that's it.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 23, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @Harmony111, Sehwag would be considered a great player regardless of his overall average. His average against Eng. is mediocre but that doesn't take anything away from his greatness. Any player who can score 2 300s (and a 290+) anywhere in the world is a great. Also, Sehwag is one of those players, like KP, who can take the game away from the opposition in a session. The psychological impact on the opposition is more crucial than the runs. Take the Chennai test in 2008-2009 for example against Eng. Eng. set a stiff 4th innings target, the highest ever to be chased successfully in india, and Viru set off doing it on his own. Even though he was eventually dismissed for 80+, that innings set the tone for SRT and Yuvraj to capitalize and achieve the target. That X factor is gifted only to few players and Sehwag is one of them. I believe that judging a player only by his averages is foolish.

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | May 23, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Just wondered which bit of .... ''David Saker has hailed James Anderson as "the most skilful bowler in the world" everyone seems to not understand... It is D Saker's view... who happens to be an aussie... No-one in their right mind wd suggest D Steyn is not the current best bowler...

  • POSTED BY Donsshaddow on | May 21, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    If Dale Steyn is like a tiger hunting prey, James Anderson is like a gazelle. Both are masters of their art. The fact that James doesn't have express pace works to his advantage as he has developed the ability to swing the red/white ball in most conditions. There seems to be an air of confidence in his approach to the crease. This confidence has helped his control and this control has helped him pick up wickets more regularly. Mr Saker says that Jamie is 'the most skilful bowler in the world'. There's nothing wrong with that. In an age where batsmen hold all the aces, players like James, Dale, Starc, Lasith, Tino need to be treasured as they are the best cricket has at the moment.

  • POSTED BY threeslipsandagully on | May 20, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    A lot of you here don't seem to have bothered to read the article before commenting. James Anderson is an entirely different bowler to Dale Steyn and relies on different bowling tools, which is exactly what Saker is saying. His detractors can say what they like, but the fact is that Anderson is one of the most complete and well-rounded pace bowlers in the world right now - if not THE most - and would walk into just about any attack.

  • POSTED BY Handy87 on | May 20, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    The comments about Anderson's averages overlook the fact that he has averaged 25 in test cricket over the past 3 years which is not far off Steyn. I think Steyn is definitely number 1 but the gap in recent times hasn't been as much as people here are saying. Anderson suffered from inconsistency in his first few years of test cricket and was in and out of the team- he perhaps was exposed to test cricket too early which knocked his confidence and then was carried around as 12th man far too often when he could have been perfecting his art for Lancashire. Averages are deceiving- Anderson is better than his average of 30 and I truly believe it will be well below that by the time he retires.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 25, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    @SuperSharky: Fair comment but what amuses me is that even for these two you are talking of fav conditions. There are a number of bowler in the world who will make the batsmen dance in fav conditions. A rookie like Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets the ball to move alarmingly even in India, imagine what movement he would get in England. I am not saying that Bhuvi is more skillful than Steyn or JA, that comparison will be ridiculous but the simple point is that on a green top, you don't need too much skill to make the ball talk. All you need is application. M Starc was magical in Aus vs SL and WI and yet he turned out to be toothless in the Test Series in India.

    Undoubtedly JA will bowl several beauties in fav conditions but he won't be the only one capable of doing that nor would he be the one who would bowl the best or most beauties.

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | May 25, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Jimmy Anderson is the most skillful bowler, but Steyn is still the most dangerous bowler. I would hate to be an opening batsmen, who had to face a World XI team with Steyn from the one end and Anderson from the other end. If it isn't on a flat track in India, then it would be totally unfair to the opposition. On a green mamba track with cloud cover, they will be called a murderous gang-pair. But if some-one had to stick a gun to my head and orders that I can only pick one of them in my team, then I'll pick Steyn.

  • POSTED BY poms_have_short_memories on | May 24, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I think it is relative to the quality of batsmen that are around at the time. Since 2008, which is apparently when James Anderson has become such a great bowler, there has been probably two batsmen( Amla and Clarke) that have been the best in the world. Compared to who Glenn McGrath had to bowl at, Tendulkar, Lara, Yousaf, Inzy, Pietersen, i guess there is no comparison. As an Aussie fan I'm not going to say that Anderson is crap, because he isn't, but he's certainly not great, and Steyn is as skilled as Anderson, just 8-10 kph faster. In line with my previous argument, I think Allan Donald was better than Steyn. But isn't just personal opinion at the end of the day?

  • POSTED BY letsgoproteas on | May 23, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Shan156 - no one is arrogant... and if you read all the comments they come from all over the world.

    I think everyone in general, is just tired of reading the constant "over hyped" articles about very average english players.

    Jimmy is good. not great. its a common theme in your team.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 23, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    @Shan156: I know it. For me and many like me Viru is one of the finest players of the last 10 years and when one sees that he was a reluctant opener then it becomes even more impressive. But we are digressing. Talking about JA, I have said it in the past too that I like seeing him bowl. I am not saying that he is poor or not skillful or not among the top bowlers in the world. But when I hear ppl making claims that JA is a proven wicket taker in ALL conditions and point to his recent bowling in India as if .... then I got to set it straight. I find it comical that these people claim they speak on facts yet the facts are 22W in 7T in India and 42W in 14 T in Asia. How is that a proof beats me.

    Had Zak been fitter then I would have said that perhaps he had a better claim when it came to skill. Zak had everything in greater quantity that JA had except fitness and the chance to play on more fav conditions.

    JA is someone who makes great use of conditions. That is skill too but that's it.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 23, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @Harmony111, Sehwag would be considered a great player regardless of his overall average. His average against Eng. is mediocre but that doesn't take anything away from his greatness. Any player who can score 2 300s (and a 290+) anywhere in the world is a great. Also, Sehwag is one of those players, like KP, who can take the game away from the opposition in a session. The psychological impact on the opposition is more crucial than the runs. Take the Chennai test in 2008-2009 for example against Eng. Eng. set a stiff 4th innings target, the highest ever to be chased successfully in india, and Viru set off doing it on his own. Even though he was eventually dismissed for 80+, that innings set the tone for SRT and Yuvraj to capitalize and achieve the target. That X factor is gifted only to few players and Sehwag is one of them. I believe that judging a player only by his averages is foolish.

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | May 23, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Just wondered which bit of .... ''David Saker has hailed James Anderson as "the most skilful bowler in the world" everyone seems to not understand... It is D Saker's view... who happens to be an aussie... No-one in their right mind wd suggest D Steyn is not the current best bowler...

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 23, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    @Shan156: Some players who have great records in certain conditions are being labelled as proven-everywhere players and for some other players the proof required for being all-round players is extremely stiff. Viru is often said to be a FTB. However, he has 2 100s in Aus and avgs 46, surely good enough. Viru's avg IN Aus is sig more than Gooch's avg IN Aus and also overall avg yet Viru is said to be a FTB. I don't know about Lillee but would have the same argument for him too. If he did not do well in India then he too is a limited bowler who can do well only in certain conditions.

    Actually it is foolish to expect players to have the same record in good and bad conditions. A fast bowler won't usually take 7/30 on a flat track and you won't normally see a 200 on a green top. Sadly, for some this is seen but for Ind players this yardstick is not used. Viru still remains a FTB even if he scores 219 or a away 300 or the fastest 300 or 100 on debut in SA.

  • POSTED BY on | May 23, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Proteas supporter here. Anderson is a very good bowler, but steyn is better. Steyn gets his wickets because of his late swing and seam movement. He is accurate and because he can crank it up to 150km/h the batsmen don't move their feet so freely or confidently. His bouncer comes to you quicker as it is skidding towards the batsman. Added to this a good cricket mind makes him the most dangerous fast bowler. When he played in india he bowled a great spell taking 7 for with the ball reversing. His inswinger is not great but he is working on it to get it better.

    The difference between Australia and SA was in most cases Gilly. The game were not so one sided as it ended up to be. SA would have aus in trouble and gilly would score a 100 in no time.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 23, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @David_1946 on (May 22, 2013, 6:55 GMT) - his tongue was (I think) firmly planted in his cheek! @5wombats on (May 22, 2013, 11:36 GMT) - yes, but is JA MORE skilled than Steyn? That is the issue most take up here. There aren't many who say "Steyn the best, Anderson is useless". They say Steyn is that far ahead of Anderson (AND THE REST), that it is embarrassing to compare. @Trickstar on (May 21, 2013, 18:29 GMT) - "...we are talking about Anderson because he's just taken his 300 wicket..." - actually we are talking about Anderson because the heading says "...most skilled bowler..." & that is also a direct quote form English management. You FAIL to see the arguement is NOT Steyn is great, Anderson crud. The arguement is Steyn is the BEST, is that far ahead of ALL the current bowlers, & Anderson is simply not AS good. Anderson is NOT the most skilled bowler in the world, that is Steyn. The article should be about WHETHER Anderson is the best of the REST!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | May 22, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Biggest problem with Jimmy is that when he's in the form of his life, he suddenly get's dropped - oh sorry "rested" (even though he was seen in the gym almost falling off a treadmill during this "rest"). If Saker would stop these embarrassing mind games, and focus on making sure Broad-grin and Finn-knee stop bowling short-pitched rubbish, England can get closer to number 1 spot.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 22, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    @Harmony111, most of us would readily admit that JA is not a great. But, he has done reasonably well in the SC. For comparison, take a look at Lillee's performance in the SC. You would be surprised to know that it is worse than not just JA but many other bowlers who are considered inferior to JA. However, Lillee is a superb bowler as is evident by his overall record and the aura he brought while playing. I am curious to know your thoughts on Lillee.

    Also, I would like to sincerely apologize to many of the sane SA fans on this board who may have been offended by my previous post. I got carried away looking at some of the posts here by *some* SA fans who always belittle JA and Eng. My retort was only against them. I do admire the many humble SA fans who appreciate good cricket regardless of nationality.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 22, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    I like JA a lot but facts are facts. Guys like FFL and 5Wombats will claim 500 times that JA has proven himself in ALL conditions and can take wickets on all wickets. Of course, in the strictest sense they are correct but that is not the point. These guys will also repeatedly say that they speak on the basis of facts but have no answers when I show to them that JA has taken 22 wickets in 7 tests in India, 9 in 3 tests in SL and 11 in 4 tests in UAE + just one 5 wicket haul and no 10 wicket hauls. A total of 42 wickets in 14 tests in Ind/SL/UAE is somehow good enough for these "men of honour" to say that JA has proven himself in ALL conditions. For the rest of us, this is hardly anything.

    No one is saying that JA is not skillful. That is a straw man tactic. The sole point of contention is that JA has not proven himself in SC and thus as of now he is someone who can do well ONLY in certain conditions.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @letsgoproteas, I can think of some Saffa hype too. During the hey days of the great Aussie team, Aus-SA contests were always hyped up as the contest of equals. At the end of the series, the result was always the same. SA would have been thrashed so brutally that it may have taken a few months for their players to get over it. Smith always talked big before the series but never walked the walk. Of course, now they are the best but where were all these so-called great players and fans when they were mercilessly thrashed by the best team of this era? In fact, India was the only team that competed in even terms with the Aussies and even bettered them on occasions. SA was all hype then. Now that they are #1, all their arrogant fans are out in full force.

    Read @5wombats comment. He is as hard-core an England fans as you would find. However, he acknowledges that Steyn is better than James. We have no problem with Steyn being better or best. JA is special to us. And he is also a good bowler.

  • POSTED BY letsgoproteas on | May 22, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Please - next time you want to make such bold statements, make sure its against a team that is ranked in the top 3 at least.

    To put this all in perspective...

    When SA played England, in England* - before it all started there was loads of hype over Steyn vs anderson... The SA batsmen and Steyn himself cleaned anderson up. He didnt even feature.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | May 22, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    There's a lot of silly stuff going on here. Look - you aren't going to find many people who would claim that Dale Steyn is not a superb bowler. He is. But just because Steyn is brilliant it doesn't mean Anderson is useless. Certain people, perhaps from a certain country seem to think that Anderson is over-rated because the early part of his career has led to him having a reletively high average now. This is nonsense. They also claim, also wrongly, that Anderson can only take wickets in England. This is also palpable nonsense. Anderson is a consistently proven wicket taker on all surfaces and under all atmospheric conditions because he is indeed very skillful. But he's still not as good as Dale Steyn.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | May 22, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    @David_1946 - I would take Snow over any fast bowler England has produced since, even Willis and Botham. Although it's mildly vexing that Cricinfo classifies him as fast medium, when he was, in fact, genuinely quick. However, I'd differ over the comparison with the 2005 team. The difference between the quartet you prefer and the 2005 vintage, is that Vaughan's men bowled out the best team in the world. I don't remember them all playing a Test together, but when England were trounced by a World XI in 1970, the Aussies in 74/75 and Windies in 76, all of those bowlers featured at different times and made little difference. There was a chemistry in that 2005 attack that made the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Test stats for Brett Lee, generally considered not to be a great: 76 tests, 310 wickets @ 30.81 and a 53.3 SR. Compare to Anderson: 81 tests, 305 wickets @ 30.14 and a 58.5 SR. Even since the start of 2010 and burst of sudden improvement JA has 25.7 av, 56.4 SR. This is bordering on an excellent average but a very poor SR for an opening strike bowler. For another frame of reference if Mitchell Johnson (SR 55.3) were still a first-choice bowler he would have made it to 300 victims in less time than Anderson did, and the English would be ECSTATIC if MJ were to bowl. JA is an honest trier but lacks the X-factor that makes a truly great bowler.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 22, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    In his cricinfo article titled "Indispensable Anderson master of his craft," David Hopps said about Jimmy that it's "hard to think of (a bowler) MORE SKILFUL." Saker then used Hopps' ideas, but changed MORE into MOST. By using 'most skilful' as a nod-nod wink-wink for 'best,' Saker extends his grammatical elbow 90 degrees, while wearing a very baggy shirt!

    English has 3 adjective types: regular, comparative, & superlative. GOOD is regular - Jimmy is a good bowler. BETTER is comparative - Jimmy is better than (insert name.) BEST is superlative, or "the highest form of." Best means BETTER THAN ANY OTHER.

    Skilful is regular. MORE skilful is comparative. MOST skilful is superlative, meaning has more skills, is more skilled than, exercises the skill of (bowls) BETTER THAN ANY OTHER! Skilful is a Doosra - reads differently, but breaks like best.

    We KNOW Jimmy is a great bowler, so why does Saker disguise his spin & chuck words? This does Anderson no good.

    Fair comment, please publish

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    James Anderson is the most dangerous bowler in the world he's so crucial more crucial than Kevin Pietersen for future Test matches. You need to take 20 wickets and Broad also can provide that. I don't know what Freddy Trueman was like or Ian Botham but these two are quite good.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 22, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge wrote "When it comes to the crunch, real cricket fans appreciate watching a great bowler bowl. Armchair-critics, however, don't watch a player play, instead relying on partisan bickering about a player that has beaten their side time and again."

    I appreciate Anderson's bowling! He's not beaten SA time & time again, though he lost a couple, has he not?

  • POSTED BY AllroundCricketFan on | May 22, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Is this the same Jimmy Anderson who only last July could not get the Saffa out in the UK? David Saker is just psyching out the kiwis and ozzies. Anderson is at least a mile away from Steyn, cos the stats dont lie. Steyn's taken 300 wkts in 25 tests fewer than JA. End of

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | May 22, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Saker is an aussie, enough said... the aussies had a 2 match series vs NZ recently.... the massively hyped up aussie bowling attack due to be in uk soon did not have it their own way at all, even in a home series, and they even lost a home test vs NZ!! the lowest score they managed to bowl NZ out for was 150, funnily (very) enough higher than the 136 the aussies were bowled out for... so bowling NZ out for 68 is something the aussie bowlers can only dream about.. just something for the aussie supporter on this eng vs NZ thread to bear in mind...

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 22, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge wrote "his detractors' teams don't have their own James Anderson. Oh now, I understand perfectly... Jealousy has no place in cricket. You lost. Get over it!"

    Get over what? SA beat Eng, in Eng, twice & took the Mace. SA wouldn't pick Anderson. Steyn & Philander are much better, Morkel provides counterpoint & Kallis means no 4th needed. The so-called "Most Skillful Bowler in the World" took ONE/116 as SA scored 637/2d. Series aves: Philander 12 @ 23.66, Steyn 15 @ 29.2, Morkel 11 @ 34.54... Anderson 9 @ 40.66 - less than mediocre. '08 series: Eng lost & Anderson's 15 at 33.93 was bettered by Kallis' 10 at 29.5. Kallis, who debuted when Anderson was 13, was by then 4th change part timer!

    Anderson has no "legendary, famous conversion of his skill to flat decks," no "famous history," & in India wowed no one with the 9th best figs in an inngs of 4/81 & a series ave of 12 @ 30.25. Steyn's best inngs in India is 7/51, series ave 11 at 20.27. That's wow! Get over it!

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | May 22, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    @the_blue_android, So you would have no place for David Capel and Scott Boswell in your top ten?

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    @Trickstar, what is quoting his average since 2010, if not stats picking? The fact is I just don't think Anderson is that great a bowler. A good test cricketer no doubt, but if at the peak of his powers he is having a period where he averages 25, it still doesn't make him anything special. Yes i'm more than happy to admit he has had some good series, away against Aus, India and Pakistan he was quite good but his recent series against SA and NZ have been completely unremarkable. If he is really Mr.Skills why couldn't he break partnerships in these series? How do SA run up 2 for 600 against the worlds most skilful bowler? Where are these wonderful skills when the wickets flatten out? He has no bouncer, no yorker, no slower ball. Swinging the ball is not where it starts and ends.

  • POSTED BY MrGarreth on | May 22, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    For those of you using that pretty biased stat of Anderson's last 3 years versus Steyn's whole career (which Steyn still comes out on top of anyway), perhaps we should apply the same to Steyn hmmm? Which then takes Steyn's average to just over 20. And as someone alluded to, If Jimmy really has been up there with him in the last 3 years, the rankings would have reflected that. He has been nowhere close. And if he was so great in India and Australia, tell me, has he got a 10fer in both countries like Steyn has? Ag but this is all Pommie hype. Whenever an Englishman shows a glimpse of greatness they run with it and invariably get carried away with ridiculous statements. Steyn holds far greater company I'm afraid.

  • POSTED BY on | May 22, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    When an Englishman stars against one of the lower ranked international sides, some see it as the most skilful in the world. May be, or will Anderson use his great world skills during the Ashes too? Time will tell!

  • POSTED BY David_1946 on | May 22, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    @the_blue_android: when Cricinfo's panel of experts picked their all-time greatest England XI, they shortlisted their 9 best ever quicks as Barnes, Larwood, Bedser, Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Snow, Willis and Gough. Curiously, I see that NONE of these make your top 10. Jimmy Anderson is good, but the best swing/seam bowler I've seen in English conditions was Geoff Arnold. Interestingly, Arnold averaged less than 24 in home tests; Jimmy averages 27. The quartet of Snow, Arnold, Old and Hendrick was every bit as demanding as Harmison, Hoggard, Flintoff and Jones (in the 2005 Ashes winning team).

  • POSTED BY pinn on | May 22, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Jimmy is great to watch under swinging conditions but he used to struggle in sub-continent dry wickets. But he is adorable when gets going, treat to eyes.

    Dale on the other hand uses his pace pretty well everywhere, see him in the IPL. No need to compare to good players, comparing swing and pace is more like comparing spin and pace.

  • POSTED BY STEYNOHOLIC on | May 22, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    @Moppa - Well said mate - couldn't have said it better! "Perspective - now that thing, it's a wonderful thing!"

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 22, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @nareshgb1, excellent post. kudos. It doesn't matter what Saker says about Jimmy's ranking. What he said about his skill set is very true. Jimmy is a very highly skilled bowler. He is also always willing to learn and master his craft which is why he is a joy to watch. Who cares if he ranks 1st or 20th.

  • POSTED BY djdc3006 on | May 22, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    yes, they are completely different bowlers but the numbers just don't lie (average, strike rate, wickets) but that was not what the coach was getting at. I'm sure if he was asked who the best bowler (not most skilled) is, he would say Steyn as that is the only logical answer.

    This is also typical English behavior where they love to hype players/teams up to the nth degree and usually to watch them come tumbling down. For example when the english commentators/journalists talk of great all-rounders they put Flintoff and Botham (Beefy understandable) but then they overlook Kallis for example which is so phenomenally mind blowing considering you are talking about the most complete cricketer of our times...

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | May 22, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    We really do not have to compare Anderson to Dale Steyn. Steyn is in a different orbit altogether. Please read the following stats as test-matches/wickets/average/strike-rate Jimmy Anderson: 81/305/30.14/58.5 Dale Steyn: 65/332/22.65/41.1 Wasim Akram: 104/414/23.62/54.6 Allan Donald: 72/330/22.25/47 McGrath: 124/563/21.64/51.9 Clearly Dale Steyn is well and truly on his way to greatness. Even if he quit playing right now, he would still be as good, if not better, than some of the greatest the game has seen. Steyn has an unbelievable strike-rate. That's the single most important factor that decides test matches - "getting wickets in clusters". Steyn strikes very very frequently. The closest to him is his predecessor Allan Donald and he is off by a good 6 deliveries from Steyn's number. So, is there really a point in comparing Anderson with Steyn? I don't think so!

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | May 22, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    I guess some people need a little work on jargon here. When people talk of the West, it implies Australia too even though Australia is south and west of most countries on the map. Similarly, when one says English Conditions in the context of bowling in Cricket, it implies Aus, SA, NZ too. English Conditions essentially means Helpful Conditions for the likes of Jimmy, Steyn, Philander etc. When it comes to Indian batsmen the SC wickets taken as a whole set are said to be easy to bat on. In fact it is well established that even when they do well on some wicket in SA or Aus or Eng then some ppl try to mitigate it by saying Oh that wicket has slowed down, the bowling was inexp, Ind won the toss blah blah.

    When Viru scored 254 vs Pak IN Pak ppl said he was a FTB and here Jimmy took 5-6 wickets AT HOME vs NZ (with due respect) and is called the most skilled bowler in the world, wow.

    JA is like 42-44 wickets in Asia in 13-14 tests and ppl say he has proven himself here :-p

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 22, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @SLSup, lol. I just mentioned about Lillee in another article.

    Lillee's overall stats are superb. However, take a look at this - out of his 355 test wickets, merely 6 were taken in the sub-continent and they came at a cost of ~68 each. Of course, he played only 4 tests in the SC (and not a single test in India). Would he have done better had he played more tests? Possibly. But, it is also possible that had he played more tests in the SC, his average may be higher than 23.92. Oh, btw, he played only 1 test in WI and went wicketless for 132 runs. So, 349 out of his 355 test wickets were taken in Aus., Eng., and NZ. What is irrefutable from these numbers is the fact that Lillee was miles ahead of Anderson in these 3 countries.So, you see, stats do not give the complete picture.Fans are quick to say that an English bowler is poor because his record in the SC is poor or mediocre. However, they don't apply that same yardstick to others. Regardless, Lillee is a legend and better than Jimmy.

  • POSTED BY SLSup on | May 22, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Some mind-blowing statistics, just so we know what we are talking about, two of whom Saker has not coached:

    JAMES ANDERSON Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10 Tests 81 149 17858 9194 305 7/43 11/71 30.14 3.08 58.5 17 13 1

    DENNIS LILLEE Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10 Tests 70 132 18467 8493 355 7/83 11/123 23.92 2.75 52.0 23 23 7

    DALE STEYN Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10 Tests 65 122 13666 7523 332 7/51 11/60 22.65 3.30 41.1 20 21 5

  • POSTED BY nareshgb1 on | May 22, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    I dont think he has said Anderson is better than Steyn (and does it matter really?) - just that he moves the ball both ways - which is completely true.

    you have to appreciate Anderson's learning mindset - he said he learnt from Zaheer the value of not revealing the seam position early in the run up. The "wobbly seam" was probably picked up from Mohammad Asif. That shows an assimilative attitude worthy of praise and emulation. Further back in time, Malcolm Marshall also learnt fast leg-break from watching and talking to Dennis Lillee.

    Jimmy and Swanny are excellent bowlers to watch.

  • POSTED BY witseoh on | May 22, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    I agree Steyn and Anderson are different type of bowler, except Steyn can swing at pace. Besides, I still feel that Philander is the best SWING bowler in the world hands down. Don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that. Like one of the CricInfo article's title says, English are good at English condition (although SA was far better in their condition).

  • POSTED BY SaracensBob on | May 21, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    Jimmy deserves Saker's accolade. When he first began in Test cricket he was always straining for the perfect delivery with the result that he often bowled 80% garbage which was milked for runs. The 20% good stuff bought some wickets but, as we know, a peach of a delivery never guarantees a wicket! In the last 5 years he has concentrated on putting the ball in the right areas rather than straining for the 'peach'. This has cut out the 'garbage' and, paradoxically, resulted in a much higher percentage of unplayable deliveries. His wicket tally has rocketed and his average has come down. Clever cricket and hard graft gets results. On Peter Siddle - I have high respect for him, he is an honest, hard-working bowler who gives 100% for the cause. He's a bowler in the Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard and , dare I say it, the Merv Hughes mould. The sort of guy who, as once said of Paul Collingwood, you would like next to you in the trenches.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    To the featured comment that claims anderson's average is 25 in the last three years... well thats rubbish. In the last three calendar years, Anderson has averaged 27.26 and his strike rate has got worse (compared to his career strike rate)... he takes a wicket every 60.91 deliveries. Therefore as Englands strike bowler... he would take 100 overs on average to take 10 wickets... that is more than a day's cricket. If you want to be the best team in the world you need to have a strike bowler dismissing teams in less than a day's play...

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Well done Anderson. It feels good seeing an England player in the list of great bowlers in the world at the moment. I'm recalling couple of years back Anderson said that "Muhammad Asif is the Best bowler in the world & he is the most skillful & I'm trying to learn something from him". So he did that or not, whatever. But now he is improving his performance & doing something special for his team. It is better for England because Champions Trophy is around the corner which is in England (Home Conditions).

  • POSTED BY poms_have_short_memories on | May 21, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Hail King Jimmy, the best english pace bowler since Botham and Willis, oh hang on a minute, the only english pace bowler of any note since Botham and Willis and those weren't exactly great either!!

  • POSTED BY poms_have_short_memories on | May 21, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    David Saker lost a lot of credibilty when said that Anderson and Swann were comparable to, and/or as good as McGrath and Warne. In saying that, Anderson is a very good and skilled bowler.

  • POSTED BY Team_Cook on | May 21, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Anybody who thinks Jimmy Anderson hasn't performed in subcontinents were too busy watching T20 cricket last year. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar didn't have a clue to which way the ball was going to swing.

    Peter Siddle has an average of 28 but he wasn't good enough to win a test match for Australia in the recent tour of India. Jimmy Anderson on the other bamboozled the great Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli who is a decent player and other indian batsman. Even Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that Jimmy Anderson was one of the main reason why England dominated India in their own backyard.

    People are just clutching those straws when they bring up Jimmys average to use average to dismiss him as a great bowler. Finally, compare Jimmy Anderson with Philander and Siddle when they actually get to 300 test wickets eh

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 21, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @Jono Makim You've got to love a stats picker, why talk down series against WI, SL or NZ we can do that with every bowler then, Someone like Philander has feasted on teams like NZ, SL & Pakistan at home. In the last year or so England have had 3 sub continent tours that's he's been excellent in. It's not as if Aus haven't played SL WI & NZ recently either so what you say makes zero sense and you just like you're trying to take credit away from Anderson's achievements, which is probably about right. Come on man in the series you mention where you try to explain away his stats the past few years are, he averaged 29 against SL, 27 against WI and 25 against Bang,lol really you think his average of 25 since 2010 has been helped by these series, still have to do very good in all the other 8.

    Funny you should bring Siddle up,who only does well against poor sides, last 4 series averages 34 in India, 17 home SL, 38 SA, 38 WI, he's bullied poor SC teams at home, poor against SA and England.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 21, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    @Meety Give it a rest, we are talking about Anderson because he's just taken his 300 wicket and just so happens to be playing NZ. It's not as if he hasn't been talked about consistently the past few years because his bowling has been so good so often. As for Anderson skills are 2nd rate in comparison, well that's the thing that's just you're opinion, someone who knows far more about the game sees it differently. Like I said before you must be stupid to not see that you can be skillful without being the best. Anderson has a far far better inswinger than Steyn & is far better at reverse swing, Steyn's outswinger is better & both can put the ball where they want to.Again tell me how Anderson''s skills are 2nd rate.What Steyn has over him is that Steyn was excellent nearly right from the start, while Anderson had his action remodeled twice and took time to mature. Also another bowler who was one of the most skilled I've eve seen is Asif, wouldn't call him the best bowler ever either.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 21, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    When it comes to the crunch, real cricket fans appreciate watching a great bowler bowl. Armchair-critics, however, don't watch a player play, instead relying on partisan bickering about a player that has beaten their side time and again. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see which category some fans here fit into. England fans, Anderson fans, and cricket lovers keep smiling as a result.

  • POSTED BY Long-Leg on | May 21, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Not the most helpful comments from the England bowling coach. I understand what he is trying to say, but it just comes across as overblown and arrogant. Remember he is Anderson's coach, so any praise of Anderson, especially of his recent improvement, reflects well on Saker. He is in effect trying to bask in Anderson's reflected glory. None of this is to take away from Jimmy's recent classy performances at Lord's or in India last year.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | May 21, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    @maddy20 Junaid Khan, Morkel & Pattinson lol seriously, surely you're being ironic or something. Khan has literally done nothing in test cricket, nothing, Morkel is about as consistent as Broad is, ie not very and is hopeless on occasions. Anderson has been far better the past few year, far better. Morkel 113 wicket @ 28 since 2010. Anderson 157 @ 25. We saw how average Pattinson was against SA , he averaged 38 against them. lets face it he's got most his wickets against a hopeless India and 30 of his 40 wickets at home.Philander has been excellent but again he's only bowled in bowler friendly conditions so far, lets wait to see if he can bowl as good as what Anderson did in places like SL, India and the UAE.

  • POSTED BY WonkyBail on | May 21, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Saker is pointing out that Anderson uses more guile than Steyn as he needs to due to less pace, it is his opinion and he is entitled to it- Jimmy Anderson did not say it and is probably a bit embarrassed. It reminds me of the comment by McCullum about Cook and all the ridiculous inane comments that followed, people have a right to an opinion in democratic countries deal with it (personally I think Steyn does similar tricks at greater speed but that is my opinion)

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 21, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    And, @Kiwirocker, Sachin is over-rated? If yes, how is Anderson's good record against him make him one of the best. Surely he should not be considered one of the best if he only has a good record against an over-rated batsman? The fact is, Sachin is the best of the current era and Jimmy's superb record against him only proves that he is among the best bowlers today.

    @PDV1, how many tests has Philander played in the SC and what is his record there?

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 21, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @KiwiRocker, Aus. is the toughest country to tour for an offspinner. Perhaps you should check Ajmal's record in Australia; and, NZ and SA. If you claim that he has played only one test in Aus, and hence the triple digit average, then perhaps you should hold your horses till he plays more and proves his worth. Ajmal took one 10 wicket haul in SA, otherwise in the other 2 tests, he took a grand total of 1 wicket. Graeme Swann has a better record than him in all 3 countries. And, Ajmal is yet to play a single test against the best players of spin bowling - India. For goodness sake, the man has played only 26 tests. Let him play against all teams in all countries before we start calling him a great. Swann, despite not possessing the variations that Ajmal has, has impressed in all conditions. Except the UAE, where he averages 25, he has a 5 wicket haul in all countries.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    Good bowler? Yes. Best in the world? No. The guy has averaged over 30 in all of his last 3 series! He may have an average in the mid 20's over the last few years but early season home series against Bangladesh, The West Indies, Sri Lanka and now New Zealand have helped out there. Just running through his stats series for series over the last few years its only really the Ashes in Australia last time around that really stands out as being particularly good. It doesn't even look outstanding compared to a bloke like Siddle who is averaging 28 overall having played 3/4 of his tests against SA, England and India, apparently the 3 best teams in the world.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | May 21, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Saker is right on the money here. Here are my my top 10 fast bowlers of all time.

    1) Anderson 2) FLintoff 3) Simon Jones 4) Philip Defraitas 5) Angus Fraser 6) Devon Malcolm 7) Steve Harmison 8) Demtri Mascarenhas 9) Ronnie Irani and 10) Ian Botham

    There are some really good bowlers who unfortunately had to be left out because of the fierce competition. Special mention to Bob Willis, Fred Truman and Sajid Mahmood.

  • POSTED BY matt381 on | May 21, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Last summer when SA played England all the hype was about Steyn Vs Anderson. And at the end of the day Steyn out classed Anderson in his own backyard. Steyn is the master at the moment ( last few years) that's why he is # 1. Did David Saker watch the series last summer?

  • POSTED BY PDV1 on | May 21, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    I know it's been mentioned before but it needs to be repeated - Steyn averages 22, Anderson averages 30. Stats don't lie. If Anderson really was the most skilful bowler in the world (even over the last three years when he has been more consistent) he would have knocked Steyn off the number one spot in the rankings. But guess what? Just because you bowl out NZ in your own back yard in helpful conditions doesn't make you the best in the world. Anderson is up there but not ahead of Philander and certainly not Steyn.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    he is really good...a fine swing bowler, a treat to watch and dangerous on his day ....dont compare him with anyone else as for that he is just avg in australia, srilanka, newzealand, west indies and in sa

  • POSTED BY Kitschiguy on | May 21, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    James Anderson is the best bowler in the World. But credit where credit's due; Steyn has got the best stares.

  • POSTED BY Gazzamonster on | May 21, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    Anderson undoubtably a top class bowler but only in his own backyard. Look at his 5 fors....all but 3 of his 13 are in England, the others in NZ, SA and Sri Lanka. He is brilliant in swinging conditions but doesn't rip through batting line ups on flat roads. Too much hyperbole for my liking. Hadlee - 86 tests 431 wickets (avg 22), Anderson 81 tests 305 wickets (avg 30)....sorry it doesn't add up to him being one of the best.

  • POSTED BY RaviNarla on | May 21, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Not taking anything off Anderson, he is a good bowler. If he needs to be great he has to perform well in unfavourable conditions like bowling in subcontinent. That is where Steyn makes the difference. Steyn is up there with Marshall, Ambrose, McGrath, and Wasim.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | May 21, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Re: averages. Even if Anderson were to take his next 100 wickets at an average of 15, his overall average would only go down to 26.5, which would still leave him adrift of Steyn. Average-wise, Anderson is paying for an erratic start to his career in which he took his first 150 wickets at a rate of 34 +. His last 150 wickets have come at a rate of 25.5. Only Steyn has taken more at a better, although not much better, rate in the same time. As good as JA is, there is a bit of a smokescreen here, because England's best bowler on potential alone, the bloke who really does a good McGrath impression, was man of the match in the Lords Test. If Broad can maintain that form - as he did in 2011, he will race to all the records. In fact Broad is the likeliest current fast bowler to reach 600 Test wickets.

  • POSTED BY mshyder on | May 21, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Anderson is a very good bowler no doubt but calling him most skillful in the world is a bit exaggerated. Specially comparing him with steyn is unfair. Steyn has taken 27 more wickets while played 16 matches less !his average is around 22 compared to anderson's 30 his SR is 41 compared to anderson's 58. With these stats who in the right mind will compare the two. For those who are talking about anderson's recent average of 25 please even this average is nothing to be proud off for a good bowler. No doubt anderson is very good bowler but donot try to put him on the pedestal where he does not belong.

  • POSTED BY Saffacricket on | May 21, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    I have heard Boycott say the same thing. In ability to make the ball move around, JA is the best in his opinion. There is more than this alone in the success of a bowler. That is why Andersen ranks no 6, behind, Steyn, Philander, Herath, Ajmal and Siddle. There is pace, strategy, and mental strength and quickness, etc. James Andersen is a very good bowler. He may in time even become great. He is, by ICC ranking, one of the very best in the world. There is no issue there.

    However, non English fans do get fed up when England's bowlers have a good game, against one of the weaker teams (and especially a weaker batting line up), and you get this unpleasant crowing.

    Kudos to New Zealand. You always play your heart out, just as you did in SA. And great sportsmanship.

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | May 21, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    For the younger cricket fans, if you want to reference great bowling against Kiwi's, please look up the mid-90's series when Pakistan's Wasim & Waqar blitzed New Zealand in New Zealand. Some of the greatest swing bowling EVER!

  • POSTED BY SA_Scot on | May 21, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    @ohhhhhMattymatty. I didn't read ALL 159 comments, but from the bottom up I had to laugh when I saw this from you:

    *Steyn is just lucky he is quicker. When Steyn loses his pace, he'll be hit around like a medium pace trundler in country cricket i.e. Darren Stevens. While Jimmy will take Test wickets until he's 40!*

    What it indicates to me is that not *everyone* should be entitled to publicise an opinion ;-).... If you cannot use reasoning, and don't have command of the facts, you probably should keep quiet lest thee appear foolish hahaha.

    I *could* be wrong, but I do vaguely recall Dale Steyn having an injury in a match against England, In South Africa, about 5 years back maybe. He couldn't bowl above 132mph, and he was bowling boomerangs. Got something like 4-30'odd..... something like that.

    It's a reason Steyn will take wickets for years and years and years. Silly OhhhMattyMatty. Keep the bombastic proclamations to yourself sonny!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    I am sure if you ask Alan Donald the SA bowling coach he will have a different point of view!!

  • POSTED BY gdamsaaregood on | May 21, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Lets not hype Anderson up too much as it was NZ that he was playing against in seamer friendly conditions. I think comments like this should be made after he demolishes a Top Test Nation ....and I remember not so long ago SA gave England a hiding - wasn't it 600 odd for 2 in one of the tests. Steyn is definitely the best bowler in the world and has been for 5 years. TO be the best you have to have the skill to do so............

  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | May 21, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Why are they coming to this conclusion.I do not see Anderson been so deadly in conditions that do not help.England were talking about the Duke ball...can they only bowl well in conditions that help with the duke ball?The NZ batsmen played poorly...that is it in a nutshell.There was no reason to be rushing or not taking great care to preserve their wickets.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    I would like to say that it was the lovely bowling performance from both Anderson and Broad in the first and the second innings in the first test by which England was able to pounce on New Zealand and take a lead of 1-0 in the 2-test series. England is now sure to defeat New Zealand by a big margin in the next test too.

  • POSTED BY JM_RSA on | May 21, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    This article is misleading and is not based on any facts. If you draw stats from the last 3 years (as per Eng fans) Steyn is still better by 4 runs as per average and 13 balls on strike rate. If you look at it in terms of art, both bowlers can swing it away and in to the batter. So I would ask as to what criteria was used to arrive at the conclusion that JA is the most skilfull. In fact i would go with Steyn being the more skillfull. Swinging the ball at 135 - 150 kph is much more difficult to control that swinging it at 125 - 135 kph.

  • POSTED BY Game_Gazer on | May 21, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Yes, Anderson is the most SKILLFUL seam bowler in the world as of now and recent few years. People, understand that 'skill' need not only be measured by average, strike rate, wickets etc...but can also be by control, mastery, variety, pleasure to spectators, adaptability to different conditions etc...ie. 'skill' may be better appreciated by 'quality' than 'quantity'. Dale Steyn is undoubtedly great, but he is one or two-dimensional in terms of skills..For eg: Dale has a great outswinger & a bouncer, but what about cutters, slower-ones, in-swingers etc..

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    Anderson is a great bowler but to get wickets against NZ is not a huge accomlishment. It is one step above beating up on Zimbabwe or Ireland. Steyn is the best and proves so day after day, series after series in all formats of the game.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    How can some of you guys say steyn gets wickets with his pace alone. Have you actually watched him bowl. He swings the ball late. In India he got a 7 for and check on youtube how he reversed the ball. Taking anderson's bowling for the last 3 years and taking steyns for his entire career is a bit unfair isn't it. At this moment of time dale is ahead and by some distance. I rate philander also above Anderson but he still needs to play in the sub continent and proove that he is that good.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    KiwiRocker, look up the scorecards for those games in the UAE. Pakistani batsmen took no one to the cleaners, their highest score was 365 which is hardly mind blowing on dead pitches. We lost that series through appalling batting, the bowlers were doing their best to continually dig us out of holes and by and large did a good job of it, including getting us into a winning position on more than one occasion.

    Andersons average for that series was 27-odd. That's not the average of someone who was taken to any sort of cleaner.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Saker is fooling himself and in the process trying 2 fool every1 else.. ...what did Anderson did in New Zealand the last time around? he is nowhere close to dale steyn, Steyn can get u wickets in any conditions unlike Anderson. Mind u im not saying Anderson is not a good bowler, on his day he can deciminate any batting line up in world cricket. The fact is he is nowhere close to Steyn ability and class.

  • POSTED BY gimme-a-greentop on | May 21, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    I'm sure the writer was laughing at the responses this article was bound to produce. For myself, well Jimmy is a top bowler but whose opinion on the top fast bowler you gonna go with, Allan Donald or David Saker?

  • POSTED BY Wexfordwonder on | May 21, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    He did well against New Zealand, okay. How well did he do against good test teams? against SA in 2012: Ave 40 and SR 98 of 147 overs bowled. Other bowlers (qualiying more than 100 overs) who did better than that are: Nathan Lyon Ave 38, Martin Gillespie Ave 22, Chris Martin Ave 35, Saeed Ajmal Ave 33, Herath 27 and the list goes on. Anderson is a good bowler and he may well be the most skillful bowler that Mr Saker has ever had the pleasure of working with but he is certainly not the most skillful in the world. If he were he would be getting more wickets. While he had a slow starts to his test career, his bowling vs SA does not seem to have improved any.

  • POSTED BY Wexfordwonder on | May 21, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Mister Saker methinks is a touch excitable. Of course Jimmy is good but to start throwing around the superlatives when you have just beaten New Zealand is rather hasty. I seem to recall a headline along the lines of "What ails Jimmy" or some such when SA were touring. Bowling well against weak opposition is a given for any bowler worth teheir salt, its how they perform against strong opposition that really counts.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Francis on | May 21, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    So Anderson has averaged 25 over the last 3 years?

    Steyn's average over the last 3 years is under 22 (better than his overall average). And Steyn doesn't average over 35 when playing outside his home country.

    Foolish argument. Anderson is a fine bowlerr. Steyn an all time great.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    As a spectator its a joy to see quality outswingers which anderson routinely comes up with new ball and his guile with the inswingers is quite spectacular at times. But one has to consider the fact that he has to be favoured by conditions to an extant for his bowling to be super effetive. Hence the bowling average of 30. And the recent bowling average of 25 over past three years is due to the fact that he has bowled in seamer friendly conditions a lot. His average in UAE and India were noting special. A steyn, akram or ambrose on the other hand would be spectacular in any condition.

  • POSTED BY Pietercbb on | May 21, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Off course Saker would say that, he is after all the England bowling coach ! But to put things into perspective, one should look at career stats and not isolated periods, even mediocre bowlers can have good stats if the period is manipulated. Bottom line, Steyn is streets ahead of Anderson, both on the pitch and on the statistics sheets, not to mention the ICC rankings !!Look at last year, same pitches, same circumstances DS 15 W 29.20 Ave 52.40 SR; JA 9 W 40.66 Ave 98.44 SR - I rest my case !!!

  • POSTED BY fuzzyfelt30 on | May 21, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @Soso_killer No need to come across quite so aggressive in your replies 'mate'. I chose June 2010 as it gave a reasonable comparison for number of matches and 3 years is long enough to average out any highs or lows and give a fair reflection of form.

    I wasn't saying Anderson is better, or even as good as Steyn, just that all the people on here who just point out their overall career stats seem to be (willfully) missing the consistent quality of performance that Anderson has achieved in the latter part of his career. Like I said, for the past few years, the difference is not as great as some may like to make out.

    Steyn already is one of the all time great fast bowlers.....Anderson, I think, has a very good chance of joining him on the list, come the end of his career.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | May 21, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Who is David Saker? Never heard. Anyway, Saker needs to be careful making such comments. Dale Steyn is head and shoulders above any other fast bowler at current form. James Anderson is not far off and his records does suggest that. The way James Anderson has commanded over cricket's most over rated batsman Tendulya, it is a clear indication that Anderson is one of the best of the current era. However, while ' the real great fast bowlers' like Marshal, Wasim, Waqar,Khan, McGrath and likes had success everywhere, this has not been the case with neither Steyn not Anderson. Pakistani batsmen took Anderson to cleaners and white washed England 3-0 in UAE.Steyn suffered the same fate in 2010 against same team. Steyn and Anderson are best among the rest but still not there as the bowlers quoted above. If you want to talk about skill then go and watch Saeed Ajmal. For me, that man is a real magician.An Artist who has got wickets against all in all conditions..The stand out bowler statswise too!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    I don't see how Saker thinks these sorts of comments help his bowlers. There's no need to invite comparisons with Steyn which will inevitably be to Anderson's disadvantage. Just look how the two bowling attacks compared last summer.

    More importantly--now Saker's criticising Finn publicly, like he did Broad in India. I know Broad complained about that, and Finn can't be happy about this now. Saker should just support them in public while working with them behind the scenes. He has a very strange method; too much of an appetite for the public eye?

  • POSTED BY valvolux on | May 21, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    I'm glad sakers credentials were immediately shot down by reminding us of his comments about the English attack being comparable to the great Aussie lineup (its at best 3rd best in current attacks). But I do agree he is an awfully skilful bowler and I think jimmy Anderson in england is as big a handful as anyone anywhere, there is no doubt. But being able to swing the ball in swing friendly conditions does not amount to being a great bowler. Even Stuart broad, who is without a doubt the weakest new ball bowler in world cricket, showed that conditions can hide a bowlers true skill. Let's not forget a far weaker nz attack nipped out England's far better batsmen for next to nothing in this test and that the nz batting lineup consists of a best average of 42 for players who've been around for more than a year. You would have jimmy as second picked in a world 11 bowling outfit, but only given the Aussie pace men are so fresh. Broad wouldn't make a presidents 5th 11 charity team.

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | May 21, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    I would hate to be an opening batsmen, who had to face a World XI team with Steyn from the one end and Anderson from the other end. If it isn't on a flat track in India, then it would be totally unfair to the opposition. On a green mamba track with cloud cover, they will be called a murderous gang-pair. But if some-one had to stick a gun to my head and orders that I can only pick one of them in my team, then I'll pick Steyn.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | May 21, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    why is everyone only talking of jimmy's ave. post 2010?. he has been around a decade and averaged in mediocre bowlers range. only 300 wickets to show when steyn got 330 in 25 less matches. even bhajji have 400 wickets. if u consider ashwins record in 4-0 win over aus then he seems better bowler than murali . but to reach his levels he needs around 800 wickets. few series dont form a career. over time jimmy fared mediocre especially away from england

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | May 21, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @Gsingh7, granted in 2005/6 against a great australian team and as a player whod had his action messed with his averages were poor, but then 2010/11 he put the record straight, I think he had an average of around 20, so not sure what the point you are making is.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    I agree completely and It wasonly James anderson who neautralized sachin to the extent that India lost both the series to England. he created doubts in the mind of Sachin which led to his downfall in the tests since he visited England. Sachin was underprepared for the england series in 2011 but he would have defiitely overcome that but for nderson. defintely the best in the world at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Soso_killer on | May 21, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    @Fuzzyfelt30 why 1st of June 2010? Is that when cricket started? Ok lets take 1 June 2010 Steyn 27 Mat, 136 wickets, average 21.42, strike rate 43.2, 8 5-fors and 1 10-for. Jimmy 34 Mat, 144 wickets, average 25.00, strike rate 56.0, 5 5-fors and 1 10-for. As you can see Steyn's strike rate is way ahead of Jimmy which you conveniently left out. Steyn has an ability to spark a collapse whereas Anderson is a workhorse who relies on discipline and batsmen to make errors. They are not in the same ball park even during your subjective cut off date.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | May 21, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    I'm not here to bash Anderson, who can make a credible case to be the no.2 paceman in the world, but provide some stats to illustrate how large the gap is between Anderson and Steyn. If you carefully cherry pick periods, you can find periods over which Anderson's average is around 26 (e.g. starting from his 11 for against Pakistan in 2010, til today), but if you take the last full home and away cycle from the start of Ashes 2009 his average is 27.4. Well better than his career average, yes, and quite respectable but hardly earth shattering. Over the same period, Steyn's average is 21.5. Case closed - there's no comparison. The second best paceman in the world is probably named 'daylight'.

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | May 21, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    I have great respect for Jimmy Anderson, those who say his success and skill is mostly on display on the bowler friendly pitches should check the stats closely, yes he is lethal on bowler friendly pitches.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Sorry Good bowler not Great, survive the first 2 spells and you are good to go. Speed and heart are the 2 things Steyn has over him. Average of above 30, lets calm down people...stats don't lie

  • POSTED BY GRVJPR on | May 21, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @gbqdgj Why only last 8 test matches?? You are very clever in putting that number because anderson by chance did well. take stats of last 4 years atleast and you won't see anderson name in top 20 even.

  • POSTED BY Soso_killer on | May 21, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @SaadRocx the reason England won in India was due to Monty and Swann's bowling. And then KP and Cook with their batting. In that series Jimmy averaged 30 with the ball. Thats not gonna win you anything now is it? Steyn in India alone averages 19 and 21 overall in Asia at a ridiculous strike rate of 39. No way is Anderson better than Steyn mate.

  • POSTED BY Patdabac on | May 21, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    "Most Skilful in the world" from a man who never even played test cricket. Forget Steyn, even Vernon Philander is ahead of Anderson. Anderson is very dependent on English conditions and there is no doubt about it. Bowling Average in WI: 38 In SL:41 in NZ: 37 and AUS:36. His bowling average would be over 40 in India if it wasn't for the last Test series vs a very poor Indian batting line up who lost 8-0 test matches not so long ago. You can't even compare half of Steyn to Anderson, Steyn Bowling average 22 and Anderson: <30, nuff said.

  • POSTED BY 36yearsofexperience on | May 21, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I saw Anderson in Eden Gardens last year. He is outstanding in dull Indian pitch and extracted reverse swing at will. People who are saying he is not good outside England , do not know his recent development.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | May 21, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @shinewindies - great comment

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | May 21, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Oh dear me, as soon as I read the title I could predict what the comments would be - 'he's not as good as Steyn, he's only good in England, his average is too high', read the article properly people! and if you think stats tell the whole story then watch the games rather than just reading the scorecard afterwards.

    Though what I didn't predict was that he would be compared with Vinay and Bhuvi Kumar..... that's enough to make me weep with pity.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Correction: Anderson is the most skillful bowler while bowling in English pitches only. Outside England his record is just average

  • POSTED BY gbqdgj on | May 21, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @gsingh7...what are you talking about? Name one seam bowler from the last 8 tests in India that took over 10 wickets from either England, India or Australia...oh wait hang on...a certain J Anderson appears on that list along with errm, no one! Jimmy Anderson is now clearly the second best seam bowler in terms of impact, control and performance on any surface, behind (and some way behind to be fair) Dale Steyn who is lets face facts destined to be mentioned in history along with the likes of Holding, Croft, Thompson, Lillee, Hadlee and so on, so being number 2 behind him is no disgrace.

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | May 21, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    I always hear comments about Anderson's average. It's recovering from a bad start where he was frequently messed around. He's averaging mid-20s over the last few years which is world class. Steyn is the no.1 fast bowler, Anderson is no.2.

    I also don't think we can read too much into Broads spell. He bowled one genuinely high class ball to get Rutehrfood. The rest where all terrible shots. He still bowled wide and in some cases too short, the Kiwi's did it to themselves.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | May 21, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @gsingh7. You really haven't got a clue have you? These facts can be easily found here on cricinfo; JM Anderson IN AUSTRALIA 2010/11 24 wickets at 26. JM Anderson IN UAE 2011/12 9 wickets at 27. JM Anderson IN SRI LANKA 2011/12 9 wickets at 21. JM Anderson IN INDIA 2012/13 12 wickets at 30. I make that since 2010, 54 wickets at 25 in conditions that are not English. His overall career average in matches in England is 189 wickets at 27. Jimmys bowling average OUTSIDE OF ENGLAND in the last 3 years is actually better than his overall career average! Even so @gsingh7, if you want to carry on saying that Jimmy can only take wickets in England - that's fine, but, as is so often the case with SC posters - the (54 wickets at 25 in Tests outside of England) FACTS SAY THE OPPOSITE. But people like you don't let trivial little things like facts get in the way though, do they? Confusing things aren't they - facts, best to just ignore them....

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Ridiculous: Most skillful and mind blowing with a bowling average of around 30. May be the best England has but nothing more than an average overall

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Please let us just respect Dale. Jimmy is not even as good as Vernon Philander. statistics do not lie. Dale's strike rate is higher than McGrath's.

  • POSTED BY shinewindies on | May 21, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Well Jimmy Anderson has become what Md. Sami, Umar Gul, Sreeshanth, Hilfenhaus, Jerome Taylor, Mitchell Johnson, Malinga etc etc could never become, all with raw talent and loads of potential but could not produce results everyone thought they were capable of, all of them have had their moments but no consistency which is the basic key to greatness. Well for that reason i respect Jimmy a lot and hope he does get to the exclusive 400 club, after that no matter what evryone would have to accept him as one of the all time greats.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | May 21, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    anderson is what rohit sharma for india, he is brilliant in ipl but not so much in international matches. jimmy is good in english conditions but have worse averages abroad. look what aus did to him. also in sl and wi where there is no cloud cover throughout the year, he averages in 40's which is trademark for mediocre bowlers. he is not most skillful bowler around, bhuvi, steyn , philander , shami ahmed are all more skillful bowlers around who swing both ways not jimmy who swings mainly to slip cordon.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    In a bitter sweet kind of way, what a loss Jimmy has been to Lancashire. But all in all, totally agree with this article. He's a master at his craft and on some wickets he is virtually unplayable.

  • POSTED BY fuzzyfelt30 on | May 21, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @ Mike Knott and others!

    Since June 2010, Anderson 33 matches, 140 wickets @ 25.29 Since June 2010, Steyn 27 matches, 136 wickets @ 21.43

    After Anderson's first 20 matches spread over 4.5 years (62 wickets @ 39.20), he has steadily improved to the world class performer he is today. I don't think the difference over the last few years is as marked as people seem to think it is!

    Indeed, I would humbly suggest that any test team selector in the world would be inking in both Steyn and Anderson on their teamsheets pretty darn quick if they were available to them!

  • POSTED BY Marktc on | May 21, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Brilliant...England did not beat SA or Oz, but NZ, who despite their fighting spirit, are not exactly world beaters. ANd after a thumping of a lowly ranked side, there is talk of England winning the ashes....I still say, Oz are a good enough side to win the ashes.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | May 21, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    Anderson should beat ITB's English record for test wickets and will possibly post 400+ if he remains fit.

    As for him being the best in the world, as a swing bowler, thats probably an accurate statement at the moment, though there are young players up and coming, like Phillander, and a couple of Aussies (Pattinson especially).

    Though both lack the ability to swing the ball both ways, and maintain the level of control that Anderson has.

    Comparisons to Steyn are wrong. Steyn uses out and out pace to undo batsmen, rather than swing, and even when he does get movement its only away from the right handers.

    Every country bigs up it own players (just look at the over paid prema-donnas in Team india - SRT excepted)

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    What would the English summer be without some good minnow clubbing in May followed with the subsequent lauding of the English team!

    Last year McGrath and Warne were the old Anderson and Swann. Just waiting for Root to be tagged up with something now, world's best no.4, ever. Perhaps. Fortress England!

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | May 21, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    @sahbas pls don't compare skills of Vinay Kumar with Anderson.Don't you remember how Anderson bowled in India in last test series. He may not have taken too many wickets but his accuracy was spot on. And Vinay kumar ,debuted on fast bowlers heaven Perth,bowls 13 overs and guess what David Warner killed his test career in those 13 overs.And yes how can anyone one forget his earth shattering balls at 116 kmph at Perth :D

  • POSTED BY itismenithin on | May 21, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    He is a very good bowler no doubt, but doesn;t strike fear in the opposition as Dale steyn does. Also he isn't half as good in unhelpful conditions, something he can look to improve.

  • POSTED BY V.Jammy on | May 21, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Anderson 'most skillfull in world' ! Mr. David Saker, I believe your world is limited to the borders of England only !! Please come out of your world & see the real world. You will find numerous bowlers ahead of Anderson.

  • POSTED BY StevieS on | May 21, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    I could name 3 South African bowlers I would pick above Anderson. It would be a tough pick between choosing Anderson or Southee. In the recent test Southee not only bowled just as well but he had to bowl to far superior batsman in there home conditions whereas Southee distroyed Anderson in New Zealand conditions.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 21, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    @Donsshaddow on (May 21, 2013, 4:41 GMT) - yes but as in real life, in your example the Tiger would eat the Gazelle for breakfast! @Trickstar on (May 20, 2013, 23:42 GMT) - everything you said has sound basis, however ALL the bowlers you mentioned (Garner, Ambrose, Akram etc) were GREAT bowlers with stats to back them, so it is only splitting hairs as to who was more skilled between Ambrose & Akram as ultimately the "skill" is the ability to get the wicket (however it is done). When COMPARED to Steyn, all Andersons "skills" are 2nd rate, & it must be remembered that the gushing has ocurred during a match in which NZ's batsmen averaged about 13! Where was the gushiing during the Saffa series? Anderson IS in the top 10 bowlers currently, but there is only ONE Steyn & he is light years ahead of anyone currently. The DIFFERENCE in sustained performance is so great - there can't be any debate on the matter!

  • POSTED BY Lermy on | May 21, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Anderson was ordinary in NZ, no pace, no swing. Broad was all over the place in NZ too. One innings does not a great attack make. Me thinks thou celebrateth too much. Indeed SA managed to bowl NZ out for under 50 recently, lest we forget! Knocking NZ over cheaply is hardly the stuff of cricketing legend.

  • POSTED BY steveoehley on | May 21, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/8608.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/47492.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

    The stats don't lie. Anderson isn't even in the same class as Steyn. I will start regarding Anderson in the same light as Steyn when he averages under 30 away from home and succeeds everywhere in the world including Asia and Australia.

  • POSTED BY sahbas_s on | May 21, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    @Surajdon..I never compare anyone with Dale. I didn't mention Steyn's name itself in my comment. You got it wrong there. I only compared your overtalked Jimmy if he comes to subcon, he is far worse than Vinay or Bhuvi.Your Jimmy could be compared only with likes of Vinay,Bhuvi,Kulasekara,Welegedara, W Riaz etc., Don't go too much by put him along with Dale's stature.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    You have to commend the English Management. The English Cricket Team will be perfectly primed for the Ashes with their two series against NZ. Meanwhile Australia's is rock bottom without a firm batting line up.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 21, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    @ rohan34mca You are indeed correct. Anderson was NOT Eng's best bowler in that series. That honour belongs to KP Pietersen - I kid you not - 18 overs, 4 wickets, ave 22.75, Econ 4.78, SR 28.5

    Finn was next, 10 @ 32.5, Broad 11 @ 39.72, Anderson 9 @40.66, Swann 4 @ 77, Bresnan 2 @ 139. (YES - 139.)

    Only Pietersen could take the same no. of wickets as Swann but at an ave of 55 less runs! #Startling.

    Philander, Steyn, Morkel were the top 3 specialist bowlers. By far. So far they were in Aus before Eng recovered.

    Amla's 120.5 led the batting aves, with Bairstow 2nd @ 74.5. Duminy, Alviro Petersen & Kallis followed,Smith and KP dueled for no.6. Philander outscored Strauss, & averaged over 10 runs higher with the bat! Morkel only averaged 2 less than Strauss. I would also have retired.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Jimmy 81 tests , 305 wickets , ave 30.05 stike rate 58.5. Dale 65 tests, 332 wickets ave 22.65, strike rate 41.1. Seriously Mr Saker what planet are you living on. If you asked any current test captain who they woud want in their side out of the 2, how many would ask for Jimmy?

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Oh please. This is just hyped up English Press. Anderson is good, dont get me wrong, however any swing bowler will excel in English conditions. Its away games which count, and this is where England have been found wanting. Steyn and Philander are far more complete bowlers than Anderson. As soon as the conditions arent conducive for swing bowling Anderson looks extremely average.

  • POSTED BY BrianCharlesVivek on | May 21, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Oh the English summer has started and we will continue to hear such stuff. Where was he against South Africans ? Its that time of the decade, where we have pretty one dimensional players all over the world. Look at the quality of the India side for example - Kohli, Dhoni, Raina - they are tigers at asia and are clueless world over. Zaheer khan took 10 years to become a decent bowler from a howler. Anderson has improved a lot, but not as good as Steyn any day. Numbers dont say the full story, but to average 5 wickets per match, which any bowlers havent done in the decade, you should be the best, and Steyn is.

  • POSTED BY Perplexed on | May 21, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Is this the same 'most skillful bowler in the world' who helped restrict South Africa to a mere 637/2 in the first test less than a year ago in English conditions? Well, I guess he made up for that one poor test by leading his team to victory in the remaining two tests... Oh, that's right, he didn't.

  • POSTED BY GRVJPR on | May 21, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    That's an absolute joke. Anderson's record in subcontinent is pathetic. He needs special conditions to perform. There are many bowlers who could have got double the wickets than anderson if presented with tailor made conditions for fast bowling. Taking wickets against number 8 team doesn't makes anyone great. It is the joke of the century by Mr Saker.

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | May 21, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Anderson averaged 30 in India, @front-foot- lunge. It's nothing sensational. Pattinson averaged 26 there, just as a comparison, which is pretty much in line with the fact that Pattinson averages a whopping 6 runs per wicket less than Anderson, and his first class average is much better too.

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | May 21, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    The English press do have a tendency towards hyperbole, don't they? Basically we have an attack here that took eight innings to get the better of NZ, one of the poorest batting lineups in world cricket, judging by some recent efforts vs SA? And it took conditions that were super-conducive to medium pacers. I do believe that Southee's figures for the game were better than all the Eng quicks, and the NZ bowlers took the last 8 Eng wickets for about 50 or so runs. A bit of context would be useful here.

    I was somewhat amazed at the reports and comments coming from Eng reports and fans during the firstly four days of this match. They simply refused to accept that their team was being regularly matched by NZ, even after three and 3/4 games of test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    eh, what about one vernon philander mr. saker??? you also forgetting how weak jimmy was against SA a year ago!

  • POSTED BY Clan_McLachlan on | May 21, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Of course Saker will talk him up, he's the bowling coach.

    Jimmy's pretty good, and there's no doubt he's England's most skillful pace bowler. But instead of the big talk Saker should be focusing on improving his away average of 35. Or his averages of 38 against Australia, 38 against South Africa and 29 against India.

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | May 21, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Anderson is good but he is not as good as Steyn. Anderson relies heavily on swing and if the ball doesn't swing he is more often than not finds himself in trouble. When all the aspects of a fast bowler is taken into consideration Steyn is the complete bowler.

  • POSTED BY rohan34mca on | May 21, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Oh yeah! It is all about form. Where were his skills when Amla & co mesmerized English fans at Oval? Oh Yeah he took 1/116 and was still the best ENGLISH bowler.. I am not going to look for more records, however I am sure he was not the English best bowler in the series. Why? Just because the quality of the batting order was good?

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | May 21, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    James Anderson is indeed very skillful ,but Steyn is the more complete bowler. Look at his record all over the world including India. He has two 5 wkts haul in India also. He has 332 wkts in 65 Tests Vis a Vis Anderson's 302 in 81 tests. Agreed, numbers are part of the story , but steyn has pace and swing wheras Anderson has got swing and pace slightly short of Steyn. The latter can really up the ante when it is required. Anderson is a very very good bowler and can be called one of the top pace bowlers of his time but Steyn can lay claim to being called an all time great.

  • POSTED BY Yaswanth.Ram on | May 21, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    "When he gets it right, there's no more skilful bowler in the world" what a poor statement is this??? Even L Balaji makes u feel like there's no more skillful bowler in the world when he gets right,having said dat I personally like Anderson and his aggression but he can never beat Dale STEYN... I don't think Anderson would have maintained an economy of < 6 in ILP like STEYN did this year....

  • POSTED BY PadMarley on | May 21, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    To me, this is a sad situation! its not even a question of James or Dale is better...we should thank god for at least having two of them in the world. Just look back last few decades. We had two golden eras where west indian battalion, Aussie Lillee and thimpson, and pakistani Imran and NZ hadlee operating. And another era where Wasim, waqar, donald, Mcgra, vaas, gough, Lee, shoeb, walsh, and ambrose were operating. Modern day cricket is ridiculously pathetic in this sense!!!!

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 21, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Anderson deserves a special page of mention for his conversion from a green-top specialist to a sub-continent/flat-deck specialist too. Who could forget the recent India tour, or when he first wowed fans from both the sub-continent and the northern hemisphere with his now legendary, famous conversion of his skill to flat decks? Only one eyed supporters who hate the game could forget such famous history it seems. True cricket lovers will be talking about this famous conversion of his skill for many years to come. It's occurred to me too that his detractors' teams don't have their own James Anderson. Oh now, I understand perfectly... Jealousy has no place in cricket. You lost. Get over it!

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | May 21, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    bowling average 30, and still skillful !! do you know Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Zaheer Khan !

  • POSTED BY Surajdon9 on | May 21, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @ sahbas_s Ha ha ha Compare Jimmy, dale with Vinay Kumar, Bhuwaneshor is quite unacceptable.Jimmy, steyn worst bowling is more than Better with compare Best of vinay kumar, bhuwaneshhor.Thnx gud you didn't mention dinda,ishant,yadav in this list...

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | May 21, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    Yeah right!! The most skillful bowler who barely touches 82 mph -:) Granted he does get Wkts at times in bunches , but who doesn't when armed with a shining new ball on green pitches and with some incompetent batsmen in the no.8 team .The real test though waits when the world's best batsman will be milking this Eng bowling for 100s and 200s in Ashes . With a struggling group of bowlers that he leads , Jimmy alone will be just helpless ,I'm afraid ... just like when Matty Hayden was ripping his fav'ite bowling to shreds during the last Golden era in cricket's dominance .

  • POSTED BY Imthiyaz_Haniffa on | May 21, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Truly the most amazing Test Match after many years. Broad/Anderson unit worked fine.... no matter what ever said it's always good to see such tense/interesting Test Cricket from the place where it's born.

  • POSTED BY sahbas_s on | May 21, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Come on!! Did I read it right!! Anderson most skillful..Perhaps he missed out to suffix that with"in english conditions". If he comes to subcon he is no more than a Vinay kumar when it comes to skill. I would any day pick Vinaykumar ahead of Jimmy in subcon. If people like Vinay, Bhuvi plays consistently in England, they would easily better Jimmy...

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | May 21, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Well in my opinion philander is the most skillfull that i have seen in recent times, he certainly caused us more trouble than steyn, not that steyn didn't trouble us. Philander moves the ball both ways as well but is even more accurate than anderson. Both philander and anderson are both very dominant at home but this is where steyn comes into the fold, he excels overseas as well, i know anderson isn't as good abroad, not too sure about philander in this regard, i know he struggled in aussie a bit but the way he bowled to us, he over shadowed steyn and that isn't easy to do. So for me it would be philander followed by steyn then anderson. Everyone has there favorites but these 3 are well ahead of the pack.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 21, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    It would have been very interesting to see if they could bowl at the same pace consistently. I am not saying that Jimmy would be better but it would be great to see them do that.

    They both have their advantages as well. Jimmy bowls in the most swing friendly conditions in the world .

    But any one who knows cricket properly and takes it seriously enough knows that it ALWAYS helps to apply pressure from BOTH ends.You just CANNOT deny the fact. I am not taking anything away from Steyn's brilliance and he might be as effective bowling in the English attack as well but it does help to have someone as good as Phil or even Morne at the other end. The batsman can then not just play away one over by leaving the bowl and look to score in the next.

    It is well known that Jimmy bowls well in tandem with Swann (eventhough he is a spinner). And the main reason for that is Swann atleast blocks the run scoring from one end making it necessary for the batsman to play the bowl in the next over.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | May 21, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Anderson is indeed the most improving bowler.He is improving with each season.The control he has developed over the swing is really exceptional.However i respectfully disagree that Steyn is all about speed. If you watch Steyn ,you will know he got plenty of variation. The way he plans against a batsman is exceptional. Steyn has singel handedely demolished sub Continent batting line up.Steyn average and strike rate in sub continent are 21 and 39 respectively.This is enough to show how skillful he is actually.

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | May 21, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Steyn-Most complete fast bowler in the world(currently) ,Jimmy-Best swing bowler in the world(currently)

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 21, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    If we compare their skills , Jimmy has a better inswinger while Steyn has a better outswinger. Jimmy reverse swings the ball better while Steyn is better at swinging it late. Jimmy is better at bowling straight while Steyn is better at bowling wide. Jimmy bowls better lines while Steyn bowls better lengths. Jimmy has a better slower bowl while Steyn has a better yorker.Both are similar when pitching it fuller while Steyn is exceptional with the short pitched stuff.

    For the stats hungry people , Jimmy has 23.6 % bowled dismissals to Steyn's 22.59 %. Jimmy has 25 % dismissals caught by keeper to Steyn's 22 %. Jimmy has 38.6 % dimissals caught by a fielder to Steyn's 40.36 %. Jimmy has 13.8 % LBW dismissals while Steyn has 15 %. These stats justify the above statements and suggest that they are almost at par in terms of skill , with Jimmy probably a tiny (and it is a very ,very tiny) notch ahead.

    But what makes Steyn the BEST bowler is his pace. It puts him in a class of his own.(con.)

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | May 21, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    I am sorry to express my surprise at the usually restrained Englishmen going so much overboard about their bowling attack after winning the first Test of the season.They would do well to remember that the conditions were tailor-made for swing and seam bowling and that England themselves were bowled out twice for scores less than 250. Anderson is without doubt very good. But he is not in the same street as Steyn or Malcolm Marshall and Wasim Akram before his time. Anderson's real test this season will come when the conditions are not so bowler friendly and against a good batting order like Australia has. Their ignominious batting in India recently is not a correct reflection of their abilities. There is no doubt that Anderson in deceptive in his action and is a fine exponent of reverse swing. But with his pace not being in the top league, I doubt if he can be termed an all time great like Steyn can be even at this stage.

  • POSTED BY derpherp on | May 21, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    "most skillful bowler in the world"...with a bowling average of 30 and an average of 35 overseas.....

  • POSTED BY lancia71 on | May 21, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Come on Mr. Saker, are you joking…yes may be there is some truth "when he gets it right". Surely Anderson is very good bowler but please please don't compare him with Steyn. Anderson may be a bully in English conditions but when it comes to subcontinent wickets his performance is next to nothing

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 21, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    In his cricinfo article titled "Indispensable Anderson master of his craft," David Hopps deliberately separated Anderson from the "best" debate by focusing on his skill, & his contribution to team & country. Hopps did not claim that Anderson is the "most skillful," but David Saker did. He shamelessly stole the idea. (Aussies claim Warne the best but Murali always had better figures ... an old Aus habit?)

    By "most skilful" Saker MEANS "best." We all know that. Instead of looking at their lifetime figures, which may not tell us who is the most skilful NOW, let's do a same players, same matches, same pitches, bowling with Dukes, in Jimmy's backyard, analysis. Basil D'Oliveira Trophy, 2012 - England vs SA - Series Bowling Averages.

    Anderson. Matches 3. Wickets 9. Ave 40.66. Econ 2.47. SR 98.4

    Steyn Matches 3. Wickets 15. Ave 29.2. Econ 3.34. SR 52.4

    BUT

    Philander Matches 3. Wickets 12. Ave 23.66. Econ 2.35. SR 60.4

    Hmm. Was Vern perhaps the "most skilful" in that series?

  • POSTED BY Petes_Cricket on | May 21, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    Perhaps Mr. Saker on your advice we may need to introduce a new ranking, 'the most skillfull bowler' and independent to that of the best ODI / Test bowler in the world? Cricinfo, please post........

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 21, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Most people here seem to have forgotten to READ the article. Nowhere does Saker say that Jimmy is the best. He is only saying that he is the most skillful and he has acknowledged the fact that Steyn is the best on more than one occasion.

    Also, the people here who merely glance at the statistics or do a statsguru search before commenting and do not actually WATCH these two lads bowl have no right to jabber about. You simply CANNOT compare players of any sport based on stats itself.

    We have a Steyn vs Anderson discussion on cricinfo almost every 15 days. And honestly I am a bit tired about it now. Why take anything away from their incredible performances by comparing them time and again.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | May 21, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Saker, you know this new kid in town known as "Steyn Gun" ???? ...and his deputy Philly?

  • POSTED BY Insult_2_Injury on | May 21, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    Keep it in perspective Saker. Yep, Anderson is a good bowler in favourable home conditions ( not to mention against a county cricket 2nd XI opponent) and should be congratulated on 300 wkts - an excellent feat. Absolutely no comparison with Steyn who not only strikes more regularly (every 41 compared to 58 balls) but has a far superior average (22 to 30+). Not surprising that Saker would be in awe of Andersons' ability to swing the ball, as he was so bad at it that he used to throw the ball into the rough in District and Shield from ball one to hasten up his chance to reverse it. Strange that a bowler who couldn't learn to swing a new ball is an international bowling coach!

  • POSTED BY SpartaArmy on | May 21, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Anderson is definitely in current top 5 in conditions where ball swings and seams. On other pitches he can be best described as Indian bowler. Well what if Saker is coach for SA, we might have read statement - "Only God can come close to the bowling skills of Steyn". Or may be Saker is allowed to see the videos of only Indian bowlers and Anderson and Dayle Steyn (when he is 6).

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 21, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    @ 64blip. Nice post. Hard to disagree about Kipling or SA.

  • POSTED BY jango_moh on | May 21, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    anderson is def a very good bowler... but saying he's the most skillful in the world is a bit much!!! on their day, most of the leading bowlers in the world are good... its when its not ur day, or when its not conditions that suit u that ur real mettle comes out!!! i think anderson is just average/good when conditions dont help him....

  • POSTED BY TATTUs on | May 21, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Yeah! Most 'beautiful bowler in the world' whatever that means...most 'skillful' now, what ever that means too. Frankly Anderson is just a good bowler who cannot be concatenated with 'best in the world' in any parameter. May be best English bowler in the world thats it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    Odd that England management would forget a South African fast bowler!

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    Yes, I agree with the trend here to say that Steyn is a better bowler than Anderson. Philander, well, let's give it a couple more years and then I'll get back to you - statistically he's even better than Steyn, but he's only been playing tests for a couple of years.

    But just because he's not as good as the very best in the world doesn't mean he's anything less than great! He has 300 wickets, he's the recognised leader of a genuinely world class attack (yes, it's not as good as SA's, and yes Australia's shows promise to go beyond them, but until the Ashes we really can't make that claim), he has a spectacular range of skills and he's been improving consistently.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 21, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    @ Cricketfan101 wrote "Obviously ... its either steyn or philander but i would say steyn because philander has not played in the sub continent."

    This is puzzling. Is a player only skillful if they have played in the SC? If so, are they previously unskilled, and only acquire those skills in the SC? By this definition Bradman was obviously unskilled. If Bradman had played one game, just one club match, in Bhutan, would he then have become skillful?

    Just because Philander has no RECORD in the SC does not make him unskilled. If you wish to compare him to Anderson, Steyn or any other bowler, don't use the other bowler's SC record, or do not make any comparison. Simple.

  • POSTED BY I-Like-Cricket on | May 21, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Also to quote Saker " When he gets it right, there's no more skilful bowler in the world", is that a joke? I could say that about anyone in the world. When Ishant Sharma gets it right he more or less starts the decline of the best batsman in the world at the time (Ponting 2008), so if w're going to use that premise I'd have to put Mitchell Starc and Johnson ahead of Anderson also.

  • POSTED BY Mr. Madness on | May 21, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    If Mr. Saker here is is praising Anderson over Steyn; then clearly he is very delusional because not only does Steyn outrank Anderson but he also has more wickets in less matches. Anderson has nipped 305 wickets in 81 matches and by the time Steyn has played 81 matches he will have a riveting 414. Statistically speaking Steyn has over powered Anderson. Now, when it comes to pace that is another area that makes Steyn much better; simply because he has more. But people like to look at a bowlers swing; I do admit that Anderson swings the ball a lot more; but Steyn is able to control his swing. Point is you don't bad mouth Steyn

  • POSTED BY I-Like-Cricket on | May 21, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    Completely agree with everyone, Steyn is by far and away a better bowler than Anderson. I'd also probably take Pattinson and definitely Philander over him. Plus if Pat Cummins had of stayed fit instead of wasting his body on T20 I'd say I would've taken him too. Plus there's Ryan Harris too who IMO is a better swinger of the ball than Anderson. He's the best bowler that England have produced probably but that's as far as I'd go, especially since his average is still above 30 (only about 3 more than Nathan Lyon).

  • POSTED BY Phat-Boy on | May 21, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    Sorry Mr Saker but there are two gentlemen from South Africa who provide pretty compelling evidence to refute this claim. For all his ability, not even ONCE has Anderson had a YEAR where his strike rate is close to Steyn and Philander. The best year Anderson has had - he had a strike rate of 47. Steyn's CAREER SR is 41, and Philander's is 36. Furthermore, the best year Anderson has had average-wise was 22.96 in 2010. Philander's career average is 17, and Steyn's is 22.6. So statistically there is no argument you can make to back up Saker's claim, and anyone who watches the trio bowl regularly would know it simply from watching - Anderson is very good, but not as good as the other two. Why are English cricket figures (and yes I know Saker is an Aussie) so prone to hyperbole? What more do players like Steyn, Kallis, ABDV, Smith, Philander and Amla have to do to earn their due recognition?

  • POSTED BY Bruv32 on | May 21, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    Saker thinks England constitutes the world. Big Vern Philander has more skill than Jimmy. I'm not saying Jimmy is not quality, but seriously, the world!

  • POSTED BY BigDataIsAHoax on | May 21, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Oh here we go again!! Completely biased article and equally biased comments from Saker. Give us a break guys. Steyn is THE #1 and by a HUGE margin. Steyn has been #1 for years on end. Steyn has the ability to demolish strong batting lineups. Anderson on the other hand is good against batsmen with poor technique. Steyn was the difference between England and SA when they relinquished the #1 ranking in England. So please, stop this biased commentary.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Andreson is a good bowler. that's about it. But Steyn is an all time great and will end even further for others to catch up. laughable statements from this "best" coach.

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    @shan - mate yes Anderson had a poor start, but what are u trying to justify from that. And what other factors are u talking about. conditions - most of the time he bowls on England which assists swing - if not from the pitch then generally from the wind. Catches - well England were generally a strong fielding side any way, with the likes of collingwood, starrus in slip cordon. And lets face it even over past one year he has been inconsistent

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Is this a sign of relief for New Zealand. Last time I hear from Saker, he was comparing england's bowling attack to Australia at its peak. The following game, Tino Best almost got a century, and then South Africa made 600+ for the loss of 2 wickets, with amla making 300, kallis making 180 and smith making 130. "most skillful bowler in the world", wow - his record is similar to zaheer's record despite playing more often in more favourable conditions. secondly, lets break down the skills (since he is comparing him to steyn) - pace and accuracy goes to steyn, no one bowls a better outswinger than steyn, whilst anderson bowls a better inswinger.Ability to change pace goes to anderson, but his extra pace makes steyn an edge over reverse swing. I can't believe he is even comparing a sub 30 bowler -who I believe is a lot better than that though - to someone who has a better strikerate than waqar younis.

  • POSTED BY Blokker on | May 21, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    Your average determines how great you are as a bowler, not what your coach says. Doesn't it?

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | May 21, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    "Jimmy Anderson - world's most skillful bowler." The fact that this can be taken seriously speaks only negatively of the current state of fast bowling in international cricket. Going back 15 years - when the likes of McGrath, Younis, Akram, Walsh, Donald, and Pollock et al. were all playing - the answer would have been Jimmy who?

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | May 21, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    The guy averages 30+ in tests and is the most skillful in the world? Not even close. I wouldn't even put him in the top 5. Steyn, Philander, Morkel, Junaid Khan, Pattinson are the best 5 bowlers in the world. Comparing him to Steyn is ludicrous. The guy has picked 300 wickets in 60(anderson 81) games, has a SR of 41 vs Anderson's 58, averages 22 vs Anderson's 30, has 21 5 wicket hauls compared to Anderson's 13. It is no contest really! England fans saying he is as good as Steyn but doesn't have pace is comical! How many pace bowlers did you see who can swing the ball as good at such a high pace, more so considering the fact that you have bowler bowling in 140's who cannot even control his run up and keeps kneeing the stumps? Its even harder than swinging it in the mid 140's because you can lose control of the swing if you are not good enough! I would say Aussies have a much better bowling attack for the ashes but their batting will let them down!

  • POSTED BY goldeneraaus on | May 21, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    everyone needs to calm down, Saker didnt say that Anderson is better than steyn, because when you take into consideration A LOT of factors that is simply wrong, but he said that in ONE criteria of excellence, that is skill, anderson is better than steyn. Of course many can disagree on that but its a more measured and reasonable claim from the man who once said Swan and Anderson were on par to Mcgrath and Warne..that was the worst example of english back staff over-hyping their cricketers

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 21, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Man this would be embarrassing for the true Test cricket fans from England. At the moment there is ONE great bowler in World cricket at the moment & that is Steyn - next comes daylight (or Phillander). Anderson is class, & maybe if he continues to work his career average down about 4 runs he could be considered great. He has done some great bowling - but has been mediocre in between. Steyn is far & away the best bowler in the world & (IMO), is fast closing in on the rarified atmosphere of Akram, Lillee, Marshall & Hadlee (I think he is already at McGrathesque greatness). == == == It is interesting Saker says "....I've never met a guy as good as him who keeps wanting to get better..." - yet he was a team mate of Warne? Interesting!

  • POSTED BY iceaxe on | May 21, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    My vote also goes with Dale Steyn. Anderson is good, but not the best.

    Interesting that you mention Anderson, when Broad was the star of the NZ second innings demise. Seems rather one-eyed...

  • POSTED BY on | May 21, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Anderson is a good bowler; perhaps the best England's produced in years but as Sir Geoff Boycott himself said, he'd go for Steyn everytime. A bowler of Steyn's caliber is a rare occurence and as he ages and looses pace, he will incorporate a number of tricks to his box of tools. As a journalist myself, I understand there's need to cover such "quotes" online.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 20, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    @RandyUK on (May 20, 2013, 20:12 GMT), if I'm not mistaken, it's actually the England team's Australian bowling coach who's over-hyping a single player. I'd be inclined to agree with Saker that probably pips Steyn in the skills department but Steyn still has plenty of skills, bowls very good and consistent lines and lengths and has some extra pace. Pace isn't everything but, coupled with Steyns other attributes, it helps to make him the best bowler in the world right now. If Saker was bowling coach for SA I have no doubt he would be rating Steyn as #1. Also, while Anderson's career figures don't nearly do justice to the bowler he is today, last time I looked, even his recent figures weren't as good as Steyn's. It's a shame that Saker has to make statements like this because it leads to petty arguments amongst fans when the players themselves can probably appreciate that they're both excellent bowlers and respect each other.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 20, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    @ Mitty2 It's not as if you haven't been a continual source of hyperbole about the Oz bowlers from the moment you joined the site. You do realise that the 2 things can be mutually exclusive don't you.For example someone like Wasim Akram was a more skillful bowler than a Joel Garner, Ambrose or a Alan Donald but imo he wasn't the better bowler. Again you're not always going to get the answer from stats. You've turned this into it being about a English bowler instead of actually trying to understanding what he is talking about. Anderson skill set is larger in his opinion because he swings the ball late both ways, he's also learned to seam the ball when it doesn't swing, getting it jag one way or the other and he's excellent at reverse swing. That doesn't mean it takes anything away from Steyn because what Steyn does he does it about as good as anyone ever. He bowls fast late outswingers, with impeccable control, that alone makes him the best bowler around.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    I believe Dale Steyn is the most skillful bowler not Anderson. Anderson may be second best.

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | May 20, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Jimmy Anderson is to Cricket is what Tim Henman was to Tennis. Good, but never the best. And enough for the English press to have delusional visions of grandeur. Jimmy Anderson and Zaheer Khan are at par in terms of skill.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    @MrCrickCheat. I don't think this is shooting the messenger. As many here suggest, Saker's comments are egotistical and self-serving and simply a matter of his own - inevitably biased - opinion. George Dobell has a brand value - personally, I've always been inclined to read what he writes - and that brand value is devalued by his implying that Saker's bragging is worthy of a wider audience. I can't help thinking that Anderson will feel embarrassed by this and may well tell Saker to put a sock in it.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | May 20, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    LOL you can be the most skillful without being the best, we see it batsman where he could have the best technique & all the shots but may not be the best. We've even seen it with someone like Zaheer,where he was very skillful but not the best. I've heard Saker speak about Steyn a few times and freely admits he's the best bowler around, so he obviously sees the difference. Steyn's skill is bowling quick and getting his outswinger to move late and on a good line & length over & over again, it's what he does awesomely well but he struggles against left handers because he hasn't an away swinger. Anderson isn't quite as quick as Steyn but movers the ball both ways effortlessly and with late swing, which makes him good against both right & left handers. I also think Anderson is a bit better bowler of reverse swing. Steyn I've seen do it on occasions but not as consistent as Anderson when the conditions suit, Shame that when someone gives their opinion everyone over reacts, haters hate.

  • POSTED BY MK88 on | May 20, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Please Mr. Saker, Anderson doesn't even come close to Dale Steyn. Dale is the top ranked test bowler in the world, has been for a long time. Where was this Anderson character when Amla Hash and J Kallis tormented the English? Where was he in NZ when only time saved the English? He couldn't do nothing to help his team avoid a 3-0 whooping by team Pakistan. This article does nothing that try hard to force readers to forget the great performances Dale Steyn has put through, and only focus on this one game where Jimmy got it right.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | May 20, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    The author said 'the most skilful' not 'the best' there is a subtle but important difference!!

  • POSTED BY Karthickk on | May 20, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Good, Trot or Peterson were not born in England, else, they would have been more skillful than Bradman.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    laughable , when the conditions are not right he is merely a medium pacer ... i have seen a few batsman take him to the cleaners

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Saker you are comparing anderson to steyn on his very last performance and maybe since the begining of this year when steyn has been no.1 for 5 years.... OH wait, even looking at this year, steyn has an average of under 13 with 30+ wickets and anderson has an average of 26 with 20 wickets (approx.) lets rather leave out all the previous years especially. with anderson avg over 30.... not your best article

  • POSTED BY anj310 on | May 20, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Saker's an Australian. Saker's a bowling coach of an international cricket team. The article does not represent George Dobell's opinion.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    How good would Anderson be if he didn't play for England? The English fast bowlers have the best conditions to utilise in world cricket. Dale Steyn and the Safs completely smoked the English in their backyard and Aamir almost finished Cook's career there 3 years ago. How good would Broad and co be if they represented a different country? Broad would probably be a NZ spearhead, but he wouldn't even make the Pakistan C team if one thinks deeply enough

  • POSTED BY markatnotts on | May 20, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    For all those people saying this was an English press hype, it was just words from our Oz bowling coach. Besides that neither Jimmy nor even Steyn who I consider to be a better bowler are the most skillful in the world. The one bowler that really deserves that mantal (Steyn and Jimmy behind), is that little man from Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal. In terms of pure conventional off spinning skill, this to me smashes rather more conveniental pace bowling. The magician has the happy knack of the classic off spinners trait of appearing to bowl the ball from a string with masterful control of length. To boot he can also bowl the doosra. A real pleasure to watch (apart from against us in the Tests in the UAE lol).

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 20, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    While Mr. Saker is right to support his players, it would be better to do it without going overboard. Like almost everyone else, I think that Anderson is a very good bowler, but Steyn is going to go down as one of the greats. That's no reflection on Anderson, who bowled very well in this game.

    However, the comments talking about how the English go over the top seem to ignore (or perhaps the authors don't know) the fact that Mr. Saker isn't English, he's Australian.

  • POSTED BY Karthickk on | May 20, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    To Saker's credit he has only mentioned that Anderson is the most 'skilful' bowler. Saker is entitled for his opinions. Dale Steyn is statistically the best bowler in the world. If Anderson is the most skilful bowler and yet Steyn is the best bowler, that speaks something about Anderson's ability to convert his skills into effectiveness. Saker, please do not downgrade Anderson's effort, even though you contradict by saying Anderson is always looking to improve, the math does not tally up. With due respect to Anderson(who in my opinion is one of the great bowlers among the current crop of fast bowlers), in my opinion Steyn is miles ahead of him in skills, control, speed and most importantly effectiveness. Anderson is vastly improved bowler and a threat, no doubts. Please do not compare Steyn with Anderson and damage Anderson's reputation, he does not deserve that kind of treatment. Anderson is Anderson and Steyn is Steyn, leave it at that. Let fans enjoy both of them.

  • POSTED BY blink182alex on | May 20, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    Once again the English media continue their own tunnel vision with no memory of the recent past.

    Dale Steyn is by far the best pace bowler in the world. If you ever wanted to compare Steyn and Anderson at their peak just go back to last summer, SA racked up 2/650 odd whilst Steyn bowled his side to victory with 5/56.

    Steyn has the extra pace although he usually bowls within himself in tests, but he too moves the ball both ways and late, he has 8 more 5wh than Anderson despite playing 16 tests less. Oh and he also has 27 more wickets in those 16 tests.

    Never mind Steyn a fully fit Ryan Harris is a better bowler all round than Anderson, but unfortunately Ryano can't stay on the park long enough.

  • POSTED BY agstiger on | May 20, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Its unbelievable how Saker can have such an "out of the world" opinion. Maybe if we are not in this world then Anderson is the "most" skillful bowler. In the world we all live in, Anderson is among top 2 or 3 would have been a fair assessment. Simply put, a bowler is skillful when he has skills in all format of the game. Skill does not depend on the format! Dale's average in all formats are better than Anderson. I am not sure but I would be interested to know how Anderson's average stacks up against Steyn's in away matches or just in SA and England, respectively.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Francis on | May 20, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Well Anderson has 300 wickets, like Brett Lee. Anderson averages over 30, like Brett Lee. Is Brett Lee a great bowler?

  • POSTED BY cabinet96 on | May 20, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Shut about Steyn. He isn't as skilful as Anderson. End of story. That's all the article is about. No one questions that Steyn is the best bowler in the world.

    Gee, some people are so bitter.

  • POSTED BY SaadRocx on | May 20, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    @Reececonrad,Anderson being over shadowed by steyn? are you kidding me?when was the last time steyn performed in sub-continent?jimmy anderson along with Cook were the reason,England thrashed india in india...jimmy proved that he is the best bowler in the world in all conditions,can swing in both ways,got reverse swinging tools aswell and a fine bowler in death overs (ODI), on the other hand steyn who relies on mere conditions,bangs it cross seam always in death overs,never seen him reverse swinging the ball

  • POSTED BY biggyd on | May 20, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    hahaha - this comment after playing vs kiwis? is it still april 1 ??? : )

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    A test bowloer who has an average of 30 comparing with a bowler with an average of 21 is a joke itself. Very biased article.

  • POSTED BY bharath74 on | May 20, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Anderson may be the most skiful bowler in the word but who is Saker though??

  • POSTED BY r0dney on | May 20, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    Once again England win a match against a poor side and their players are world beaters. Anderson is not even the best bowler in the England team and when they beat NZ again later in the week they will be informing all and sundry that they should be number 1 in the word.

  • POSTED BY The_bowlers_Holding on | May 20, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    Anderson is a stupendous bowler but Steyn is better due to his pace, Saker does tend to have a bit of a problem with gobbing off but I suppose give his nationality it is to be expected :)

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | May 20, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Steyn is the best bowler in the world - FACT - anyone who tries to argue is either English or delirious.

  • POSTED BY Harinasi on | May 20, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Real test for a bowler is in the hostile Sub continent Terrain. Dale Steyn is the clear winner based on the averages. Dear David Saker, I have pulled these for you. Hope you read my comment. In ODIs:- James Anderson in Sub Continent soil :- Economy of 5.08 in 27 Matches/ 27 wickets an average of 41.29. and Dale Steyn :- Economy of 4.66 in 10 matches/ 15 wickets an average of 25.53 In Test :- James Anderson:- Economy of 3.01 in 11 Matches, 33 wickets an average of 33.45 and Dale Steyn :- Economy of 3.31 in 6 matches, 29 wickets an average of 16.63.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Well, this kind of reports should be in the Page 2 edition :) Oh I forgot, He is currently the fast bowling coach for the England cricket team.

  • POSTED BY TenDonebyaShooter on | May 20, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    @Reececonrad: you are guilty of shooting the messenger in attacking Mr. Dobell, who is merely the author of an article which quotes Mr. Saker's judgement's about the relative merits of Anderson and Steyn, in which indeed Dobell describes Saker praises of Anderson as 'extravagant'. I concur with Dobell in this. In one respect however Saker's claims regarding Anderson's bowling do not go far enough; the suggestion that Anderson could 'become England's greatest wicket-taker' has been in one sense overtaken by events; Anderson already is England's most prolific wicket-taker, at least in tests, ODI and twenty20 combined (and indeed in just tests and ODIs combined).

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 20, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    @Reececonrad: Steyn pips him on striking ability, due to a bit a bit of extra pace. But with two bowlers so good, so great, and so much better than anyone else in the world, this is one debate true cricket lovers engage in with a foundation of sheer respect for both players. His involvement in the whitewashes of Australia or India, his dazzling performances all over the world, not to mention his famous change from a green top specialist to a flat-deck/sub-continent-track specialist too is well documented.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 20, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    @McPiggle, even if you have bowlers of the calibre of Steyn in your team, you would still need a XI not a IX as you mention. Because I can easily put together a XI which would easily trump your IX.

  • POSTED BY StaalBurgher on | May 20, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    I happily grant Mr Saker that Anderson is indeed skillful and has improved by leaps and bounds over the last 5 years. Whether that makes up for the difference in stats compared to Steyn... Let us just remember that all coaches/team mates say the same about their fellow players. The difference is that there is a dominant presence of English/Indian writes on this site. Thus it gives a bit of a lopsided appearance as their players get more exposure.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | May 20, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Just as every man believes he has the most beautiful wife, Saker believes he has the best bowlers in the world. A little pre-Ashes reality check is needed. England have finally defeated the 8th ranked country at the 4th attempt (having very nearly lost the 3rd) - Anderson and Broad were bowling in conditions which also made relatively unknown NZ seamers look lethal. Anderson is a very fine bowler, but must take 2nd place behind Dale Steyn. Broad is a very fine player, who still needs to develop a few tricks to deal with flatter wickets. Praise where praise is due, but England should certainly not be sitting on their laurels right now.

  • POSTED BY JerryV on | May 20, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    I greatly like Anderson, but this pure hyperbole. Currently, no one comes close to Steyn. Unlike Anderson, Steyn does not have an off-day.

    Anderson is nearly the second best (though one could argue that Saeed Ajmal and Vernon Philander might just edge him a bit).

  • POSTED BY JerryV on | May 20, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    I greatly like Anderson, but this pure hyperbole. Currently, no one comes close to Stein. Unlike Anderson, Stein does not have an off-day.

    Anderson is nearly the second best (though one could argue that Saeed Ajmal and Vernon Philander might just edge him a bit).

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    Oh man! Saker needs to learn a bit about the 'English understatement'. Anderson is pretty good, and has continuously grown as a bowler in his last few seasons. But he is nowhere near Steyn as the 'most skilful bowler in the world'. And those comparing Anderson's role in their victory in India vs Steyn never winning a series there: as an Indian, let me assure you - the team Anderson faced ( without Dravid & Laxman, Sehwag-Gambhir dropped for form, Tendulkar, Harbhajan on a decline and Ishant leading the pace attack and with scars of eight overseas losses) is vastly different from the team Steyn faced (top ranked in ICC, Tendulkar in peak form, Sehwag-Gambhir in solid touch, Dravid and Laxman in good nick, Zaheer Khan leading the pace attack). Steyn rolled over that line-up, twice (2008 and 2010), to win test matches nearly on his own. Anderson had Swann and Panesar doing most of the damage. Cool?

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | May 20, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It's fairly even between JA and Steyn given that much faith was placed in Steyn and he used to take out tails for fun as a novice, whereas JA had to contend with meddlers and theorists and was not picked very much in his early days.Maybe JA will return the compliments to SA next time we travel there. That said I have always thought very highly of Steyn and the whole SA seam attack, He is quicker of course, but JA can turn corners with his swing.

  • POSTED BY Spelele on | May 20, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Lol! Unbelievable crap from Saker as always! This team just keeps on hyping itself up after delivering near rubbish (yes it won, but lowly NZ - who were destroyed by SA not too long ago - pushed them more than the final score indicates).

    To say that Anderson - who got destroyed by SA not too long ago - is the most skilful in the world is actually beyond laughable.

  • POSTED BY morningstars on | May 20, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    Remember, New Zealand are ranked in the top 3 teams in the world. England are ranked in the top two. Give me a break. They are all just excellent county cricketers

  • POSTED BY anurade on | May 20, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    yes, most skillful in England in the early summer in helpful conditions. check his record in the sub continent to see where has all thoses skills gone. he is long way off on skills outside England. One must be out of their mind to compare this attack to Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and company as they do not even come close to them on performances outside the home conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    Pakistan just faced the furious Steyn recently and I am sure if we ask Pakistani batsmen whom they dont want to face in any condition, it would be Steyn. May be in seaming conditions Anderson can match Steyn but on flat tracks, Steyn would still be very handful as compared to Anderson

  • POSTED BY OhhhhhMattyMatty on | May 20, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    Steyn is just lucky he is quicker. When Steyn loses his pace, he'll be hit around like a medium pace trundler in country cricket i.e. Darren Stevens. While Jimmy will take Test wickets until he's 40!

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | May 20, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Man! Just send this Anderson dude to IPL and see where he belongs. Yes he is a good bowler but there are many like him. To 95% of cricket knowing public Stein is simply the best among the rest currently but even he is not the best of all times.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | May 20, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    This bloke is unbelievable. It gave me a solid laugh when he made that claim last year... But now he's saying he's more skillful than steyn... How exactly does he define skillful? Id love to know! Averaging above 30, (averaging 28 since 2010 still places him as good not great), is that what makes him the most skillful? I'm sure steyn's mediocre strike rate and average puts him far behind anderson's brilliant and consistent efforts for over 5 years.

    I watched the collapse and to be frank, Anderson bowled much better than broad. Anderson bowled magnificently but still, 2-17 at home is something steyn would've and would surpass time and time again against better line ups. And yet he is made out AGAIN to be some absolute gem of a bowler with comparisons to Malcolm Marshall (march nichollas' article)... And as for broad, about three/four of those wickets can he genuinely say was because of him and not due to batsmen's [very] poor shot selection.

    Keep up the hyperbole English fans/media!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    Yep Jimmy was real skillful while Kallis and Amla sent the England attack to all corners. And don't tell me he doesn't get seamer friendly wickets he plays in England. Would probably say phillander is the most skilffull by some way considering he bowls slightly upward from medium to slow!l

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Could not agree more Seetarama Raju Chekuri and they did have a series at home and could not bowl SA out, oh James is good but not great, he lacks aggresion which you need as a fast bowler, besides the England attack has to beat the current SA attack before they can say they better than AUS of Warne and co

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    I really had no idea as to who David Saker was, today I realized he is the most funniest person ever, to call Anderson more skilfull, when you have a certain Mr.Dale Steyn who picks wickets in heaps even on batsman friendly conditions, is surely a joke. Dale is the greatest ever in the modern era and is on the course to become the greatest ever of all time. Dale is just sensational or should i say simple STEYNsational.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    Dear Mr Saker , would you show me where andersons skills were when Amla was tearing them apart ? Where were his skills in New Zealand ? He is a good bowler but to compare him with steyn shows the depth of bowlers in England.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Just the usual English blabbering....!!! Whilst the fact that Anderson is a very very good bowler is agreeable, he is way way behind Steyn....!!! Give a flat pitch to Anderson and his skills become hidden....Whereas, Steyn has it in him to extract everything from pitch.......If there is swing in air, Steyn uses it.........If there is seam, Steyn extracts it..If pitch is hard, he can use his pace.......and if there is nothing in pitch too, he steams in gets batsmen out through sheer pace with bowling in good areas......Now that is completeness....!!!!

  • POSTED BY reason-galore on | May 20, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    oh my... that is a pretty far fetched statement for bowlers who bowl good on seaming wickets... let him bamboozle batsmen on subcontinent-like dead tracks... like wasim akram and the likes did...

  • POSTED BY Biohazard7279 on | May 20, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Seriously? Dale Steyn is #1 for a reason. Philander has a lot more skills in the locker than Anderson, despite his lack of pace. New Zealand a bloody good cricket team? I beg your pardon! They were demolished by South Africa in the tests. English fanboyism to the max!

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    better than steyn? you must be kidding. Anderson is a very good bowler, but steyn is a class apart, he is among the greatest bowlers of the history. Only a blind english supporter can say anderson is more skillful than steyn.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    anderson and steyn are in a different league. steyn is one the rarest gems you'll ever get to see while anderson is one of those talented bowlers who has gotten things right among so many bowlers with similar if not equal talent!

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Where was anderson when his team lost the no1 status to south africa .Dale Steyn is the best. If you want swing even praveen kumar can swing it.Does it mean he is more skillful and dangerous than dale steyn

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    i thnk u need a reality chck Mr. saker.. ur so calld 'most skillful bowler' has hardly earnd accolades when he is nt playn in english conditions.. nd 2 b fair his record outside england n in ODI's is awful.. so plz instead of boasting about ur country's players please find sme peace of mind n talk about thngs wich hv sm sense in dem..

  • POSTED BY vparisa on | May 20, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    James Anderson might be the best bowler in the world but its not because of desire for continual self improvement, All sportsmen possess the desire for continual self improvement. When Jimmy gets it right, definitely he is the best in the world but Steyn gets it right more often.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 20, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    skillful ? bowling out NZ ? Most Skillful in the world ?

    Styne and Philander Skittled Australia for less !

    That would make them more skillful than Anderson ....

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 20, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    As fans from teams like Australia and India remember all too well, Anderson's ability to move the ball anywhere at will makes him lethal and the most skillful in the world. Anderson can only be described as a legend. Those who watch him bowl, know. Those who simply sit in an armchair going green with envy at him, remain blissfully ignorant. A huge smile never leaves the faces of English fans as a result. :)

  • POSTED BY 64blip on | May 20, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    England can't seem to do balance. We're either castigating ourselves or embarking on a sustained period of world domination. I'd just like to be able to lose without it being the end of the world and win without pyrotechnic hyperbole. Can't believe Rudyard Kipling was English...

    @Seetarama To be fair, no-one wants to be playing SA in tests right now.

  • POSTED BY PureProteas49 on | May 20, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    wow so good hey, have they already forgotten the thrashing they received from The Proteas , btw England your batting performance against a superior side like South Africa would have cost you the test, cant wait to remove your STEYNS off your stumps, YET AGAIN

  • POSTED BY highveldhillbilly on | May 20, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    So Anderson, the most skillful bowler in the world, averages 30 odd. While Steyn, who apparently is not as skillful, averages 22 odd (and the 8 run difference is explained that Steyn is a but quicker). So maybe skill is overrated because it clearly doesn't determine who's better. I don't blame Anderson for David Saker's opinion, I just think he sounds a bit like he's blowing hot air. Ps:Mr Saker my gran thinks Mohammed Sami is the most skillful bowlers in the world so take that!

  • POSTED BY McPiggle on | May 20, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    This article was one of those "LMAO" moments. Most skilful in the world. LOL. I'd still rather have Steyn in my IX than Anderson any day. As Chekuri said, typical English response to go crowing about their win over the 8th ranked NZ team. Thanks for the laugh Saker :)

  • POSTED BY cabinet96 on | May 20, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    No one thinks Anderson is better than Steyn. Trying to argue that people are just reeks of bitterness.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    @ Seetarama no don't think so, I think Anderson is a very skillful bowler. If he gets things right, he's an awesome bowler to see. If not now, I think very soon he will be in par with Wasim Akram.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    @Seetarama Well there is no doubt that steyn is top class.But Anderson is a great bowler in his own way and the swing bowling is always a treat to watch irrespective of the opposition.And new zealand isn't such a bad team too.You agree or not taking 300 wickets in test level is no joke and the landmark speaks for the his consistency over the years and he has only got better day by day. Anderson sure is a class act,maybe not as aggressive as steyn but a great bowler in his own way and it's always a delight to watch him bowl.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Anderson probably is the 2nd best pure swing bowler in the world, he's no Dale Steyn though

  • POSTED BY Jeppo on | May 20, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    All this talk about Anderson and Broad being the best bowlers in the world at the moment is making me wonder if there is an Ashes series coming up...

    By the way, since there is going to be the obvious endless debate over who is better between Steyn and Anderson, I've done a Stats Guru search and found that in their last 50 test matches, Anderson averages 27.36 while Steyn averages 22.19. That is still quite a difference and so you could argue Steyn is a much better bowler if you look at the stats alone. But I still think they are closer together than the stats suggest.

    And, although New Zealand is apparently the 8th ranked team in the world, they certainly didn't play like they were for most of the match! They have plenty of good batsman in their ranks, so it takes a lot to get them out as cheaply as Anderson and Broad did.

  • POSTED BY FieryFerg on | May 20, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    If he's so skilful how come his average is still resolutely over 30 despite playing all his home tests in seam friendly conditions? He's good but not as good as the English set-up and media talk him up to be. His lack of success in ODI and T20 would suggest he's not as adaptable as made out to be. He consistently moves the ball a long way which looks clever but misses the edge by miles - you only need to move the ball 2 inches late in flight to be lethal. Ask Steyn, he's got that sussed. Check out his dismissal of Clarke in Perth to see how to perfectly utilise late out-swing.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 20, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    He is a world class bowler but have to give credit to Steyn.

  • POSTED BY Firoz_USA on | May 20, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    He is a good bowler not the best in the World now!! However this English team is very good test team, this is I agreed.

  • POSTED BY jackthelad on | May 20, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    I agree, Seetarama; Anderson is a good - a very good on his day - bowler, but he is not fit to be placed alongside Steyn. This is just part of the opening war of words preceeding the back-to-back Ashes contests over the next months. We shall see what we shall see, but I regard the teams as fairly equally matched (which, as the Australian team is only mediocre, means I agree England is so too). If KP is fit and decides to fire, he could swing it - but his problem has always been that you can't rely on him. Like England, Oz have a raft of really decent players (and some dodos), but there is only one who could alter the destiny of that Urn - and I say this as a guy who has always been a critic of Pietersen.

  • POSTED BY Poliwag060 on | May 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    It's not a competition between Steyn and Anderson! The most important thing is that they are both the best bowlers in their own countries and doing a mighty fine job of it. The improvement that Jimmy has shown over the years has been admirable. Unquestionably, he is one of the best bowlers in the world.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    English!! :p One win and their bowler is the best in the world..thank god he didnt say of "all time"

  • POSTED BY Reececonrad on | May 20, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Im sorry to disagree Mr Dobell, but a man who has 332 wickets at 22 runs a piece in 65 games over shadows James Anderson. Steyn may not move the ball in as much as Anderson, but steyn has more control, swings in late and can control it. he has led the world rankings for 5 years, 5 years! Not only does Steyn perform extremely well when he gets going, he single handedly lifts games, e.g when the Proteas were only the back foot at the WACA or the Wanderers where he rolled pakistan for 49 by himself. I don't believe that the IPL is real cricket but you can see his array of skills he poses when he steps on that field even in such a small format. Steyn is quicker but that is because he has a more fluent action than Anderson. Allan donald has said that he is the best SA has ever produced, Donald a legend himself. stats don't tell the whole truth, but it is a glaring different between the two. As well you are basing this article on one game, when he was well under his best in New Zealand.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    While it is a sheer truth that Anderson is truly world class and one of the very best, comparing him consistently with Steyn will make him no better. Yes Steyn doesnt have an inswinger or Steyn is not as much 'complete' as Anderson is but based on current form there's daylight between these two.

  • POSTED BY Cricketfan101 on | May 20, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Obviously not its either steyn or philander but i would say steyn because philander has not played in the sub continent

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Yeah, now that england beat lowly NZ, the media begin (again) comparisons to all-time greats. Anderson 'most skillful' > Akram. Swann > Warne. Braod > Holding... Remember the last time England were called the new 'dynasty'...Gotta love the poms!

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    oh Jeez..they just beat 8th ranked team in the world...and voices are loud...Steyn has 335 wickets of 60 odd games...Steyn >>>>> Anderson.. They are just too lucky not to have a series with SA.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    oh Jeez..they just beat 8th ranked team in the world...and voices are loud...Steyn has 335 wickets of 60 odd games...Steyn >>>>> Anderson.. They are just too lucky not to have a series with SA.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Yeah, now that england beat lowly NZ, the media begin (again) comparisons to all-time greats. Anderson 'most skillful' > Akram. Swann > Warne. Braod > Holding... Remember the last time England were called the new 'dynasty'...Gotta love the poms!

  • POSTED BY Cricketfan101 on | May 20, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Obviously not its either steyn or philander but i would say steyn because philander has not played in the sub continent

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    While it is a sheer truth that Anderson is truly world class and one of the very best, comparing him consistently with Steyn will make him no better. Yes Steyn doesnt have an inswinger or Steyn is not as much 'complete' as Anderson is but based on current form there's daylight between these two.

  • POSTED BY Reececonrad on | May 20, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Im sorry to disagree Mr Dobell, but a man who has 332 wickets at 22 runs a piece in 65 games over shadows James Anderson. Steyn may not move the ball in as much as Anderson, but steyn has more control, swings in late and can control it. he has led the world rankings for 5 years, 5 years! Not only does Steyn perform extremely well when he gets going, he single handedly lifts games, e.g when the Proteas were only the back foot at the WACA or the Wanderers where he rolled pakistan for 49 by himself. I don't believe that the IPL is real cricket but you can see his array of skills he poses when he steps on that field even in such a small format. Steyn is quicker but that is because he has a more fluent action than Anderson. Allan donald has said that he is the best SA has ever produced, Donald a legend himself. stats don't tell the whole truth, but it is a glaring different between the two. As well you are basing this article on one game, when he was well under his best in New Zealand.

  • POSTED BY on | May 20, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    English!! :p One win and their bowler is the best in the world..thank god he didnt say of "all time"

  • POSTED BY Poliwag060 on | May 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    It's not a competition between Steyn and Anderson! The most important thing is that they are both the best bowlers in their own countries and doing a mighty fine job of it. The improvement that Jimmy has shown over the years has been admirable. Unquestionably, he is one of the best bowlers in the world.

  • POSTED BY jackthelad on | May 20, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    I agree, Seetarama; Anderson is a good - a very good on his day - bowler, but he is not fit to be placed alongside Steyn. This is just part of the opening war of words preceeding the back-to-back Ashes contests over the next months. We shall see what we shall see, but I regard the teams as fairly equally matched (which, as the Australian team is only mediocre, means I agree England is so too). If KP is fit and decides to fire, he could swing it - but his problem has always been that you can't rely on him. Like England, Oz have a raft of really decent players (and some dodos), but there is only one who could alter the destiny of that Urn - and I say this as a guy who has always been a critic of Pietersen.

  • POSTED BY Firoz_USA on | May 20, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    He is a good bowler not the best in the World now!! However this English team is very good test team, this is I agreed.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 20, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    He is a world class bowler but have to give credit to Steyn.