England v India, 5th Investec Test, The Oval August 14, 2014

Anderson 'most skilful in world' - Cook

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'Anderson most skilful bowler in world' - Cook

Alastair Cook has hailed James Anderson as "the most skilful bowler in the world" and the best "England have ever produced".

Anderson comes into the fifth Test of the Investec series against India requiring just seven more wickets to equal Ian Botham's England record of 383. Cook, the England captain, admitted that Anderson might not have the pace of South Africa's Dale Steyn but suggested his ability to swing the ball both ways rendered him almost as dangerous.

"He is the most skilful bowler in the world," Cook said. "There have been some very good bowlers I've played with but, for pure out-and-out skill, there is no doubt. He is the best bowler England have ever produced.

"No disrespect to Dale Steyn, but the way Jimmy can swing the ball both ways - I don't think Dale can do that quite as well as Jimmy but Dale has the advantage of being able to bowl quicker. Dale has been the No. 1 bowler in the world for quite a long time in terms of the number of wickets he takes. He always picks up wickets. And those two are in the same class.

"Anderson will soon be the leading wicket taker in Test matches for England. That is quite a glowing reference. It's an amazing achievement. If he does it in this game, it will mean England are in a very strong position.

"You saw his guts and determination last week at Manchester when he was bowling when he wasn't very well. That was extraordinary. That pretty much tells me, tells everyone, what a bloke he is and to back it up with his talent and skill means he is a very fine bowler."

Cook also confirmed that Stuart Broad would play despite sustaining a broken nose during the Manchester game.

"We think he's going to be absolutely fine," Cook said. "You don't get a partnership like he and Jimmy Anderson have had without being a world-class bowler. They've taken over 500 wickets together. Any captain would want those two in the team if possible, so it's great news for us as a team that Broady has come through that blow."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    Steyn is a"3 trick pony"....To.right handers...Outswinger with the new ball,reverse inswing with the old ball and an all out spell of aggression at top pace touching 150 at times...He is just a different bowler from Jimmy really. ...Anderson swings the new ball out with a variation in swinger to the right hander interspersed with the odd bouncer...He sets batsman up rather than blasts them out...One area he edges Steyn is bowling to lefties....overall though he doesn't have that option of all out pace which Steyn can crank up....on all conditions and match situations plus their career records,Steyn edges Anderson.

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    BTW, Mitchell is no where near as skillful as Jimmy, but no doubt i would rather face Jimmy on his day then Mitchel on his day. Anyone who actually played cricket would realize that.

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    IMO, GrumpiusMaximus makes the most sense here.....onya mate

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    @ Sohail: Lilllee, thomson, lee, pascoe, johnson, tate, Mcgrath, Gillespie, harris, cummins, pattinson ill stop there WI: Marshall, Holding, Garner, Ambrose and many more. ..... ....... just saying.

    There is no doubt though pakistan bowling is freakish, gt wonder why India produce none at all.

  • SICHO on August 16, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Here we go again. Let's face it, what Anderson can do, Steyn can do it better! I thought skills were suppose to get you wickets, at a faster rate and lower cost. Anderson does not fit in that category. Can someone explain to me where those 'skills' were when he couldn't buy a wicket in Australia not so long ago? Or at The Oval where Amla got a triple and Steyn took a 5-fer? I mean if he had any 'skills' they were suppose to get him wickets like Steyn, Harris and Johnson. Anderson isn't 'more skilled' than Steyn, maybe in the sledging category, I'd agree with that. The only skill a bowler needs is to get wickets and EVERYWHERE, not in green pitches taylor made for you. Besides, Steyn has taken more wickets than any English bowler in the history of the game, and at a better everything (tied with Botham right now)! Taking wickets against teams pathetic against swing doesn't make you 'more skilled'.

  • SamRoy on August 16, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    @SohailMirza Probably you didn't see the pace battery of WI. Anyway on the current discussion, Anderson can swing it both ways and reverse swing it both ways at 85+ mph. That's a lot of skill. His conventional inswinger (not his reverse one) though is not late enough. It almost starts from the time he releases the ball. And he doesn't extract seam movement (the more difficult one for batsman to play as it comes after the ball pitches) like say Broad or Morkel or Aussie fast bowlers. So whether he is the most skillful is debatable but he is very skillful. Anyway, English players always hype their fellow players.

  • bundybear55 on August 16, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Heard the English commentators last night defending Cook's statement by saying that he was referring to pure 'skill' and not necessarily effectiveness..? No quite sure how someone can be less skilful, but more effective - you can get lucky in a one-off game or even for a short period, but over 10 years...? Don't think so Mr Cook - the stats don't lie over that period of time. The real difference between the two stands out when conditions don't suit swing, Anderson has nothing, whereas Steyn can call on his other skill, pace, to continue knocking batsmen over. Hence the difference in their strike rates, Anderson 58 and Steyn 41 - ultimately the difference between a very good bowler and a great one..

  • Dashgar on August 16, 2014, 0:21 GMT

    Most skillful? That's code to say he's slow and unaggressive. Anderson is a long way off the very best bowlers in the world. When conditions aren't totally in his favour he can be useless. Sure he can swing and seam it both ways on a green top. That's not going to scare the best batsmen going round on 90% of the worlds pitches.

  • DarthKetan on August 15, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    This is laughable really - not only is Steyn's overall average much superior (and among the all-time greats I might add), but also his record home and 'AWAY' is equally impressive....unlike Anderson whose 250+ wickets have come at home and whose away average is a pathetic 35+....C'mon guys: Anderson's just among the very best in English conditions and that's all....not 'world' class!

  • on August 15, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    @Alan Thomas. You really should put things in perspective before making ridiculous comments. The match u referring to happened in 2006. Steyn was playing his SEVENTH game and really still learning his trade. Before this game he had only taken 24 wickets at an average of around 35, a strike rate of 52 and only 1 5w haul. In addition to that, he came up against Jayawardene & Sang a playing their 82 & 61 test matches, both averaging close to 50 and playing in their home conditions. Fast forward 8years and I'm sure u'll agree the Steyn of today isn't the same one who played that game. And talking bout today, didn't england recently lose at home to Sri Lanka & didn't SA then beat that very same SL team in Sri Lanka a month or so later?

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    Steyn is a"3 trick pony"....To.right handers...Outswinger with the new ball,reverse inswing with the old ball and an all out spell of aggression at top pace touching 150 at times...He is just a different bowler from Jimmy really. ...Anderson swings the new ball out with a variation in swinger to the right hander interspersed with the odd bouncer...He sets batsman up rather than blasts them out...One area he edges Steyn is bowling to lefties....overall though he doesn't have that option of all out pace which Steyn can crank up....on all conditions and match situations plus their career records,Steyn edges Anderson.

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    BTW, Mitchell is no where near as skillful as Jimmy, but no doubt i would rather face Jimmy on his day then Mitchel on his day. Anyone who actually played cricket would realize that.

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    IMO, GrumpiusMaximus makes the most sense here.....onya mate

  • thedoctors on August 16, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    @ Sohail: Lilllee, thomson, lee, pascoe, johnson, tate, Mcgrath, Gillespie, harris, cummins, pattinson ill stop there WI: Marshall, Holding, Garner, Ambrose and many more. ..... ....... just saying.

    There is no doubt though pakistan bowling is freakish, gt wonder why India produce none at all.

  • SICHO on August 16, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    Here we go again. Let's face it, what Anderson can do, Steyn can do it better! I thought skills were suppose to get you wickets, at a faster rate and lower cost. Anderson does not fit in that category. Can someone explain to me where those 'skills' were when he couldn't buy a wicket in Australia not so long ago? Or at The Oval where Amla got a triple and Steyn took a 5-fer? I mean if he had any 'skills' they were suppose to get him wickets like Steyn, Harris and Johnson. Anderson isn't 'more skilled' than Steyn, maybe in the sledging category, I'd agree with that. The only skill a bowler needs is to get wickets and EVERYWHERE, not in green pitches taylor made for you. Besides, Steyn has taken more wickets than any English bowler in the history of the game, and at a better everything (tied with Botham right now)! Taking wickets against teams pathetic against swing doesn't make you 'more skilled'.

  • SamRoy on August 16, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    @SohailMirza Probably you didn't see the pace battery of WI. Anyway on the current discussion, Anderson can swing it both ways and reverse swing it both ways at 85+ mph. That's a lot of skill. His conventional inswinger (not his reverse one) though is not late enough. It almost starts from the time he releases the ball. And he doesn't extract seam movement (the more difficult one for batsman to play as it comes after the ball pitches) like say Broad or Morkel or Aussie fast bowlers. So whether he is the most skillful is debatable but he is very skillful. Anyway, English players always hype their fellow players.

  • bundybear55 on August 16, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Heard the English commentators last night defending Cook's statement by saying that he was referring to pure 'skill' and not necessarily effectiveness..? No quite sure how someone can be less skilful, but more effective - you can get lucky in a one-off game or even for a short period, but over 10 years...? Don't think so Mr Cook - the stats don't lie over that period of time. The real difference between the two stands out when conditions don't suit swing, Anderson has nothing, whereas Steyn can call on his other skill, pace, to continue knocking batsmen over. Hence the difference in their strike rates, Anderson 58 and Steyn 41 - ultimately the difference between a very good bowler and a great one..

  • Dashgar on August 16, 2014, 0:21 GMT

    Most skillful? That's code to say he's slow and unaggressive. Anderson is a long way off the very best bowlers in the world. When conditions aren't totally in his favour he can be useless. Sure he can swing and seam it both ways on a green top. That's not going to scare the best batsmen going round on 90% of the worlds pitches.

  • DarthKetan on August 15, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    This is laughable really - not only is Steyn's overall average much superior (and among the all-time greats I might add), but also his record home and 'AWAY' is equally impressive....unlike Anderson whose 250+ wickets have come at home and whose away average is a pathetic 35+....C'mon guys: Anderson's just among the very best in English conditions and that's all....not 'world' class!

  • on August 15, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    @Alan Thomas. You really should put things in perspective before making ridiculous comments. The match u referring to happened in 2006. Steyn was playing his SEVENTH game and really still learning his trade. Before this game he had only taken 24 wickets at an average of around 35, a strike rate of 52 and only 1 5w haul. In addition to that, he came up against Jayawardene & Sang a playing their 82 & 61 test matches, both averaging close to 50 and playing in their home conditions. Fast forward 8years and I'm sure u'll agree the Steyn of today isn't the same one who played that game. And talking bout today, didn't england recently lose at home to Sri Lanka & didn't SA then beat that very same SL team in Sri Lanka a month or so later?

  • on August 15, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    top 10 fast bowlrers at this time in the world. 1 dale styne 2 mitchell johnson 3 lasith malinga 4 mohammad irfan 5 morne morkel 6 stuart broad 7 james anderson 8 ben hilfenhaus 9 junaid khan 10 tim southee this is my list i hope cook has some time to watch these guys play.so he can watch the difference

  • on August 15, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    When someone helps you in your bad time then he is the best person in the world for you so same happened with cook so I will not blame him for this statement

  • SohailMirza on August 15, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    Pakistan a true pace factory --- Wiki, Wasim, Shoaibee, Amir, Asif, gul, Junaid, Mohammad Zahid, IK the great one, Fazal Mehmood, Sami (161.1 KMH) Aaqib Javed, ... No other country in this world had ever produced such long list of great bowlers... Cricket will never ever see Shoaibee again. .... Pakistan has also led this world in sping department ... Qadir, Saqlain, Ajmal magician, afridi , mushi, so many greates bowleres...

  • on August 15, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    Sangakara and Jaywardena of Sri Lanka hold the world record for the highest partnership in test cricket, 624 for the third wicket. They would never have done that if Dale Steyn had been bowling. Oh wait a minute, that was against South Africa and Steyn WAS bowling!!!!! Well he certainly didn't dominate on that occasion did he????

  • SohailMirza on August 15, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Let Muhammad Aamir come back then we'll see who is best --- Even Junaid Khan is more talented and accurate bowler as compare to Anderson - Pak is playing only on asian tracks but the moment they'll play in ENG, AUS, NZ, he will prove that he is best.. Remember his remarkable bowling in India where pitch was completely supporting him and how he destroyed indian batting lineeup .. even he is taking 5 wickes haul in SL which is a hell for fast bowler ... JK is best

  • SalarianScientist on August 15, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    "Most skillfull" at what? Swinign the ball both ways? Yeah, maybe he is.

    But Steyn is more skillful at a far more important aspect. Actually getting wickets. That's all that matters.

  • on August 15, 2014, 17:14 GMT

    Better than Steyn! Doubt it.

  • on August 15, 2014, 17:14 GMT

    please stop talking like rubbish cook..,everyone knows that steyn was far better than anderson..,as they mentioned before the tour of india just try to know about your hero???where is he went????And steyn have taken 5 for against all test playing nations..

  • Proteas1992 on August 15, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    The only pace bowler in the world in the same class as Steyn is an in form Mitchell Johnson. Anderson cannot take 10 wickets in a match in India like Steyn can.

  • Proteas1992 on August 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    You cannot even compare the two bowlers. Steyn takes 5.1 wickets a test match, Anderson averages less than 4 wickets a test. teyn takes wickets at 22.5 while Anderson takes them at 29. Steyn was the 3rd fastest bowler to reach 300 test wickets and is on the verge of becoming the 2nd fastest to reach 400 test wickets ahead of Hadlee, Warne, McGrath et al. Steyn is one of the greatest quicks of all time(top 5 or 10), while Anderson might make the top 50 pace bowlers to play test cricket, MIGHT.

  • SLSup on August 15, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    MOST SKILLED in the world. Apparently not enough to average nearly 30 runs per wicket.

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    Question. If Anderson is so skillful, why has Ishant Sharma not yet been dismissed, and is happily building the biggest partnership of the match with MSD? Really, I'm being serious. The Most Skillfull Bowler in the World versus Ishant Sharma, and Ishant is winning, not walking back to the pavilion. He has faced 47 balls - more than anyone except Vijay & Dhoni. But the Most Skillful bowler in the World is not skillful enough to dismiss him? Ishant has even scored of him. Maybe Ishant is the Most Skillful Bateman in the World?

  • MrPud on August 15, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    Anderson is a very dangerous bowler when conditions are in his favour. When they are not, he bowls lovely half volleys just like most swing bowlers of the past. Dale Steyn has better stats than Lillee; that must count for something. He has a knack for summing up a surface to decide whether he should pitch up for swing or bend his back, tear in and bang the ball into the pitch. Much like Malcolm Marshall did. Now there's a compliment!

  • on August 15, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    My driver is the most skillful bowler in the world. We play a lot of cricket in the backyard. I could never hit a boundary against him in the past few years he had been working for me. Of course, keeping in with the traditions, I have to give a decent excuse about my poor performance. He at 25, is one-third of my age... if that is an unfair advantage he has!

    Moral: For everyone his/her favourite is the best / most skillful, (or whatever other positive adjective one would like to choose). As simple as that.

  • noplay on August 15, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    The cricket WORLD consists of three teams and Jimmy is the most skillful bowlers in that world

  • Iceman29 on August 15, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    Anderson was made to look like the most skillfull bowlers by the Indians...pls stop making these guys heroes...a month before where were these guys?? Cook almost lost his captaincy and he is thumping his chest now about his bowlers....lets just admit that Indian team is just an easy prey and kind of punching bags for teams who are hitting the rock bottom to get their mojo back....

  • ZkAneela on August 15, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    Lets put aside all the facts of average,wickets,strike rate and the ability to take wickets at any surface...Anderson is no way near the aggression DALE STEYN has.

  • sandyyy on August 15, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    Anderson is skillful only against India. What did he do vs Australia and Srilanka. You should thank the great Team India for saving your career and giving England morale boost and making you guys think that your rebuild is complete.

  • inefekt on August 15, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    That's a bit of a stretch Captain Cook. Anderson is great in England but pretty ordinary away. A skillful bowler adapts his style to suit various conditions, something Anderson has not managed to do on a consistent basis.

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    @ legfinedeep asks the very pertinent question, "What is the difference between the "best bowler in the world" and the "most skillful bowler in the world"? Anyone?

    I think the difference is a lot of yelling and cursing and sledging and pushing and shoving. Apparently that requires years of practice and fine honing, and requires huge reservoirs of skill.

    The best just takes lots of wickets while the veins pop out of his head.

  • PDV1 on August 15, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Stats don't lie. Steyn has more wickets, in fewer Tests at a much better average and on all surfaces. Ridiculous statement from a captain who wants to show loyalty towards the players that pulled him back from the abyss. Anyone who knows anything about cricket knows the truth though.

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    If Anderson is soooo skillful, how come Jordan and Woakes are out bowling him, right now, as India stagger at 79/8. Jordan has bowled HALF the overs Andersen has, has taken more wickets, and conceded a quarter of the runs skillful Jimmy has.

    Jordan is clearly the Most Most Most Skillful Bowler in the World cos he's doing a lot better than the Most Most Skillful, which is Woakes, cos he is doing better than the Most Skillful - good old sledging Jimmy! Broad is useless again. Nothing new there.

  • RHat27 on August 15, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Sorry Cook but Malinga is the most skillful fast bowler in the world, no argument.

    All the variation he's got, makes him much more skilfull than Anderson will ever be. Think about that slower ball yorker he's got...

  • SAF-Fan-no-1 on August 15, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Don't compare with Dale...! Dale is always is One of the Best Bowler after Wasim and Waqaar.....! Look at the Test how many he played. Anderson can't do good in Australia, westindies, Or Shri-lanka. He is good in England only. DALE is all over the World.........! Sorry Lads..He is goood in England.

  • Arrow011 on August 15, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Dale Steyn had a fiver in SL & won the match for South Africa recently, Anderson could not do anythiong remotely as good in sub-continent pitches. Anderson is only glorified in the UK & nowhere else. Anderson's wickets are like Ponting's runs who perform only in pacy pitches not in sub-continent or UAE tracks.

    Dale steyn is way better than Anderson & Broad put together. Alistair cook is having limited knowledge about cricket despite being an Englishman. Dale Steyn is like Rangana Hereth a top class bowler for all pitches & conditions.

  • SA_Scot on August 15, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @coatsie89, I refer you to the wonderfully succinct, and no-contest stats of Shreyas18. THAT says everything you need to know.

    I mention this to you specifically, not because you've said anything against Steyn, but because your comment *Clueless, clueless individuals disagreeing with Cook on this one* tells me that YOU agree Anderson is the most skilful in the world.

    Right, OK, well, look at the stats and consider again. If they STILL don't convince you, fair enough, stick to your belief that Anderson is the MOST skilful, but certainly not the BEST.

  • on August 15, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Dale Steyn is 1000 times better then Anderson

  • shane-oh on August 15, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    @vivkr - not to state the obvious, but none of those guys play anymore. Not that I agree with Cook, but I think it's clear he was talking about players that are playing now.

  • vivkr on August 15, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    Anderson is good, but to argue that he is the most skilful bowler in the world is stretching it a bit too far. I'd give that title to Murali or Warne. And if we are speaking of seam bowlers, then Wasim and Waqar would fight for that honour. Seldom were there bowlers with that much guile. Among the current crop, Dale Steyn towers head and shoulders above all others.

  • Shreyas18 on August 15, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Anderson has taken 247 wickets in England @ Avg - 26.5 & SR - 53.3 and 121 wickets away @ Avg - 36.76 & SR - 67.7 whereas Steyn has taken 214 wickets in SA @ Avg - 21.39 , SR - 39.9 and 155 wickets away @ Avg - 23.27 & SR - 42.0. Also Steyn has 10 five for's overseas compared to Anderson's 3. Anderson is a good bowler but considering performances at both home and overseas,Steyn is much better.

  • Kalaele on August 15, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    I think 'skill' should translate into wickets, rankings and effectiveness. Especially if the words used are 'most skillful'. having said that, I think Dale Steyn has inswingers, though he does not employ them as much as Anderson, who has lovely indippers, and produces great outswingers more frequently than most. I do believe, however, that in terms of 'skill', Ryan Harris is top.

    The question I would like to know the answer to is: How does Steyn compare to Marshal, Mcgrath, Lillee, Waqar and Akram?

  • RHat27 on August 15, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    According to Cook, Anderson is more skillful and almost as dangerous as Steyn...

    I find this hilarious!!! Not only does Steyn bowl between 140 to 150 kph, he swings the ball at the start of the innings, and when the ball gets older he reverse swings it! How can he even suggest such a thing? When Steyn gets that reverse swing going, at that pace, he is almost unplayable. When Steyn comes running in towards you, it's one of the two most terrifying sites in cricket at the moment, the other being that of Mitchell Johnson steaming in.

    And his comment about Anderson and Broad, where he said that any captain would want them in his team if possible. I hope he was talking about a captain of the English team... If any captain in the world could choose any two bowlers to play for him, why would anybody choose Anderson and Broad above Steyn and Johnson?

    And another thing, if you look at their stats, Steyn's away record is better than Anderson's home record... Game, set, match anyone?

  • Deuce03 on August 15, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Rahul Ranjan: So if Anderson takes eight wickets in this Test he'll be a better bowler than Steyn?

    I do wish people were able to pay tribute to their colleagues - no doubt Anderson is a very good bowler - without asserting they're "the best ever" which is just disrespectful to previous players. Fred Trueman, Harold Larwood, Alec Bedser, SF Barnes... come on, Cooky.

  • JavvidMumandDad on August 15, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Whenever England do well in a few tests they are suddenly the bestest team in the whole world again. JImmy is a good bowler he is nowhere near Steyn or Malinga the Slinga .

  • coatsie89 on August 15, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Anderson has taken wicets in every country that plays cricket. There is no other bowler in world cricket with Jimmy's skill - there is no argument there. The only reason he doesn't get the plaudits he should is because he hasn't got an IPL contract, period. To say Anderson needs wet conditions, English wickets...well I'm sorry those individuals are quite frankly clueless about cricket, read up or watch. India - wickets. UAE - wickets. Australia - wickets. He would walk into any test team in the world, in any conditions. Clueless, clueless individuals disagreeing with Cook on this one.

  • on August 15, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    Clearly Alistair Cook you've forgotten about one Dale Willem Steyn. The best in the business and James Anderson will NEVER come close.

  • MrGarreth on August 15, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    All I can say is this: To get a wicket every 41 deliveries (a world record) means you bowl more unplayable deliveries than anybody around. It means as a batsman you are never comfortable because there is a ball out there with your name on it. If that doesn't take considerable skill to achieve then I don't know what does.

  • on August 15, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    Everybody saw his skills in last Ashes...good performance in few series doesn't mean you are the best in the business......there in no even closer to Dale steyn....

  • Hatter_Mad on August 15, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    Anybody putting forward Johnson's name has a very short memory - perhaps you should wait more than 4 months before making judgements.

  • STEYNOHOLIC on August 15, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    The greatest skill a bowler can possess, is to take wickets. That Steyn does it with complete mastery, artistry, raw pace & wonder skills - Awesome! Great bowler!

  • St.John on August 15, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    Cook is loyal to his Ashes losing mates. Andersson while admittedly a very good bowler is not the most skillful in the world. I mean how does he get pass Mitchel Johnsson and Steyn? not to mention Philander and the constantly underestimated spinner Herath or Ajmal? I wouldn't give a toss for Cooks opinions. Not long ago he spoke out vociferously against young Butler claiming he was not ready for Test cricket. Cook is an ultra-conservative captain who suits Moores and the current section

  • on August 15, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Anderson is better than indian bowlers but still bottom compared to bowlers like Steyn,Malinga,Harris,Ajmal,Hearath,Philander...

  • AGilchrist on August 15, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    Alastair Cook might just be playing to the gallery here.

    Skill is not just about bowling well in wet English conditions. It is about bowling well with the new ball or the old ball. It is about bowling well in wet or dry conditions. It is about bowling well to top order or the tailenders. It is about bowling well in Tests or ODIs.

    Anderson is a very good bowler, no doubt about it, but he is not an all-weather bowler. He struggles outside England. Yes, he is probably one of the most skilled bowlers in English conditions. But even there he is not the best.

    Based on current form, the list of most skilled would be - 1. Dale Steyn 2. Mitchell Johnson 3. James Anderson 4. Lasith Malinga 5. Morne Morkel

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 15, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    The beauty about Steyn is that he keeps things simple as still gets great (and yes, legendary) results. While it might be admirable and attractive when a bowler can swing and seam the ball at will, its the results that counts.

    Its almost like saying a particular batsman is the most elegant or has the widest range of strokes, when at the end of the day its the runs he scores the impact it has on the game.

    And btw I also believe Ryan Harris is a more "skillful" bowler than Anderson. Just look at the last Ashes, but Cook won't admit it even though he got one of THE most unplayable of unplayable first up deliveries to be dismissed for a golden duck.

  • on August 15, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    Ha! for me the most skillful bowler is that who takes wkts.Wats the use of skills if you don't get wkts. Steyn has more wkts .....so he is better. Also Anderson lacks in pace.....if Pace is really not much of a skill .I think Cook forgot the Johnson horror in Ashes.

  • on August 15, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Recent performance against indian team should not taken seriously..steyn is the best

  • STEYNOHOLIC on August 15, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    383 in 75 test matches with an average a shade above 22 and a strike rate of 41. Stuff of legend! Probably will be the quickest to 400 test wickets ever! Already more wickets than Anderson in 23 fewer test matches and with skills+ X factor to boot + he's awesome to watch in full flight! There's no comparison!

  • NIPPY_89 on August 15, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    I think bowling fast is also a "skill". I would watch Steyn bowl rather than Anderson any day. Anderson is definitely the second best fast bowler out there. But Steyn is in another league in my opinion

  • Optimist007 on August 15, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Cook is delusional. Anderson's stats are almost comparable with Morne Morkel. That makes him a good cricketer but no better. Not remotely close to Steyn.

  • andrew-schulz on August 15, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    Why is Cook saying 'if we win the trophy.' England win the trophy even if they lose this Test, do they not? Not even this lot could fail to win the trophy in those circumstances.

  • on August 15, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Steyn. Who already has 383 wickets. In 23 less games at an average 25 percent lower. Good call, cooky.

    Didn't kp predict that cook would shatter all existing batting records not long ago?

  • LeeJA on August 15, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Cook is right...

    Steyn is the 'best' bowler in the world - that's nothing to dispute there and even Cook would agree with that... but that has little do with skill and more pure aggression. When watching him live, the speed he gets on the ball is incredible

    Jimmy is the most skillful bowler in the world and it is the battle in the mind, little to do with anything physical. Watching Steyn vs any batsman is a battle of power, watching Anderson vs any batsman is a battle of wits. I'd actually rather watch a Jimmy battle than a Steyn battle, but that's just a matter of preference.

    An ideal batting line up would include both utilising both players strengths... then possibly Ajmal and Johnson for their differing qualities...

    That is being totally unbiased... I don't care if people agree :)

  • on August 15, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Anderson isn't the bowler neither Steyn(well im considering ODIs).I think Jhonson is the current top while Lasith Malinga should hold second place(Malinga has outstanding records than jhonson), and then comes the Dale steyn(Jhonson's and Malinga's performances were better than Steyn) and then comes James Anderson......

  • on August 15, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Oh Com on.............. guys like Dale Mitch and Mornie are far better than Anderson.......... those guys have performed in all conditions..............at worst times....

    Anderson is a bowler who bowls good on helpful pitches..........he is a lame bowler when it comes to bowl on flat dead pitches...................

    Where as the other three are deadly on those type of pitches too.........

    And...........Anderson is million years away from having a comparison with someone like Dale Steyn

  • on August 15, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Why don't we agree on multiple categories like "most skillful", "most hard working" , "most unlucky", "most classical", "most innovative", "most efficient", "most effective" and so on ... and fit everyone's favourites into one category or the other... and get on wit watching and enjoying the game. Can't we?

  • on August 15, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Stats say something else. I think he is blind - Steyn Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10 Tests 75 142 15975 8644 383 7/51 11/60 22.56 3.24 41.7 23 24 5 Jimmy Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10 Tests 98 183 21964 11228 376 7/43 11/71 29.86 3.06 58.4 21 16 2 Delta 23 41 5989 2584 -7 0 0 7.3 -0.18 16.7 -2 -8 -3

  • JohannK on August 15, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Let's get three simple issues out of the way: 1) Steyn can also swing the ball both ways. He simply uses the inswinger less frequently because he does not need it as often. Who was the most effective swinger of the ball in the 2012 series between SA and England? Where was Jimmy's skill then? 2) As a bowler the "skill" one needs to exhibit is the ability to dismiss batsmen. Steyn dismisses more batsmen more frequently at the cost of fewer runs than Anderson and he does so all over the world. 3) Bowling with pace is as much of a "skill" as bowling with variation. Some bowlers lose their lines/lenghts when trying to bowl too quick. I am sure there are club seamers who can swing the ball both ways and late, seam it both ways, bowl leg cutters and off cutters and have a heavy ball bouncer (ala Kallis), and they can put it down on an appropriately good length, but they have insufficient pace to make it count at more senior level. Would Cook describe them as more skilful than Anderson?

  • shane-oh on August 15, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    @SurlyCynic - yes, Anderson has a better average at home than he does away. Like most bowlers (and batsmen). Including Steyn. Which is why we look at the overall average - in fact, that's the definition of an average!

    That said, it's funny how much of a wind Cook has gotten with these comments. Clearly designed to work the Indians up and if their fans on here are anything to go by, it's worked a treat.

    I think most followers know Steyn is the best in the world, not that Cook is claiming otherwise. But Anderson is a terrific bowler, and no amount of attempting to denigrate his record will change that.

    I'm enjoying this new side to Cook as a neutral observer; feel as though he is finally sick of all the drivel that gets said about him and has decided to come out swinging. When he does, the same people who accuse of of being too timid accuse him of being too brash. Gold comedic value!

  • ajj_sin on August 15, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    James Anderson is a good bowler but to be the best in the world is ridiculous. a strike rate of 41 compared with 58 ? Man! Steyn has a claim to be the best of all time not just because of this astounding strike rate but just because of the age he is playing in where the wickets are hardly half as fast as they used to be ten years back. Look at his strike rates and averages in asia's dust bowls and you will know. No fast bowler has such an astounding record all across the world. James anderson is good as long as conditions favor him. If not, he just goes pedestrian.

  • 1_234 on August 15, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Anderson 'most skilful in UK.

  • gimme-a-greentop on August 15, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    If I may put in my two-cents worth in a well-worn debate.... Surely all this argument over 'most skilful' vs 'best' is pure semantics. Besides the fact that Steyn CAN and DOES swing the ball both ways, surely the most skilful bowler is the one who is most effective. If you are to be considered the most skilful it should be measured through results, not a potential to pleasingly control the swing. That said, Anderson does produce absolute beauties, but I guess his relative lack of pace counts against him in comparison to Steyn.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on August 15, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    They aren't in the same class. Even though Anderson is damn good, Steyn is an all time great & in a league of his own.

  • drpramit on August 15, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    anderson will finish among top 10 highest wicket taker in test cricket, so he is not that ordinary but yes his average is much higher as compare to steyn. he is one of the best in current crop

  • Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on August 15, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    @Wboy if that was the case if cook was purely talking about skill then Steyn would still trump Anderson as would Ajmal

  • SurlyCynic on August 15, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Anderson averages 36 away from home. Are those the stats of the 'most skilful' bowler in the world?

  • Seamer_Singh on August 15, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Every individual player has qualities, which should be highlighted, positively encouraged and not compared with anyone. Cook is just playing mind games and he should know better not to compare... it just opens up a can of worms and to be frank it's just childish. Individual stats, rankings etc... never tell the true picture. The bottom line is, each individual's skill set must be utilised effectively during a match, so it can bring the best out from the team.

  • WBoy on August 15, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Once again, people are interpreting Cook's comments as meaning Anderson is the world's best bowler. He didn't say that, and I'm sure wouldn't say that. 'Most skilful' and 'best' have entirely different meanings. Exactly the same misinterpretation of a carefully expressed encomium happened a couple of years ago, when Dale Saker, speaking of Anderson, used the same words .

  • B.C.G on August 15, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Why does everyone get so worked up abt this?What do you think Cook should say "Oh Steyn is better than my/our Jimmy;wish we could swap them."Jimmy & Broad are right up there.

    @Grant King-I'm a huge Steyn fan but how many times did Steyn dismiss Warner recently?

  • Aamir.Awan on August 15, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    James Anderson is a very good bowler available for England at the moment without a doubt. He is also one of the best English bowlers of all times (among Ian Botham, Darren Gough,F. Flintof and Bob Willis). But there so many other bowlers e.g. Mitch Johnson, Junaid Khan, B Kumar etc currently playing who are of same standard if not better than Jimmie. Dale Styne is surely "the best bowler in the world" at the current stage. He has th pace, ability to swing both ways, accuracy in line & length and passion to unsettle any batsman in the world.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 15, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    He said most skilful rather than best. As in his technical proficiency. Steyn is obviously number one (though Cook MAY not admit that) and for mine Harris if not for his injury problems would be up in the top group too. Figures with wickets are obviously skewed in favour of the modern player due to the number of Tests played these days but Anderson compares to Botham. That said the man who wins for England based on averages (a fairer comparison) is Fred Trueman.

  • Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on August 15, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    1. Steyn 2. Harris 3.Anderson

    And on he's day Mitch is as good if not better then the bottom two but he's not in the same class as Steyn.

    That's fast bowlers otherwise replace Anderson with Ajmal

  • NumberXI on August 15, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    A lot of stats have been produced to demonstrate Steyn's superiority - that is injustice to the man. The difference between Steyn and Anderson is simple - Steyn is on his way to being an all-time great. Anderson, on the other hand, is unlikely to challenge to get into that category any time soon. Cook is being clever with his words, but the fact remains that Steyn has shown tremendous adaptability whether bowling at home or away. Anderson, on the other hand, is predominantly a home wicket specialist and I am doubtful if he has as rich a set of results to show for leading England to wins away from home. And that adaptability that Steyn has makes him not just more successful, but demonstrates that his skills are arguably superior to those of Anderson. The stats? Well, they just underscore the gap.

  • on August 15, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    How many wickets did Anderson get when Kallis and amla piled n 600plus runs in the test series where English supporters also hailed jimmy more skilful than Steyn. In that game broad and Anderson bowled balls at 70M/H.

  • reversesweep on August 15, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Not in Australia he isn't!

  • Samuel-Drown on August 15, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Irrespective of Cook's slightly aggrandising comments, and his reasoning is extremely transparent, as a fan of English cricket we are extremely fortunate to have a bowler of Anderson's ability in our team. It is obviously a personal opinion, but I wouldn't swap Jimmy for any bowler in the world past or present; not to say that there weren't/aren't better bowlers as there are obviously many. It is quite bizarre to see nearly 100 comments in response saying exactly the same thing! This is purely tactical from Cook.

  • Big-Dog on August 15, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    Anderson is a good bowler, there's no doubt, but the most skillful in the world? Thats a bit of a stretch.

  • JohnMR on August 15, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Cooks eyes bother me immensely. Perhaps why his view on fast bowlers is so 'skewed'.

  • on August 15, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    I will not compare him with any body but just wait for a few more time and then see Junaid Khan, and let Amir come to the fields of cricket again and world will again easily see Pakistan rulling the world with SA. Currently Dale Styn with any doubt is worlds best in current line up and there are many bowlers to name those are ahead of Andreson or equaling him. If we take all time best ranking that I think no body will be able to see him top 100 rankings. Even he will not be able to see him in top 10 bowlers of England itself.

  • GDH62 on August 15, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    It really bugs me when people spout opinion as "fact" without checking statistics. @Anagh Chatterjee Anderson has a better average in India (29.81)and against Pakistan in UAE (27.66) than he does in England (29.86). And @Thananchayan Thanju, try imagining Tuesday 27th of March 2012 when Anderson completed his 5-for against Sri Lanka in Galle.

  • on August 15, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Are we really back in this conversation. Every SINGLE series where SA have played ENG, Steyn has outbowled his comfortably. Cook is delusional. Must still be giddy as he actually got a few runs.....

  • mrtbone1986 on August 15, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    To those Indian fans suggesting Anderson can only take wickets in English conditions a quick look up stats guru for the past 5 years suggests at home 142 wickets@ 24 and away 85 wickets 85 @32. In India and Sri Lanka in that period 6 matches 21 @ 26.6 - hardly a bowler who only takes wickets in English conditions...

  • Kirstenfan on August 15, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    What rot from Cook - showing about as much judgement in this piece as he usually shows outside offstump.

    Dale Steyn has 3 more wickets in 20 less games, and averages under 23 where Anderson averages 30. It's not even close. Ryan Harris is the only other guy in Steyn's class.

  • TestDanger on August 15, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    I think Cook is trying to play mindgames with theIindians. That's all it really could be! I don't think there is a test cricket aficionado in the world who would take that statement (that Steyn and Anderson are on a par) very seriously, as for the whole 'more skillful' comment, well that's laughable! Steyn and Anderson aren't even in the same class, Steyn is playing a different sport to anderson. Steyn; 75 tests; 383 wkts; 24x5wkt hauls; 5x10wkt hauls; ave=22.5. Anderson; 98 tests; 376 wkts; 16x5wkt hauls; 2x10wkt hauls; ave=29.8. Not going to deny he is a good bowler in England with a dukes ball, but that's about it. Steyn performs everywhere, he can swing the new ball, with immense skill at 135kph, reverse swing in the sub-continent, he can crank it up to 150kph. I'd take that over a guy that can 'swing it both ways' with a new ball in green conditions (and the stats seem to back that up) anyday. At the end of his career Steyn will be hailed next Hadlee, Marshall and Thompson.

  • on August 15, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    'Anderson the best England have ever produced' Oh dear, possibly in the last few years but best ever. No Alec Bedser, Ian Botham, Brian Statham and Fred Trueman, stand head and shoulders above Anderson.

  • Amarjitmadan on August 15, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Unless is one of those usual ploys used by players more offer than not to get psychological advantage over the Indian batsmen in general and the top In particular Cook is certainly talking from his heart with no link to the head his statement is quite farcical. Due credit to Anderssen must be given but the fact is that he is a level below both Steyn and Johnson and for me Broad is no lesser a bowler has improved tremendously over the years and is a very handy batsman. Cook has been a good batsman but had a steep fall in performance is quite an ordinary captain, he did not find a place to hide after the defeat at Lords. A few poor performances from a team which is still carrying the tag of comprising of great batting is as far from reality as Anderssen the best ever in England .This comparison is not only unfair but also, illogical and uncalled for. Truman and Statham formed a lethal combination. What Cook fails to understand is that bowling to a Vijay and Dhawan is not the reality

  • on August 15, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Steyn can take wickets in all conditions. Anderson can't. He can only take wickets in England. Ashwin and Jadeja also get truckloads of wickets in India. Are they skillful bowlers?

  • Naresh28 on August 15, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Agree with Cook, Anderson is highly skilled bowler. His seam presentation is perfect and matches the English conditions. Indian batsman need to learn patience. Without Anderson England would be no where.His made a huge difference to India falling behind.

  • on August 15, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Cook: Anderson is most skillful bowler in the world Anderson: Cook is the best captain in the world Cook, Anderson : England is the best team in the world...LOL

  • shane-oh on August 15, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 - really? Harris? Talk about him in a few years when he has delivered masses of wickets for a decade.

  • on August 15, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    Steyn is king...he keeps piling wickets no matter what sort of surfaces he gets..i can't even imagine Anderson getting a 5 for in Galle or in any subcontinent dust bowls. Dale steyn is not only a great in this era but in the history of this game with all the protection and bigger bats and technology the batsman having these days.

  • on August 15, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    Cook isn't getting carried away. He is just pumping up his best bowler. Also, he is taunting India. In the recent past a lot of Indian players including MSD have expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict and Cook is just rubbing it in. He is demoralizing the opponent in any way he can. (As an added bonus for Cook, Broad has also struck form in the last 2 tests)

    This is not overconfidence. Test cricket is predominantly a mind game. One that England is winning right now. Cook is doing his best to ensure it stays that way.

  • BradmanBestEver on August 15, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    This has to be a wind up from Cook - the guy is having a laugh surely - stats do not lie - check out the Anderson's performance over the past 20 tests - not much chop matey

  • on August 15, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    DALE STYN ..no more other talks... Steyn is the best...Anderson is not even in top players in my opinion..has he performed better than Steyn,philander,Lasith malinga,Mitchell Johnson hah??never.....can he take 800 wickets like murali did???can he bowl tight like Steyn..can he aim the middle stump like malinga..can he average like philander ,ajmal?? NO!

  • on August 15, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    What Harris has been doing for just over two years Steyn has been doing for a decade! Both amazing bowlers! Harris is unbelievably good. But Steyn is a modern day great!

  • Ragav999 on August 15, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Anderson's job, for that matter any bowler is to take wickets at a low cost. He fails in his primary task. It does not matter whether he swings it or not. He was taken to the cleaners in 2006-07 whitewash and the last year whitewash. In fact after Trent Bridge Test, in the previous Ashes in England he was quite mediocre.

  • on August 15, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    If cook's statement of anderson is better than steyn etc is just a mind game cook is using to put some pressure on indians it is fine, whether it works or not but captains of all teams try different approaches - some work some backfire but such things are tried by almost all captains, but if cook really thinks that anderson is better than steyn then it is not prudent thing to do from cook because then both cook and anderson may lose the main focus, the main focus is to secure at least a draw in the oval test, a win by england is a bonus but a draw at the minimum is a must to win the series, so overestimating the capabilities of his team players ans complacency are the last things cook as a captain needs to do now at this juncture. Take this test very seriously england, Good lucks england!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 15, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    If bowlers are to be ranked on skill quotient,definitely Ryno Harris easily takes no.1 spot.Steyn comes a close 2nd.Jimmy @ 3rd after big gap.Harris @ his v best matches the 3 modern masters in skill,viz. Mcgrath,Vaas,Akram.A real trump card of Aussies!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 15, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    When it comes to pure raw skill,versatility no 1 @ present is match of Aussie Ryano Harris.Can make it all happen @ will,swing,seam,cut,reverse to telling effect depending on conditions,pitch.Can even push it to 90 mph if needed,creaking bones and all !

  • SHK1 on August 15, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    No doubt he is a very good bolwer but to call him the best is a bit OTT. To be the best you need to perform away from home as well, which Anderson hasn't been able to do. He is no doubt the best bowler in English conditions.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Com'on Steyn is by far and far the best bowler in the world at the moment , he performs world wide in all conditions and Anderson can only perform on a green top with the ball swinging. Just ask Bailey how average Anderson is without swing!

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 15, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    Anderson may,or may not be most skillful in world. But theres no doubt as to who the most 'fearful' bowler of this gen. is. 1 and only M Jonson ! But no doubt Jimmy is v skilled in his own right. As Ind bats will find out some more starting today.

  • Test_nut on August 15, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    A couple of good tests and Anderson is the most skilful bowler in the world. In 2013 Dale Steyn went over 400 balls across two tests against India without taking a wicket. And we were wondering if this was the beginning of the end. Has the best fast bowler of his generation past his prime? Less than 12 months earlier Steyn had ripped through Pakistan at the Wanderers with 6 for 8. But now, after almost 70 wicketless overs, he was perhaps done. Thankfully he did what he does best…bowl fast, with great skill, and set up the series win later in Durban. Fast forward 8-odd months, and Steyn is still top of the pile ripping the heart of batting line ups and all fears have been banished. But two games and Anderson is the world's most skilful bowler? Right. Steyn is held to higher standards than every other bowler in the world right now and he still comes out on top. The only time the two names should be mentioned in the same sentences is "Steyn trumps Anderson". Full stop. End of story.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    It is not right to say that Anderson is the most skilful bowler in the world at present. No doubt he is exceptional in seeming conditions and at times unplayable, but he is yet to show his class when the bowl is not seeming or there is little assistance from the pitch. His statistics are also not impressive in subcontinent conditions where he has always struggled. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Stuart Broad are much better bowlers and they adjust themselves to the conditions and thus are more effective all through out the world.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    This is probably more a part of mind games over the indian camp than anything else. I'm sure even he knows Steyn is the best in the world right now since he is effective on all sorts of tracks not just seaming ones.

  • highveldhillbilly on August 15, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - you are showing your ignorance. Just Youtube Steyn, you'll see so many examples of him setting up a batsman with a couple of away swinger and then bringing one back and cleaning them up. A certain over to Ian Bell sticks out in my memory, Bell misses the in ducker by about a foot..... also watch his 7 wicket call in Indian, a couple of batsmen left balls pitching outside off stump only find the stumps rattled. Finally watch him bowling Haddin twice in the same test at PE earlier this year with 2 reverse swinging in duckers - both hit middle stump. Superb 5 min break if you're bored at work.

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    @R U 4REAL do you think Dale would have been a support bowler in that English team when Jimmy was. I think not. How do you take more wickets at a better rate (equally in all conditions I must add) with less skill. If you bowl @140kms/ hour and your quick one is 150 does it not take more skill to bowl accurate, swing or seam at a faster pace. How skillful do you need to be to maintain almost the same strike rate away from home as you have at home. All this with arguably the best support bowlers in the word all trying to share 10 wickets per innings. Cook didn't say Jimmy was the best, but he did say they are in the same league. Don't think so

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    Come on..i know he is a good bowler...but he is not even close to bowlers like Dale steyn,Lasith malinga,philander, or ajmal..

  • on August 15, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    No comparison between the two.... Steyn can take wkts on any pitch slow/fast/flat.... Also at the speed of Steyn you don't need as much swing as Anderson has... Lee, Styen, Akhtar,Johnson all these donot depend on 40 cm swing... Anderson on the other hand depends on swing... Players of AUS, SAF who are better players of swing/bounce can play Anderson with ease in their home.... Anderson is usually effective in England... Steyn can be more effective in England also...

  • virendra_s on August 15, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Mr Cook no offence meant for Mr Anderson but he is miles behind Steyn.

  • legfinedeep on August 15, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    Nearly every single comment here mentions Dale Steyn. 'Nuff said.

  • Indian_1982 on August 15, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    LOL......Cook should have sought Anderson's opinion before making his statement. The otherwise talkative Anderson himself would have either maintained silence this time around or would have laughed his heart out. Cook could do well by comparing their overall stats/records with more focus on their performance in sub-continent conditions. How I wish we had South Africa vs England test series IN ENGLAND immediately.

  • on August 15, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, the true test of a bowler's skill lies in how many wickets he takes and what his average is. I played against teenagers in high school who could bend an old cork ball further both ways than Anderson does, that does not make them the most skillful bowlers ever. The most skillful bowlers are the ones who take the most wickets at the lowest average with the highest strike rates. Anderson doesn't get there on any of them. Bowlers are in a team to take wickets, like batsmen are in a team to make runs. You can be the prettiest batsman in the world with the ability to play shots all around the wicket, but if don't make runs, you aren't the most skillful.

  • on August 15, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Anderson is NOT better than Steyn. Im sure there will be no arguments there.

  • TheCricketeer on August 15, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Heres the thing. We dont need to talk about who is the more successful. Stats already make that quite clear and thats all that matters in cricket. But directly to Andersens point I wouldnt mind saying that Steyn has an equal ability to swing the ball both ways. In fact - he can swing a new ball both ways and he can swing an old ball both ways. He chooses to use the away swinger as a stock delivery with the new ball but I would all but gaurantee that if it were possible to calculate his strike rate with his inswinger which he uses mostly as a surprise ball against the top order it would probably be higher than his regular strike rate. The fact that he doesnt use it very often may make for an argument that it takes even more skill to pull it off when he does choose to use it.

    I think Cook (along with everyone else) knows noone is in Steyns class but he has to back his bowlers and give the press a sound bite.

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:54 GMT

    Steyn v Anderson: 75 v 98 matches 383 v 376 - wickets 7/51 v 7/43 - best figures/innings 11/60 v 11/71 - best figures/match 22.5 v 29.86 - average 3.24 v 3.06 - economy 41. v 58.4 - strike rate 24 v 16 - five wicket hauls 5 v 2 - ten wicket hauls

    Other than a slightly better economy Steyn is better than Anderson is every single way. I dont know why people insist on debating this. Steyn is a different class to Anderson! The END!

  • siddhartha87 on August 15, 2014, 3:45 GMT

    Fred Trueman is greatest ENglish fast bowler.Period.

  • sachin.divakar on August 15, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Except a few indian players rest have consistently failed to cope with swing in england so getting them out is not that big achievement secondly its not much about english batting or bowling that has given them this upperhand in the series but the pathetic slip fielding and to some extent umpiring have let england come ahead in the series .Then a big stats comparison anderson or broad is not as skillful as they are portrayed to be playing the most seeming conditions they or the best conditions for swing bowlers a ordinary average ashwin is the fastest to reach 100 wickets most of them have come in india .Its like saying he is the greatest bowler .Out of england anderson is nothing he averages 36 a piece while steyn averages 24.05

  • on August 15, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    Ahahahahahahahahahahha

    Steyn, Harris, Johnson, Morkel are all better than Anderson. Hell, even Trent Boult on his day bowls with more fire and skill than Anderson.

  • jmcilhinney on August 15, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    Look at everyone jumping up and down yelling "Dale Steyn". Steyn is obviously a great bowler but I don't see anyone refuting what Cook says about Anderson being able to swing it both ways and Steyn not. That is the skill that he's talking about. Steyn is fast, accurate and can move the ball. Anderson is not as fast but can move the ball both ways almost at will. Whether or not Steyn is more successful or even outright better, can you deny Anderson's skill? That's the point. If Steyn bowled at Anderson's pace, would he be as successful? Obviously he doesn't and isn't going to but but skill is about making the most of what you've got. A bowler's pace is more of an innate trait than a skill. Obviously raw pace is not enough on its own (just ask Mitchell Johnson and anyone who has faced him at his best and worst) and Steyn has great skill to make best use of that but can you deny that moving the ball both ways, regardless of results, shows more skill than not moving it both ways?

  • IndianEagle on August 15, 2014, 3:14 GMT

    cook's comparison Anderson with steyn might have happened when cook was out of his mind or he does not know any figures about them. By comparing Anderson with steyn , cook degrades steyn's record and acheivement. if steyn knows about this he would have banged his head against the wall. cook should concentrate his batting rather comparing green and swinging track bowler with great steyn. British media and their captain always overhyping their above average players.

  • Sanj747 on August 15, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Please spare us the pain Mr Cook. There is Steyn and then the rest. No comparison. Anderson averages a touch below 30. Not where a top class bowler belongs.

  • Greatest_Game on August 15, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    Anderson has played 98 tests, taking 376 wickets: 3.8 per test, ave 29.86, striking every 58.4 balls. Most Skillful Bowler in the World! Really? Lets see where he takes wickets:

    58% played at home, taking 64.5% of wickets - 4.3 per test. 42% played away, taking 34.5% of wickets - 3.17 per test.

    A 30% difference between home & away shouts 'Home Track Bully,' not 'Most Skillful.'

    Cook compared Anderson to Steyn, who in 75 tests has taken 383 wickets: 5.10 per test, ave 22.56, striking every 41.7 balls. Whoa! Big difference!

    53.3% played at home, taking 55.8% of wickets - 5.35 per test. 46.6% played away, taking 44.2% of wickets - 4.82 per test.

    Steyn's record hardly varies between home & away, he takes more per match, conceding less runs, at the 5th BEST EVER strike rate: the BEST EVER for over 30 tests played! That screams "Any Track Bully," & would seem to require more skill than Jimmy's record.

    And ... Steyn doesn't even have to open his mouth to be scary! Now that is a skill!

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    Haha so he takes a few gifted wickets against India and suddenly he is the best Bowler the World has seen, yet could not buy a wicket in the Last Ashes, now who blew England away then???

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    stop kidding cook we all know who is no 1 he is even nowhere near zaheer khan

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    Ridiculous. He is great in English conditions and that's it! Dale Steyn all the way

  • DarrylRod on August 15, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    This is where the hype and the mentality gets carried away. Suddenly after winning 2 tests in a row: Anderson is the most skillful. It was so long ago, he got clobbered in Ozzieland and didnt figure very well in the SL and the first 2 test against India. For what he has done in the last 2 tests, you could also put blame on the Indian batsmen. I wouldnt really consider Anderson much if you compare against Steyn. Look at his stats and it really speaks for itself. There's no mention of MJ yet, coz he's really not proven in the sub-continent. So please dont get ahead of yourselves!

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    Probably with the luxury of variety but Johnson and Steyn are fearsome and Steyn specially on every soil.It would be hard for anderson to show its luxury on pitches which are completely flat to be honest. Similar is the case but because of johnson's pace , he plays little better on flatter surfaces.

  • on August 15, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    A good captain backing his player, especially one reaching a major milestone. When I first read that I felt angry but soon realised it's all a media game from Cook. I have a feeling James would be embarrased about the comment too. He's a good hard working and fit bowler and over time has racked up the numbers. In 20 years he'll be forgotten though.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 15, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    Before this series, England was boasting an attack with bowlers who ALL averaged above 30. Hardly world class.

  • Sarthik on August 15, 2014, 1:21 GMT

    IMHO Dale Steyn is the by far the best bowler in the world and is head and shoulders ahead of the rest, period. Currently there is no one in Dale's class and perhaps Jimmy and others are behind Dale in a different class. Cook shouldn't embarrass himself by making comments such as these.

    While I'm not a firm believer of statistics alone cannot set someone apart, I would like to mention the below so you can conclude who is the most skillful between Dale and Jimmy (thriving in adverse conditions)!!

    Jimmy Away from home test matches (including neutral venue) - 42% Wickets tally as % of total - 34.6% Bowling average (away) - 36.13 (combined 29.86)

    Dale Away from home test matches (including neutral venue) - 47% Wickets tally as % of total - 44% Bowling average (away) - 24.05 (combined 22.56)

  • true-numbers on August 15, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    with average 30, Anderson is above average bowler. By saying this, I am not disrespecting Anderson but the truth is he is far behind when compared to steyn. steyn is absolute beauty, he averages is in mid 20's in sub continent. But Anderson is fast and swinging track bowler. Anderson and Zaheer, I think in same class with little average differnce between them. Don't forget Zaheer played most matches in unhelpful conditions for fast bowlers.

  • on August 15, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Hehe, you regularly see a certain person on these comments pages bashing Peter Siddle, and yet Siddle has a better average and strike rate than Anderson.

    I've seen better English quicks than Anderson, in my opinion he is nowhere near as good as John Snow or Bob Willis, and there have been a lot over the years from other countries that leave him for dead.

  • landl47 on August 15, 2014, 0:59 GMT

    Cook's boosting his own guy, nothing wrong with that. He didn't say Anderson was better than Steyn, just more skilful in terms of control. I think you'll find, if you compare the last 5 years for both bowlers, their results are fairly similar.

    Johnson is raw pace, very effective but not skilful. However, I think Ryan Harris is an extremely skilful bowler and if anyone rivals Anderson in skill, it's Harris. Vern Philander and Bhuvi would also be up there in terms of skill, though at considerably less pace.

    However, at the end of the day, they're all very good bowlers and no-one (certainly not Virat Kohli) would deny Anderson's skill.

  • on August 15, 2014, 0:37 GMT

    Yes. Jimmy can swing the ball in both ways only when the conditions suit him. We all know what happened in Perth when George Bailey walloped him for 28 runs in one over. Pls. do not compare anyone with Dale Steyn. He is peerless and is the Malcolm Marshall of our generation.

  • D.S.A on August 15, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    A ridiculous statement. Dernbach is an even more "skilful" bowler, but there are many better bowlers who have fewer variations, and they can do those a lot better. First, the bowling coach says this, now the captain, yet why wasn't this statement made after the fifth Test in Australia. It's a statement that fools people into believing being more skilful means you are better than someone with fewer skills. I would also dispute the statement itself, and say Dale has a better outswinger and inswinger, because of the amount of swing he gets, relative to James, and Dale's short ball is better, in part because of his speed. I'm surprised cricinfo would dedicate an article to such an ridiculous statement, but it needs to be shown for what it is: a ridiculous statement that is made only when an appropriate time arises, hence silence during the tour of Australia.

  • cloudmess on August 14, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    I'm an England supporter. And yes, I think Jimmy is a very fine bowler, one of the best we've had in the past 30 years, and one who is occasionally overworked. But I feel embarrassed by these repeated claims that he's better than Dale Steyn. Steyn has been in a class of his own for the last 7 or 8 years, in an era of flat pitches and superfit batsmen. I also think Cook should remember how Anderson performed in comparison to Mitchell Johnson last winter.

  • Jaffa79 on August 14, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    This is ludicrous! Every post on here will (and have) drawn comparisons with Steyn. They are not favourable! Jimmy is a fine bowler and a very fine bowler in conditions that suit him but 'in the world'? This is silly. It makes Cook look ridiculous! Steyn is in the pantheon of quicks like marshall, akram, mcgrath, trueman, waqar, ambrose, holding, lillee etc. Jimmy is behind MJ but alongside Morkell, Sidell, Harris, Phillander etc. The threads on these kind of posts will all say the same. We all know the same! No need to post what I have written.

  • SoyQuearns on August 14, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    James Anderson has been a solid servant of English Cricket over his career. However it speaks to the English system that the bowling attack of Anderson, Broad & Swann is lauded as it's best in sometime. These are bowlers that average over 29 and strike at over 58. The English system has to answer to the fact that it has not produced a genuine world class great bowler since Fred Trueman. Throwing around terms such as 'most skillful' hides the fact that the system is failing. If the very best English fast bowler since Trueman is James Anderson, then English cricket is grossly underachieving

  • Shongololo on August 14, 2014, 23:32 GMT

    Dream on, Cook! Anderson relies on conditions conducive to swing bowling and when they're not around, his skill are largely nullified. Steyn on the other hand, takes wickets everywhere - which is why his average is a stellar 22.5 and Anderson's a respectable 29.8. But this is nothing new, it's an English pastime to beef up their own and turn them from good or very good to 'world's best' (at least in their heads). Think Wayne Rooney, think Tim Henman, think Jonny Wilkinson...and the list goes on.

  • vik56in on August 14, 2014, 23:31 GMT

    Steyn is first ,daylight second and then comes Anderson ! Steyn just blows away batsmen while Anderson chips at them . Sorry to dissapoint the Pakistanis,but Steyn's record in the subcontinent is better than Wasim and Waqar.

  • on August 14, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    Anderson in the same class as Dale Steyn? Haha! in his wildest dreams - maybe.

  • on August 14, 2014, 23:01 GMT

    Why would there be any mention of Johnson? His wickets rely far less on skill than they do on sheer speed and intimidation.

    Steyn is light years ahead of all of ten anyway. Harris is the only bowler in the same hemisphere.

  • Chris_P on August 14, 2014, 22:44 GMT

    At no time has he ever said Anderson was the best, just that he is the most skilful in swinging the bowler both ways both old and new. What's so hard to understand about that? I'm an Aussie & even I would rate his abilities right up there as good if not better than anyone else in that department. Check the article next time, you "fans". No mention of pace, no mention of seam yet all these "genius's" make up their own version of what the article was about. The word was "is" not "ever", so Wasim & Waqar, who currently don't play, don't qualify!

  • tinkertinker on August 14, 2014, 22:44 GMT

    In his last 9 ashes tests anderson took just 26 wickets at an average of 42, so maybe being the most skilled is overrated?

  • on August 14, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    I agree with Cook about Anderson, but Steyn performs at every ground however his wickets come more from pace than swing and also Steyn does well in all formats. On that note though even so I would pick Anderson over Steyn basically because he does perform better with the bat more often.

  • The_Freakster on August 14, 2014, 22:08 GMT

    Anderson averages 26 in England and 38 outside. If Indians can be accused of being good only at home, I guess same can be said of Anderson. Good bowler but nowhere close to Steyn.

  • StevieS on August 14, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    This England team has delusions of grandeur after beating a rubbish test team that even New Zealand beat. DauD_ you talking about one hit wonder Johnson? Is his average below 30 yet and below 50 in the subcontenient?

  • Adoh on August 14, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    We've all see how useless Jimmy is when the ball isn't swinging. I would be more than happy to accept his so called skill if there was any demonstration that he could swing the ball in conditions where noone else could - that would be impressive. I've yet to see this however. He is a good bowler, but with an average only just under 30, there are many more skillful bowlers playing today - skillful enough to take wickets in all conditions and maintain much better averages.

  • Vostok_1 on August 14, 2014, 21:42 GMT

    Anderson is also a serial underperformer outside of England and loves to blame the quality of the pitch for his shortcomings. Steyn is a quality bowler but is let down by his team of cheats.

    Also, interesting how Harris and Johnson systematically deconstruct Cook and he strangely omits them from his test bowler rankings. They broke him so hard he shudders to even whisper their names.

  • josh.davis on August 14, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    I think most of the comments below seem to (deliberately in some cases) miss the point of the statement. Nobody is saying that Anderson is the best bowler in the world, he's not, Steyn is obviously better, he is though arguably the most skillfull, i.e. the best control and ability to extract effective movement.

  • peeeeet on August 14, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    I think what Cook meant to say was: "Anderson is the most skillful bowler in the English team". A quick glance at his stats shows that he averages 26.54 at home which is quite good, but away (discounting the series in the U.A.E. as that takes too much effort to work out) he is averaging 36.76. In fact, there are only three countries that he averages under 30 - England, U.A.E (in only one series too) and India (just). His average against the best teams of his time - South Africa 38.07, Australia 36.96 and India 27.46. Comaparing all this to Steyn. He averages 21 at home and 23 away. England have handled him well, he averages 32 against them, but 27 against Australia and 20 against India. England have heaped praise on Anderson in the subcontinent in the past, yet Steyn has played less matches and has more wickets. Cook is right saying that Anderson is skilfull, but by trying to imply he is better than Steyn is ludicrous.

  • FieryFerg on August 14, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    Tom Richardson, Trueman, Statham, Tyson, Botham, Willis, Larwood... Anderson would be lucky to make England's top 10 'best-ever' seamers. Cook needs to learn some cricket history This just shows the same arrogance of this group of England players as when they were claiming to be England's best-ever team. Agree with all the others comments that to compare him to Steyn is just laughable - an average 7 runs higher proves the point.

  • wolf777 on August 14, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    His skills somehow fails against Australia...

  • Joll on August 14, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    This comment shows why England were beaten 5-0 by Australia. Cook is not dealing with reality if he thinks Anderson is the most skilful bowler in the world, and the best England has ever produced. Purely as a swing bowler, I rate Trent Boult, the New Zealander, ahead of Anderson. Boult has a better average and strike rate. But clearly bowlers such as Steyn, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson are superior to Anderson. And as for better England pace bowlers, I would nominate Bob Willis, John Snow, Freddie Trueman, Brian Statham, Frank Tyson, Maurice Tate and Alec Bedser. Simply put, Anderson would not come close to an all-time England XI. For Cook to suggest he would shows just how out of touch he is.

  • legfinedeep on August 14, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    What is the difference between the "best bowler in the world" and the "most skillful bowler in the world"? Anyone?

  • GrumpiusMaximus on August 14, 2014, 21:11 GMT

    As for Johnson? A very good bowler now, no question. He did severely damage England in Australia. He has been a very inconsistent performer over many years, though. When Johnson is bowling well, he is unplayable. When Johnson is not bowling well, it's utter dross. Johnson seems to have developed more consistency in the last couple of years and any test team in the World would snap him up as a quick.

  • GrumpiusMaximus on August 14, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    Steyn is a more effective bowler but that doesn't necessarily mean 'more skilful'. Anderson's ability to swing the ball both ways with control as well as reverse swing is quite remarkable - especially considering that he started off with a good out-swinger and little else.

    Steyn is the bowler I'd rather have in my team, though. He's more aggressive in his line and his deliveries skid beautifully. He also has more raw pace than Anderson.

    Anderson's figures are not helped by his relatively inauspicious start at Test level - occasionally bowling 'magic' balls and being inconsistent and then the change to his action. Since Anderson decided to work on consistency of line and length, he has been much better.

    Steyn is the best bowler in the World, no question. He will be regarded as a true great. Anderson will be considered one of the best England have ever produced and if he is able to bowl consistently for the remainder of his career, could leave a lasting legacy.

  • on August 14, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    Where his skills went against Srilanka then. He is just a good bawler average team like India.

  • Fifthman on August 14, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    I'm a big fan of Jimmy and his abilities, but Cook's gushing praise is a tad cringeworthy. Best English bowler ever? What about Hedley Verity, Harold Larwood, Fred Trueman, Brian Statham and (towering above allcomers) Sidney Barnes? Cook needs to reflect on the history of the game, I think...

  • JohannK on August 14, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Great to see Cook back Anderson, but this sounds more like a pep talk that belongs in the dressing room. What a joke. If Steyn played as much cricket as Anderson (i.e. if SA were granted proper length test series) he would have been on the other side of 500 wickets by now.

    The last time England claimed to have the best bowlers and w/k batsman (Prior) in the world they came down to earth with a bang. Go India!

  • CricketChat on August 14, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Anderson is definitely a skilful bowler in helpful conditions and an ordinary bowler otherwise. While he is certainly handful in Eng, Aus, SA and to some extent in WI, he was quite ordinary in sub-continent where the ball doesn't bounce and doesn't swing except early in the day. I remember in the WC 2011, in the sub-continent (SL and Ind) he was totally ineffective. Not sure if was even dropped mid-way through the tournament.

  • PatrickJM on August 14, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    Hate to agree with the consensus here, but Anderson is not in Steyn's class. Average difference of nearly 8 runs a wicket. That is 80 runs an innings, or 160 runs a match. Basically, the difference between playing a normal team every match and playing against a normal team plus Don Bradman and George Headley every match. Stats don't tell you everything, but to be genuinely great you need the stats. Great bowlers do not average 30.

  • on August 14, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    He is not even near to what dale steyn achieved so far

  • shaneelpatel84 on August 14, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Anderson the most skillful in the world? Highly doubt it but I guess we all know who the BEST is. Dale Steyn.

  • on August 14, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    Anderson's career is really a career of 2 halves. The first half he averaged in he high 30's almost 4.The second half he averages about 20. The 4 years when coaches messed with his action and "head dip" were a waste for all concerned. Right now he probably is the best bowler in the world, but over a career it doesn't quite stack up... yet. England and their need for conformity. The same reason we have no bent arm spinners and doosra bowlers. From youth level onwards, natural talent is stunted by over zealous coaching and a need to conform. Anderson at least recovered, most potential is lost to our terrible coaching system.

  • on August 14, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    Anderson will be ishant sharma in places other than england,while dale is dale everywhere Mr.Cook..

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 14, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    As usual, people go straight to the stats and base their entire arguments on that. When are people going to learn that stats are not the full picture in cricket?

    Steyn has played his entire career as a strike bowler, and a great one at that. Anderson has not. As stated in his profile, Anderson's key role in the side early in his career was not as a strike bowler; he was a support bowler who's function was to hold up an end (and look stats lovers: his economy is lower than Steyn's!). It was only later in his career that Anderson spearheaded the bowling and became more striking/wicket-taking. Instead of all this 'he's better than him' rubbish, why not accept that both bowlers are class, and (like me) wish they were BOTH in my side!

  • on August 14, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    He said skillful.......And it's absolutely correct. What Anderson doesn't have is absolutely express pace though, like Steyn.

  • silentstand on August 14, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    Steyn is the best as his record shows no disrespect to understand who may be more "skillful " but steyn is better

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    This argument was settled in 2012 when the South Africans last toured England. Amla played all the England bowlers with a sense of consummate ease (except Finn but especially Jimmy and Broad). Then after Morkel did for the leftys round the wicket, Steyn did the rest. (Except for a KP swan song) Jimmy is an exceptional bowler. He has spells where he looks unplayable and watching him when he's in those spells is as good as it gets. He has bowled well all around the world, India, UAE, Aus over last few years. But the stats don't lie. Steyn's extra pace, like we saw with Johnson makes such a difference. As a captain if you were given the choice you'd pick Steyn. But you'd want them both.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    I can't believe this has been trotted out again... Does the skill to reverse the ball or bounce batsman out not count in England? Does the skill to find the right lines and lengths quickly and adjust your plans to suit not count as bowling skills? Steyn and Harris are streets ahead.

  • neo-galactico on August 14, 2014, 19:54 GMT

    Not this again, perhaps he is the most skilful bowler. He certainly has a variety of deliveries he can bowl and he has the best in-swinger I've ever seen. The wobble seam, the best seam position (along with Vern, perhaps?), slower balls, cutters, a decent bouncer, a yorker here and there. Add conventional swing, and reverse swing @ decent pace then perhaps there's truth in him being the most skilful bowler in the world. That said, the only skill a bowler really needs is the ability to take wickets, and there's no one better @ that than Steyn.

  • thozar on August 14, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    @ma1893, Zaheer is more skilled, talented, and successful than Anderson. If Zaheer also bowled in more bower friendly conditions, he will have better average and strike rate. Steyn may have pace but Zaheer has guile and he is a thinking bowler. Without pace, Steyn would just be another trundler. Skill is different than just having pace. Same for Mitchell Johnson also. Before last Ashes, he was just a poor bowler who had pace. Ryan Harris also has only pace. In terms of skill only, I would rate Zaheer in the league of Wasim Akram, although Zaheer is a little less pacy version.

    I dont know why Cook says Anderson is most skilled. He performs only against some teams and was a mega failure against Oz and South Africa. Even Sri Lankan batsmen handled him with ease. He was also a failure against India in the 1st two tests. He is very inconsistent. If he was that skilled, he should not have this high average despite bowling mostly in bowler friendly conditions.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 14, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    Are we really going to go down this road again?! Jimmy is a good bowler in his own right but is not of the same class as Dale.

  • warnerbasher on August 14, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    Jimmy didn't look to skilful last summer out here in Oz. He's a fine bowler in certain conditions but limited when conditions are not suited. I'd have Steyn above Anderson in my team any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The fact that in Cook's view a bowler with an average of 30 is the best bowler England has produced highlights perhaps Cooks delusion of the last 12 months shows no signs of abating.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    Hahahahah most skilful in the world and yet he can only rank no. 4... Would call him an underperformer them! Dale is a whole 107 pts ahead of him... Stop embarrassing yourself cook

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Might be "more skilful", but not as successful. Stats from ESPN CricInfo

    Anderson Matches 98 Inns 183 Balls 21964 Wickets 376 Avg 29.86 Eco 3.06 Strike Rate 58.4 4W 21 5W 16 10W 2

    VS

    Steyn Matches 75 Inns 142 Ball 15975 Wickets 383 Avg 22.56 Eco 3.24 Strike Rate 41.7 4W 23 5W 24 10W 5

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    Anderson may be "more skillful" but Dale is by far a better bowler. He's taken more wickets in far less matches. He performs everywhere while Anderson can only perform in a few places.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Dale Steyn, 74 matches, 375 wickets James Anderson, 98 matches, 376 wickets Steyn vs Jimmy on the sub continent. Who would you rather have? Enough said!

  • DauD_ on August 14, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    No mention of Johnson? Not suprised, Johnson singlehandedly destroyed English cricket.

  • on August 14, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    no doubt gret but still needs alot to tpuch Waqar and Wasim caliber

  • ma1893 on August 14, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Haha this is funny, Anderson is good for England sure but he is more along the lines of Zak and such- hard workers, he is nowhere near Steyn who ranks with the greats in his natural talent and ability.

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  • ma1893 on August 14, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Haha this is funny, Anderson is good for England sure but he is more along the lines of Zak and such- hard workers, he is nowhere near Steyn who ranks with the greats in his natural talent and ability.

  • on August 14, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    no doubt gret but still needs alot to tpuch Waqar and Wasim caliber

  • DauD_ on August 14, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    No mention of Johnson? Not suprised, Johnson singlehandedly destroyed English cricket.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Dale Steyn, 74 matches, 375 wickets James Anderson, 98 matches, 376 wickets Steyn vs Jimmy on the sub continent. Who would you rather have? Enough said!

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    Anderson may be "more skillful" but Dale is by far a better bowler. He's taken more wickets in far less matches. He performs everywhere while Anderson can only perform in a few places.

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Might be "more skilful", but not as successful. Stats from ESPN CricInfo

    Anderson Matches 98 Inns 183 Balls 21964 Wickets 376 Avg 29.86 Eco 3.06 Strike Rate 58.4 4W 21 5W 16 10W 2

    VS

    Steyn Matches 75 Inns 142 Ball 15975 Wickets 383 Avg 22.56 Eco 3.24 Strike Rate 41.7 4W 23 5W 24 10W 5

  • on August 14, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    Hahahahah most skilful in the world and yet he can only rank no. 4... Would call him an underperformer them! Dale is a whole 107 pts ahead of him... Stop embarrassing yourself cook

  • warnerbasher on August 14, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    Jimmy didn't look to skilful last summer out here in Oz. He's a fine bowler in certain conditions but limited when conditions are not suited. I'd have Steyn above Anderson in my team any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The fact that in Cook's view a bowler with an average of 30 is the best bowler England has produced highlights perhaps Cooks delusion of the last 12 months shows no signs of abating.

  • HennopsRiverEnd on August 14, 2014, 19:38 GMT

    Are we really going to go down this road again?! Jimmy is a good bowler in his own right but is not of the same class as Dale.

  • thozar on August 14, 2014, 19:45 GMT

    @ma1893, Zaheer is more skilled, talented, and successful than Anderson. If Zaheer also bowled in more bower friendly conditions, he will have better average and strike rate. Steyn may have pace but Zaheer has guile and he is a thinking bowler. Without pace, Steyn would just be another trundler. Skill is different than just having pace. Same for Mitchell Johnson also. Before last Ashes, he was just a poor bowler who had pace. Ryan Harris also has only pace. In terms of skill only, I would rate Zaheer in the league of Wasim Akram, although Zaheer is a little less pacy version.

    I dont know why Cook says Anderson is most skilled. He performs only against some teams and was a mega failure against Oz and South Africa. Even Sri Lankan batsmen handled him with ease. He was also a failure against India in the 1st two tests. He is very inconsistent. If he was that skilled, he should not have this high average despite bowling mostly in bowler friendly conditions.