April 24, 2012

'We can be one of the greatest England teams ever'

James Anderson talks about playing for the world's No. 1 side, and looks back at how he made his way in the game
141

Who were your cricketing heroes growing up?
I'm not sure I had any heroes. I loved to watch fast bowlers, though. I admired Allan Donald and Darren Gough very much. And I used to watch Glen Chapple and Peter Martin in county cricket. I went to Lord's to watch them in a final in the mid-90s. Then, a couple of years later, I was sharing a dressing room with them.

Were you always going to be a cricketer?
No. I never stood out as a young cricketer. I batted and bowled, but I didn't do either particularly well. But then, when I was about 15, I grew very quickly. I went from being one of the shortest in my year at school to being one of the tallest. Suddenly I could bowl much quicker and I started playing for the Burnley first team. Then a mate's mum mentioned to a coach at Lancashire that I was worth a look and I was soon playing for the Lancashire Under-17s. I would have gone to university had I not played for England - Lancashire offered to support me through university, which was good of them - but I don't know what I would have studied or what I would have gone on to do. I've been very lucky.

You were drafted into the England team very quickly. Were you ready for international cricket?
No, I don't think I was ready. The whole period was surreal. Everything happened so fast. My first full season was in 2002, and on the strength of that I was called into the England academy in Australia. That was a huge thing for me: it was the first time I had been away from home for any length of time - it was about three months - and I was just making new friends within that group when I was suddenly called up to join the full England squad.

It was extraordinary. I didn't think I would play - I was only there as cover - and then, when I did, I didn't know how long it would last, so I just decided to enjoy every moment of it. I was thrown in and I picked up any lessons I could. I think I benefited from the experience and I enjoyed it, but things like that are less likely to happen now, and that has to be a good thing.

The gap between county cricket and the international game has narrowed. The introduction of Lions games and performance squads has been one of the biggest improvements in English cricket in recent years. It means that when someone comes into the England team now, they know the people involved and they know what is expected of them.

The ECB look after the workload of young bowlers much better now, too. You might get the odd case - like Chris Woakes at Warwickshire - where a young guy is bowled into the ground, year in, year out, but generally the workloads are managed.

Your story is used as an example of both county cricket working and as an example of the benefits of taking players out of county cricket. How do you see it?
County cricket is crucial. I didn't play a huge amount of it before starting my international career and I've not played a huge amount since, but the standard is exceptionally high and it is an ideal place for young players to sharpen and showcase their skills. It has always attracted quality overseas players, too. Even since the start of the IPL there have been some great overseas players involved, who have lifted the standard of county cricket.

You had a long period carrying the drinks with England. Was that helpful in that it gave you time to work on your game? Or was it just frustrating?
It certainly wasn't helpful. Honestly, it would be difficult to describe how bad a job that is. It can be hugely frustrating. Dispiriting, even.

"I'm the type that will have to be dragged off kicking and screaming when it's time to finish"

Look, it's always great to be involved with England and it's always great if you're asked to go away on a tour. And there are times when you can learn and pick things up. There's another good thing, too. We've all been there. Even Straussy has done the 12th man shift for a while, so we all know what it's like. So anyone doing it now is treated with the respect they deserve. In the past that wasn't the case, but we've all been through it and we all know what it's like. It's one of the reasons we have such a good spirit within the squad.

You changed your bowling action for a while. What was that about?
Good question. I was told I had to change my action or I'd have problems with stress fractures. So I changed my action and I lost some pace, I stopped swinging the ball, and then I got a stress fracture.

There was a period when I was just running in thinking about my action. I wasn't thinking about where to bowl - which is all you should be thinking about as a bowler - I was thinking about what to do with my front arm and what I should be doing with my legs. I still see pictures of me bowling - I mean from around 2004 - and they bring back loads of bad memories. My action doesn't look natural and I can remember what it felt like at the time. It was all very frustrating.

In the end I went back to the action that I had. My body was used to it and it worked for me. Again, I think we've all learned from that. Obviously if a guy looks as if he is going to snap, then the coaches are right to step in and change things. The way I was coached wasn't very effective, but coaches have learned that everyone is different and they just tinker with things now.

When did you incorporate the inswinger into your game?
It was after my stress fracture. So from about 2006 I started to work on it. It was once I went back to my old action and felt comfortable with it again. It took about two years. I worked with all the bowling coaches. I've taken bits and pieces from all of them. And I've played with some great players and taken bits from them, too. Darren Gough had a great inswinger, so I talked to him about it.

When did you feel you had made it at the top level?
I always had the belief. I had that taste of international cricket very early and it showed I had the skills, on my day, to do pretty well. But maybe I didn't have the confidence to deliver those skills as often as I would have liked.

The key moment for me probably came when Peter Moores was in charge. It was 2008. He dropped Hoggard and Harmison and picked me and Broady and told me he wanted me to lead the attack. That was huge for me: it gave me huge belief and I don't feel I've looked back.

I suppose it has only been in the last couple of years that I've had the results to show for it. I was performing pretty well in England, but there were still questions about how I would do abroad, and in particular in the subcontinent.

Do you feel you have unfinished business in limited-overs cricket?
I want to carry on, if that's what you mean. I love one-day cricket. I know I didn't bowl as well as I could have done in the World Cup - I didn't bowl anywhere near as well as I could have done - but I think my form has improved quite a lot in the last six to nine months. It went well in the UAE.

I'd like to get back in the T20 side too. It's a really exciting format and we've a really exciting team. I've only played one T20 game in the last two years, so I'm looking forward to playing a bit more.

What went wrong at the World Cup?
I'm not sure. The whole team was under par, really, and we had a couple of really disappointing performances against Ireland and Bangladesh. Maybe it had just been too long a winter. We were away for five and a half months and when we first went away in October, all our thoughts and energy were on the Ashes. Then we had a seven-match ODI series and we went into a World Cup, which we hadn't really even had a chance to discuss. Maybe we were just a bit fatigued.

Do you still feel a part of things at Lancashire? Can you see yourself playing for them more in the future?
I'd love to play more for Lancashire. In an ideal world, when I finish playing international cricket, I'll spend a couple of seasons playing county cricket. Lancashire have given me incredible support over the years - they always welcome me back - and I want to repay that. I want to play until I'm 40 - I don't suppose that will be possible with all the demands there are on us these days - but I can't imagine not playing. I'm the type that will have to be dragged off kicking and screaming when it's time to finish.

Do you know what you're going to do after cricket?
Not at the moment, no but I'm starting to think about it. I'm presenting a few radio shows on 5Live with Swanny this year, called Not Just Cricket. We did a test show at Christmas, which went down really well, so that might be something I want to learn more about.

The next couple of years - with series against South Africa and India, and Ashes series home and away - will define the legacy of this England team, won't they?
Yes, that's how I see it. Once we became the No. 1-rated Test team we talked about our legacy. We want to be one of the greatest England teams there has ever been, and we honestly feel we have the potential in the dressing room to achieve that. I agree: the next couple of years will define us. But don't underestimate the West Indies, either. They are pushing a strong Australian side at the moment; they're a decent team. South Africa are very strong - I see them as the strongest side we've played against since the Ashes. And then there's India. Look, we slipped up over the winter, there's no hiding from that. So there are bound to be questions about how we can play in the subcontinent. We still have a lot to prove, but we showed signs of improvement towards the back end of the Sri Lanka tour. I think Jonathan Trott's century at Galle gave the rest of the batsmen confidence to play in those conditions. Winning in India would be massive for us.

Vitabiotics Wellman is a proud sponsor of James Anderson

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shan156 on April 27, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @ijk007, that was a short 2 test series. Jimmy bowled well in the Johnny Cash test in Mumbai, 2006. So, overall, his average in India in less than his career average. However, I wouldn't read too much into it since he has played few tests in India. He had a poor record in Australia and SL before the last test series England played there. And, fans cited that and said he will fail again. But, he did great.

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @CustomKid on (April 27 2012, 02:09 AM GMT) Agreed. I think the main point is that 6/1/4 was working so they stuck with that formula. I respect that even though I feel Bres,Finn,Trem,Onions (whoever they play as their 5th bowler) will nearly always add more with the ball than our 6th batsman with the bat. What annoyed me was that they never tried it once despite the fact that the 6 man batting line up wasn't giving them the depth in reality that it did on paper. Australia have Hussey coming in at 6 so that's a different thing but I do kind of agree with Chappell. Pak proved vs Eng that you can win tests without making big scores.

  • ijk007 on April 27, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    I love to see him in India for test series. Last time, he had really a poor series (though it may be because of his change in bowling action). But he has shown lot if improvement since last 3 years.

  • CustomKid on April 27, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @JG2704 any time re the comms.

    I agree 5 bowlers with prior at 6 is the ultimate setup. Broad, Swann, Bresnan can all bat. Love or hate him Ian Chappell will always comment - you can scrape runs together someway or another you will usually find a way to do it. However it's not so easy taking 20 wickets. This sentiment is so true and where a genuine allrounder comes in to it's own.

    Again though I think 7,8,9 for England are more than competent with the stick and the selectors should give the side the best side to blast teams out.

  • CustomKid on April 27, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    I think Billybowden311 has a point to some degree but average isn't everything. The truly great fast men do average in the low to mid 20's. Malcolm Marshall, Glen McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Akram, Waqar, Lillie, Donald of the modern era add Steyne to that list as well. What makes those guys great is that not only did they take wickets they kept it super tight.

    Any spinner that can average under 28 is doing exceptionally well in my book and that is where Murili and Warne come in to their own. Naturally they will leak more runs but their art is deception. Dev is an interesting one. Great bowler but went for runs also. That said 400 wickets on mainly played on the SC is a super effort.

    I've never rated JA but that is based on his first 5 years of test cricket not his last 3. You can't argue with his recent stats they are very impressive around the globe. If he can average below 28 by the end of his career (only 28 yo I think), he will be up there on ENG's list of best fast bowlers.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    @billbowden311 on (April 26 2012, 18:46 PM GMT) Jimmy is a much improved bowler and I reckon if you calculated his average over recent years it would be closer to your magic benchmark.Re your yardstick of greatness - do you realise that Kapil Dev and Botham are nearer to 30 and Warne has a 25+ average. Still sticking with your rigid 20-22 = greatness? Also we English love Jimmy but I still don't recall any comms on this thread calling him a bowling legend? PPS No I'm not comparing Jimmy to those players - just pointing out that your benchmark is about as flawed as your namesake's finger is crooked when he gives a player out

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    @ IndnCrktfan - Agreed re healthy arguments etc and I respect the way you've backed up your comms with how you'd have handled it in Jimmy's position although I certainly believe many on here are making out JA is gloating when he is obviously not

  • Shan156 on April 26, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    @billbowden311, no one calls him a great but he is a good bowler, very good in fact. Yes, his average is 30 but if you look at his year-wise averages, he averages in the low 20s for the last 3 years which is impressive. He has not had a poor series in this period where he has not just played in England but also in Australia (where he performed poorly in 2006-2007), SL (again, poor in the previous two series between 2004 and 2007), UAE, and SA (albeit, just one test). His average is higher because he performed poorly in the early part of his career but he is a much improved bowler now and that is showing in his stats for the last few years.

  • billbowden311 on April 26, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    I don't know why people keep calling Anderson a legend, he averages 30.02 in tests to be a legendary fast bowler you must average at least 20-22, like Imran, or Donald or modern greats like Steyn, its a requirement for (great) fast bowlers to average in that specific area-I'm sorry, but Anderson isn't that good at all.

  • StatisticsRocks on April 26, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    @JG: No problem. We all have our opinions and as long as it is a healthy argument it's good for the sport of cricket and maintain civility in this discussion forum. I also agree with @Custom_Kid, it's a pleasure to read your comments , your views and your opinions. I look forward to ENG vs. SA series, which I am positive will be a nail biting series unlike the India Eng series, especially after so much hype. I also look for the India Eng series later at home and hope we display a much different attitude unlike in Eng. Finally, only 3 test match series should be considered for rankings.

  • Shan156 on April 27, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @ijk007, that was a short 2 test series. Jimmy bowled well in the Johnny Cash test in Mumbai, 2006. So, overall, his average in India in less than his career average. However, I wouldn't read too much into it since he has played few tests in India. He had a poor record in Australia and SL before the last test series England played there. And, fans cited that and said he will fail again. But, he did great.

  • JG2704 on April 27, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @CustomKid on (April 27 2012, 02:09 AM GMT) Agreed. I think the main point is that 6/1/4 was working so they stuck with that formula. I respect that even though I feel Bres,Finn,Trem,Onions (whoever they play as their 5th bowler) will nearly always add more with the ball than our 6th batsman with the bat. What annoyed me was that they never tried it once despite the fact that the 6 man batting line up wasn't giving them the depth in reality that it did on paper. Australia have Hussey coming in at 6 so that's a different thing but I do kind of agree with Chappell. Pak proved vs Eng that you can win tests without making big scores.

  • ijk007 on April 27, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    I love to see him in India for test series. Last time, he had really a poor series (though it may be because of his change in bowling action). But he has shown lot if improvement since last 3 years.

  • CustomKid on April 27, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @JG2704 any time re the comms.

    I agree 5 bowlers with prior at 6 is the ultimate setup. Broad, Swann, Bresnan can all bat. Love or hate him Ian Chappell will always comment - you can scrape runs together someway or another you will usually find a way to do it. However it's not so easy taking 20 wickets. This sentiment is so true and where a genuine allrounder comes in to it's own.

    Again though I think 7,8,9 for England are more than competent with the stick and the selectors should give the side the best side to blast teams out.

  • CustomKid on April 27, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    I think Billybowden311 has a point to some degree but average isn't everything. The truly great fast men do average in the low to mid 20's. Malcolm Marshall, Glen McGrath, Ambrose, Walsh, Akram, Waqar, Lillie, Donald of the modern era add Steyne to that list as well. What makes those guys great is that not only did they take wickets they kept it super tight.

    Any spinner that can average under 28 is doing exceptionally well in my book and that is where Murili and Warne come in to their own. Naturally they will leak more runs but their art is deception. Dev is an interesting one. Great bowler but went for runs also. That said 400 wickets on mainly played on the SC is a super effort.

    I've never rated JA but that is based on his first 5 years of test cricket not his last 3. You can't argue with his recent stats they are very impressive around the globe. If he can average below 28 by the end of his career (only 28 yo I think), he will be up there on ENG's list of best fast bowlers.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    @billbowden311 on (April 26 2012, 18:46 PM GMT) Jimmy is a much improved bowler and I reckon if you calculated his average over recent years it would be closer to your magic benchmark.Re your yardstick of greatness - do you realise that Kapil Dev and Botham are nearer to 30 and Warne has a 25+ average. Still sticking with your rigid 20-22 = greatness? Also we English love Jimmy but I still don't recall any comms on this thread calling him a bowling legend? PPS No I'm not comparing Jimmy to those players - just pointing out that your benchmark is about as flawed as your namesake's finger is crooked when he gives a player out

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    @ IndnCrktfan - Agreed re healthy arguments etc and I respect the way you've backed up your comms with how you'd have handled it in Jimmy's position although I certainly believe many on here are making out JA is gloating when he is obviously not

  • Shan156 on April 26, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    @billbowden311, no one calls him a great but he is a good bowler, very good in fact. Yes, his average is 30 but if you look at his year-wise averages, he averages in the low 20s for the last 3 years which is impressive. He has not had a poor series in this period where he has not just played in England but also in Australia (where he performed poorly in 2006-2007), SL (again, poor in the previous two series between 2004 and 2007), UAE, and SA (albeit, just one test). His average is higher because he performed poorly in the early part of his career but he is a much improved bowler now and that is showing in his stats for the last few years.

  • billbowden311 on April 26, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    I don't know why people keep calling Anderson a legend, he averages 30.02 in tests to be a legendary fast bowler you must average at least 20-22, like Imran, or Donald or modern greats like Steyn, its a requirement for (great) fast bowlers to average in that specific area-I'm sorry, but Anderson isn't that good at all.

  • StatisticsRocks on April 26, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    @JG: No problem. We all have our opinions and as long as it is a healthy argument it's good for the sport of cricket and maintain civility in this discussion forum. I also agree with @Custom_Kid, it's a pleasure to read your comments , your views and your opinions. I look forward to ENG vs. SA series, which I am positive will be a nail biting series unlike the India Eng series, especially after so much hype. I also look for the India Eng series later at home and hope we display a much different attitude unlike in Eng. Finally, only 3 test match series should be considered for rankings.

  • itsthewayuplay on April 26, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Interesting interview from a top class bowler particularly how his loss of form was caused by a change in bowling action. A couple of things I differ on. I don't see winning in India as the final frontier. India is an extremely weak team with Dravid no longer there and Tendulkar still there and further weaknened by the influence of the IPL circus. And india without any proven consistent matchwinning bowlers, a series win in India is probably on a par with Bangladesh. Secondly, whilst all the England batters played well and improved their stats against India last year, decent teams such as SA, WI and possibly Aus will provide a better indication of how England's batsmen measure up. It would also be interesting to see this England team would fare against Pakistan in England. As Dravid said in one of his post match interviews last year, the bowlers have all the attributes to make this strong England team into a great one but they have go and perform now.

  • RandyOZ on April 26, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Abou the only good thing you can say about Andersen is that he is actually English. A very average bowler in an average side with dellusions of grandeur.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    @ CustomKid on (April 26 2012, 00:59 AM GMT) Thankyou very much - it makes a very pleasant change to get flattering comms. Pretty much echo your thoughts. Was peeved that Eng never tried a 5 man bowling attack to try and stop the rot as I feel that trying to bowl out sides cheaper rather than outscore them is a better way to go - esp when your whole batting line up is out of nick. Bowling depth certainly looks better ATM than batting depth.As a biased Somerset fan + feel Compton(although in late 20s)could deserve a chance.To be fair Bop should get a chance.When recalled he had done little to dererve it but since recalling him (to squad) he has done little wrong and has had no opportunity.Can't 2nd guess selectors minds.I think that situations make us think we have more/ less batting strength than we have Ind 4-0 + we prob thought we had all the back up in the world , then we lose 3-0 to Pak and it seems threadbear. Maybe someone unlikely will come in and do a job like Trott did.

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    @meety ctd - One thing the ICC could look at - although it could be a bit complex - is giving bonus batting and bowling points in an attempt to reward teams who are dominating drawn matches. Although this could be flawed if a test is reduced to just 1 inns in particularly helpful batting/bowling conditions

  • JG2704 on April 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    @Meety - Re Anderson's comms and how some folk react with their comms - it's kind of predictable. I'm sure if ESPN did a post war piece on who was Aus best beatsman , Chappell , Ponting etc etc you would folk trying to say how much better Sachin is/was or even ask why his name was not invcluded? Re rankings , I'm not sure if you get more points for beating a side away than at home. I'd have thought they would because surely that is a bigger achievement. I know you get more points for beating a higher ranked side and lose more points for losing to a lower ranked side. We had both vs India and Pak. I'm also not sure about how it would affect the rankings (SA and Pak playing more tests). Pak are playing a fair amount of tests but not enough away and not enough against the top teams. SA are drawing so many of their series that playing more tests would not nec mean boosting their rankings.If their win % was better then I'd agree but don't forget you prob drop points by underperforming also

  • subbass on April 26, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    I'd have Alan Knott as my all time w/k, Larwood as my fast bowler and Laker as my spinner. Inn fact on their Test records very few of the current England side would make an all time eleven ! They are just a good side, nothing more, nothing less. Talk of a legacy is sillly for now.

  • CustomKid on April 26, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    @JG2704 I like reading your commentary which are level headed and usually backed up by facts and figures which is a refreshing change in the comments section on this site. I don't like the English side purely because I'm an Aussie lol but as good as they are at present (rightfully No#1) how do you see their bench strength?

    In bowling terms they appear to have some really good depth. Onions performs well at county level and is on the comeback, Finn has some nice potential but hasn't done much against the top teams, Bresnan looks the goods but it's early days, Tremlett will come back, and the attack is lead by Broad and Anderson who are both improving + swann.

    My concern is their batting. Strauss out of touch, KP hit and miss, and these guys are getting on. Who is the replacement. Next in line is Borara and Morgan neither are test quality. I don't see a lot in county standing up and saying pick me.

    I love prior at six (he's a gun) to give the extra bowler - interested in yr thoughts.

  • Meety on April 26, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    Continued.... What I was trying to say was this, with respect to Oz v India, the only two series that count towards the rankings is the recent 4 test series played in Oz this summer AND the last time Oz played India in India over a 3+ test series. This would exclude the 2-Test money making venture in India (v Oz). So by dropping the points degradation, the last home & away test series for India & Pakistan would still remain from 2006 & 2007. Currently Oz are the holders of all bilateral test series between test nations EXCEPT the Ashes. Only Sth Africa (I think can boast 8/9). This would help good cricketing nations like Sth Africa & Pakistan who play less tests than other countries maintain a better ranking. Atm - the rankings favour sides who play plenty of matches. I'd also like to see bonus points for away series wins, or maybe even for beating a side ranked 2 or more places above.

  • Meety on April 26, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    Man this site cracks me up. Anderson can pretty much say whatever he likes in regards to what Team England wish to achieve. Anybody that wants to construct an arguement against him based on wht he has said is just a sick tired individual. There are inherant flaws in the way the rankings work, but England are #1 according to the ICC, & people need to live with it. My gut feel is that the Saffas are currently the best side, but that is somewhat offset by some underwhelming performances over the last few years. The big changes that I think the ICC need to make with their rankings are 1) Do away with 2-test series with respect to the rankings (can be played, but not for points). 2) No degradation of points (half life or whatever) for a Test series just because it occured two years ago. A series can only be replaced by the same occurance later in the FTP (I've worded this poorly & am running out of room so I will have to give an Eg or 2!!!)

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 25, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    An interesting interview.I think Sri Lanka was a very important tour for him in terms of adaptability. It laid to rest that awful World cup, which I think they did on reserve fuel and more. I hope he can beat Botham's total of wickets-it's time to get an Englishman to 400 wickets and beyond. I would just like to mention his brilliant fielding-everytime a difficult catch is taken in the outfield it's almost always this guy. Awesome. As for England being the best ever England side and one to put beside Aus and WI of renown eras- well hype is common in these things. They need to stay at the top for five years for the latter, and for the first at least go some of that path. There are a few other Eng sides worthy of contention-late 20's/early 30's. mid 50's, late 60's/early 70's and the Botham era. Botham would walk into any England but his private life might not bear scrutiny as the man hates water to drink. Gower too would i feel grace any era- again champers might be an obstacle....

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    @IndnCrktfan on (April 25 2012, 15:16 PM GMT) - Sorry , I don't actually see a problem with his answer but I have nothing against your wording either. Just one thing. Eng actually drew vs SL and even went out with a fairly convincing win. Think it would have been worse if we had won the 1st test then lost the 2nd test and then played/lost the Pak series afterwards. Still a bad tour in the main but better to lose 4 then win 1 than the other way around IMO. I actually think SA at home and India away are both equally winnable and both series where we could come unstuck. SA on paper - as we've said before - are awesome but it is in English conditions and SA aren't dominating teams as you'd imagine a team with their depth of talent would

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    @Shan156 on (April 25 2012, 15:12 PM GMT) Obviously players like Willis , Gower , Gooch and Boycott would be fair choices. If you are playing Willis in a 4 man bowling attack - presuming Botham and Swann are musts then Broad or Anderson have to make way and I prefer both players. If they changed formation and played a 5 man attack , Both,Swann,Broad,Jimmy,Bob - now you're cooking - turn it up! Re Strauss if he was to make way I'd say it would have to be for Gooch as I feel Cook and GB are too similar and would be too slow as a partnership. Also you'd lose Strauss's captaincy and I think Gooch's form around/pre that time wasn't that great either. I think we'll have to say it's a "selective reading" issue with those we refer to.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    @EdwinD on (April 25 2012, 14:49 PM GMT) Difficult to say. I'd say we have a better side than the 81 side for sure. Let's face it , if it were not for Botham and Willis we'd have lost the home series to Aus for sure. As for the 2005 side which beat Australia - well I'd say it was our best series win from the last 30 years+ but It's still a difficult one. I think you could toss a coin for most of the players but I feel the only 2 positions where I would definitely say one player was better than the other would be Swann and Prior being better than Giles and G Jones from the 2005 side

  • StatisticsRocks on April 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @JG: agree he was asked that question but the fact that he stated "Once we became the No. 1-rated Test team we talked about our legacy" thats what I am referring to. Once any team gets to #1 then next obvious thing is to sustain it before talking about Legacy, especially after losing to Pakistan and drawing with SL right after having comprehensively beating Ind to get to the top spot. You just reached the top only to get beaten by Pak and SL. He could have just said we need to keep winning on all kinds of pitches before we start talking about legacy, but the fact that the team talked abt legacy right after claiming the #1 spot is what, to me, seemed a bit premature. The true yeard stick for ENG is the series against SA and not necessarily against India and as I mentioned in my previous post I will not be surprised at all if Eng wins the series in India.

  • Shan156 on April 25, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @JG2704, Botham would walk into this side but what about Bob Willis? I think he would also definitely walk into the current XI. I would play Boycott or Gooch instead of Strauss too. Other than that, the current crop is better. I think people only remember the 1981 Ashes win but forget the defeats we suffered before and after that series. The 1981 team was a good one but not remotely great.

  • Shan156 on April 25, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    @JG2704, oh they can read alright. It is their hatred for England that is blinding them. I am not saying drawing a series at home to Aus is that bad but, obviously, a draw is not as good as a win and if you see England's performances at home where they have vanquished all comers since 2009, it is clear that SA's home record is not as good as England's in the last few years. I do admit their away record in the same period is better. So, how anyone can claim that SA is light years better than England is beyond me?

  • EdwinD on April 25, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    It is difficult to compare different eras - in comparing the England team of '81 remember that they 'only' lost 3 out of 9 tests to a great (in the true sense) WI side in the prior year..

    Anyway, moving to recent years, considering the quality of the opposition, I would say that the England Ashes team of 2005 is better than this England team...shame Jones, Tresthotick & Vaughan couldn't keep injury-free.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Back to the actual subject esp comparing the side from 1981 , I'd say that the only definite who would get into the 2012 side would be Botham.Boycott would be a probable. Gower would be a possible. Re Gooch - we must also remember that the 2nd part of his Eng career was much more fruitful than the 1st and I would take Swann,Broad,Jimmy over their counterparts every day. Often difficult to compare players from different eras as many players (as in any sport) are appreciated so much more when they're gone. I mean we have had decent players from the past few decades. I'd say Thorpe would get into the current Eng side and guys like Gough,Caddick and Fraser would be knocking hard. In terms of results it is the best England test side of recent times. Other arguments are purely subjective

  • on April 25, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    As a south african hope they win agains England, my perception is these other teams Fans are to cocky, Tey keep on saying how south africa doesnt win at home but they only lost agains two teams ever at home agains australia and England with the last series being drawn against these teams, but definetly no team is above another team, they all pretty even from no 1 to no 4/5

  • jmcilhinney on April 25, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    @Mervo on (April 24 2012, 22:24 PM GMT), that's applicable to KP and Trott but any other foreign-born players in the Test side came to England as children when their parents emigrated, not as cricketers looking for greener pastures. They were just people looking for greener pastures and they chose England, much as Usman Khawaja's parents chose Australia. Andrew Strauss even lived in Australia for 2 years before his parents moved to England, so he could just as easily have been playing for Australia. Of course, he does have an English-born parent, as does KP and Trott's family is all English back a generation. I'm sure there'd be plenty of people who would criticise if the SA-born Nick Compton was to play for England but I think that the fact that his grandfather was a great England Test cricketer may have been a factor in his having cricket talent.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @maddy20 Astonishing although very predictable that you guys are still coming on our (and maybe others threads) shouting the odds after what happened in Australia. Team India didn't even qualify for a Tri Nations final in your best format. And then there was the Asia cup where you didn't make the final in a 4 team tournament. Ironically Pakistan a team who some of your fans were slating as a bad OD side when Eng beat them won in and Bangladesh (a team who Eng were ridiculed for losing to in the WC) beat India on the on the way to the final. Don't forget India weren't losing away test series 4-0 up until last summer so records are there to be crushed. Yes Eng were poor in UAE and SL although we still drew that series. India have nowhere near as good a bowling attack as Pak. We expect a hard challenge in India - which by the way is not for a while and has nothing to do with this thread

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @Wefinishthis on (April 24 2012, 14:48 PM GMT) You talk about polite and respect from SA fans. Sorry but coming onto another teams thread just to say our team is better than yours is not respectful. If you read the article properly Jimmy says (when directly asked about legacy) he and this crop aim to be the best Eng side ever - not the best side ever. Even if we believe we have great players I don't recall any posts on this thread which say as much and I've certainly not seen any posts where Individual SA players have been graded at all. Actually just the one - where YOU are saying how great they are and how our players are just good.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    @Buggsy on (April 24 2012, 22:41 PM GMT) It's not even arrogance. If you are a player who believes in himself and his team and you're asked a direct question you're not going to answer it by saying "I think England can only go so far" and at no point is he saying they ARE the best Eng team ever and at no point is he comparing to other great teams.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    @IndnCrktfan on (April 24 2012, 23:39 PM GMT) Possibly is a bit premature but to be fair he was asked a direct question about legacy. Out of interest , how should he have answered the direct question?

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    @Shan156 on (April 25 2012, 05:47 AM GMT) I'm not going to say that drawing a series at home to Aus is that bad. I have full fear/respect of what both sides can do on their day. To be honest you always get people saying what they feel sounds right. One SA fan was saying that Eng are playing SA at home again. When I pointed out that the last series was in SA and in fact most of SA series from the last 2 or 3 years were at home (Engs was roughly 50/50) I had no response. Also (I think it was the same guy) said that we beat an ageing Indian side 4-0 compared to the younger side (6-8 months to be exact) that SA drew with. You see where I'm coming from. It's a shame that so many on here have the ability to type but not to read.

  • JG2704 on April 25, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    @Mervo on (April 24 2012, 22:24 PM GMT) Can understand with Trott and KP but they are the only 2 test players who didn't grow up in England. You can't really read anything into players who moved over at 6 and 11 as having any allegiances to SA?

  • on April 25, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    he truly said.. one of the best england teams.. they can never be overall greatest..

  • RandyOZ on April 25, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    @landl - welcome back mate, missed you during the entire Pakistan series.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 25, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    @Shan156, interesting mix there, though when you look at the overal win loss ratio of games, over the last 3 year england have a win loss ratio of 2.33, and SA is hovering around 1.25, almost half. Its difficult to comprehend how SA can be second, i suppose its the statistical nature of the calculation of the table.

  • Nair_saab on April 25, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    I think 87-95 team was a better batting unit & 2005 ashes team had better fast bowlers. But this team is best in fielding/overall fitness.plus Steven Finn should be given ample opportunities as i believe he could be the next big name among fast bowers.All the beat Jimmy...for the Indian tour as we Indian fans are not yet convinced about your abilities (same about Steyn before 2007-08 series)..

  • on April 25, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    the simple fact is that england and sa are the two best teams in the world and man to man its very difficult to predict which team is better.sa have easily the best pace attack in the world but have few question marks in batting like who will partner smith,their no 6 and wicketkeeping,but this will be negated by the fact that kallis,amla and di villers are at the prime of their career,ob the other hand england have just one spot to fill,the no 6 slot.

  • kpisthebest on April 25, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    I also see a few still saying the Anderson struggles away from home. First it was he can't perform in Aus but he did, next he can't perform in UAE but he did, ok the next target was he won't do well in SL yet he did. Where will it end up?? he can't perform in Bangladesh haha.

  • soumyas on April 25, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    provided all the cricket is played in england.

  • Shan156 on April 25, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    @JG2704, exactly. SA have drawn with India (of all teams) 1-1 home and away, drawn with England and Australia 1-1 at home, and, this is an absolute shocker, lost a test to SL at home even though they won the series. Their away performance is definitely better than England's - they won in Aus/Eng/NZ/WI, drawn in India and UAE, and lost in SL. England have won in Aus/NZ, drawn in SA and SL, and lost in India, UAE and WI. However, at home, England have beaten all other teams except SA while SA have drawn at home against Aus, Eng. and India. Personally, I feel that SA have better talent at their disposal than England do (except the spin department) but still we are rightly ranked #1. We won't be if we lose to SA (again, rightly so). May the better team win.

  • landl47 on April 25, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    This is already just about the best England team I can remember seeing, and my memory goes back to the 1950s. The England side of 1977, which beat the Australians 3-0 in England, was very good. Just a little before my time, the England side which beat the Australians 3-1 in Aus in 1954/5 was excellent. However, this side doesn't really have any weak links, beyond perhaps needing a genuine all-rounder batting #6. In saying that, this is a long way from being the best side from any country I've seen (and Anderson doesn't claim that). The WI sides of 1963-1966 and the late 1970s/1980s were better, the Aus sides of 1974/5 and the 1990s/2000s were better and the Pakistan side of the late 1980s/early1990s was better. The best side of all might have been the South African side of 1970, but the ban because of apartheid prevented them from playing after beating Australia 4-0. However, the next couple of years will clarify how good this England side is. It's going to be interesting to see.

  • on April 25, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Go Jimmy, my favourite English player! :)

  • kpisthebest on April 25, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Also this nice interview of Anderson has turned into a barrage of criticism over something that Anderson has never said. I don't see him saying we are immortals or we are one of the greatest sides ever. Anyway what is wrong in having a bit of ambition???

    Anderson has talked about so many other key points like his action being changed, how he learned to bowl the inswinger and many more. People though are just thinking about something which he has never said and is laughable. Fans just enjoy your cricket.

  • kpisthebest on April 25, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    2006? I thought ratings are based on the performance of the last 3 or so years and England are rightly ranked no.1. As I said you can't be no.1 if you're no good at home.

    As far as losing to WI is concerned it came at a time when England were in trouble because of Moores and KP fiasco. The same can be said about that England team which lost in 08 to SA as they weren't a good side. Let SA beat the current England's side and then we will see.

    As far as SA is concerned they don't have Ajmal to trouble England with spin. Quick bowlers won't worry the present lot much.

  • WickyRoy.paklover on April 25, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    I 'm not an english supporter at all bt honestly speaking MR.ANDRESON WAS being interviewd so he was supposd to answering,then what's bad about it?secondly he z among majr eng playrs n its natural that he wants his team to be flourshing n I m sure evry playr feels d same 4 his team,so no use of pointles,baseles debate.FINALY A GOOD NEWS FOR TOP TEAMS"any gd team can be at no.1 with little effort as poms struggle big time against spin,SA haven't been outsid hme,ind with below avrage bowlng pls losng dravid,aus gd bt nt great,sl strugling big big time, i Think Pak have best chance in cming few tours amng al teams

  • RandyOZ on April 25, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    One of the greatest England teams ever isn't saying much. Firstly it should be United XI, but England have never really had a dominant world side, and this side is no exception. You only have to look at their last 5 tests to see they have lost 4, including an embarassing whitewash to the lowly Pakistan. One of the greatest England teams ever might not be saying much, but surely this team is not even close to that!

  • maddy20 on April 25, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @Gmale You cannot bounce India out in India. Its not England. The ball will grip turn and cut across the bat viciously. No team has beaten us at home since 2003 and for a reason. It will be UAE all over again. The likes of Sehwag, Gambhir , Raina, VVS and Sachin become invincible when in India. The return of Yuvraj will add a left arm spin dimension to the attack and a valuable middle order batsmen rejuvenated by his biggest victory ever and don't expect Kohli will do you any favors. I wonder who will replace Dravid though. Pujara or Rahane? Who ever it is England will only find pain and sorrow of a clean sweep in November. Remember the 5-0 ODI clean sweep was only a taste of things to come!

  • Wefinishthis on April 24, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    My apologies for any confusion in my previous comment, I was trying to make a generic statement which is why I didn't mention the word "England" in the phrase "greatest team ever" and I also agree that the English media plays a big part in that more so than the players/staff etc.

  • StatisticsRocks on April 24, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    A very good interview from a very good test match. He is great at home but not so great elsewhere in the World. To talk about legacy so early, to me, is a bit premature. I did not expect from him. Unfortunately no one team is capable off dominating like the WI's of 70's and 80's or the Aussies did under Steve Waugh in the 90's. Eng will not win a series in the subcontinent as they proved in the recently concluded series against Pak and SL. Their best chance of winning in sub continent is later when they tour India as India is pathetic in bowling department. Now, India lacks a quality spinner who can run through the opposition like in the past. We all know how pathetic the fast bowling unit is except maybe ZaK. Further there is no WALL to take care of one end in batting department. I am looking forward to the SA-Eng series and I believe SA will win it.

  • Shan156 on April 24, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    @BowledYa, agreed that England were soundly beaten by a resurgent Pakistani side but you have to remember that you have to beat teams in their backyard before you could even call yourself one of the top teams in the world. England are #1 not just because they were thrashing teams at home (including your great Pakistan) but also because they put in some good performances away from home (3-1 victory in Aus. where Pakistan haven't won a test in a long, long time, and a credible 1-1 draw in SA, where Pakistan are yet to win a test series). Yes, we need to improve our performances in the sub-continent and till then we will only be considered a good side. You have always played well in England, have you? Please remind me the final scoreline of the last two test series between the two teams in England.

  • Buggsy on April 24, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    As much as I can't stand Anderson, I don't think there's any doubt that he's one of the best bowlers in the world and as such he's entitled to a little arrogance. Having said that the next 15 months is huge for them and will really test their mettle.

  • Mervo on April 24, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    I do understand the attempted rationalisations for some many foreign born players in the England team, but it really will always be the elephant in the room. Most nations have had a few every now and then, but there are just so many in the English team now and more on the sidelines. That is in some ways a reflection of the strength of the South African cricket base at the moment, that they go seeking placements elsewhere. I do feel sorry for young English-born players who can't get a look in.

    But hey, England have done well against Australia since the exit of a raft of truly great players, Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist and so on. They deserve their time in the "Ashes sun'. They really haven't troubled other nations much however, especially abroad. Time will tell.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    @Sab0teur on (April 24 2012, 21:09 PM GMT) 1 - If folk weren't coming onto these threads which is purely about England and not SA/Ind or any other side then Trickstar, myself and others would not even be mentioning SA. I think only one person has a valid argument related to this actual thread in debating how good the Eng side is in relation to previous Eng side. As it happens both what you type and what Trickstar typed are both true.Yes SA were red hot from 2006-08/9 but after that they have gone on a run of drawing most of the series they played , most of which were at home. Being that the ICC ratings are run on rolling form (I think it's 3 years) , unfortunately SA's form from 06-08 counts for nothing so the stats that we have produced are the ones that matter.If I am wrong about SA's results between 09-11 then please pull me on it.BTW the series before SA won in Eng Eng won in SA and the last 6 Eng/SA series are dead level , 2-2 with 2 draws - even tests are 8-8

  • Lmaotsetung on April 24, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    Only Botham and Gooch would walk into this current team imo...Gower too maybe. Give Prior a little more time...Cook is almost certainly going to break Gooch's test run record barring injuries and MASSIVE lost of form. KP already considered one of England's best. When it's all said and done Jimmy certainly will be up there with Willis. Broad and Bresnan may very well be the best #8 in the history of the game, only time will tell. Finn is already the fastest Englishman to 50 wickets....and he's only 23...and yes faster than that legend Botham. So can someone tell me how Jimmy Anderson is talking rubbish???

  • Lmaotsetung on April 24, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Relax people...Jimmy is comparing this team to other ENGLISH teams. Furthermore, he's talking about "POTENTIAL"....not actual. When you see the average age of the pace bowling unit and Cook being in his mid 20s and surely on his way to being the highest test run getter for an Englishman, don;t see why people think Jimmy is talking out of his derriere! Please go back to following the IPL. You people have to always see things that's not there about teams that you hardly even follow unless they are playing against your country. Stick to the IPL please.

  • SL_BiggestJoke on April 24, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    It's a good South African team.

  • Sab0teur on April 24, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @Trickstar- Since you want to talk about about "actual results", since the end of 2006, South Africa have lost just one test series, thats 1 loss in over 5 years. Also, not sure what you mean by "England handling them so easy". I seem to remember England hanging on to series draw by hanging on for a draw 9 wickets down in no less than 2 of the 4 tests. And the last team to beat England in England....thats right, South Africa. You might want to tone your rantings down with with the cold hard facts found in the history books

  • Shan156 on April 24, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    "we slipped up over the winter, there's no hiding from that. So there are bound to be questions about how we can play in the subcontinent. We still have a lot to prove, but we showed signs of improvement towards the back end of the Sri Lanka tour." "I see them as the strongest side we've played against since the Ashes" "Winning in India would be massive for us. " Jimmy admits that they didn't do well in the winter and they have to improve their record in the sub-continent. He is respectful of all the opposition teams; he says that Windies are not to be underestimated either. Maybe, I'm missing something in this article but please let me know where does Jimmy says anything rubbish or offensive. Specifically, where does he claim that England are the greatest team ever? If you can't find out, then admit that your posts were silly. cricinfo, please publish.

  • Shan156 on April 24, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    @Keshav21, seriously, can you read? Where did Anderson claim that England are the greatest team ever? He simply said that "they can be one of the greatest England teams ever", the key words here are "can, one of, and England". Since you obviously have trouble interpreting it, let me try to explain it in simple terms. Jimmy doesn't say that England are the greatest team ever - he says that England "can" become "one of" the greatest "England" teams ever. This is not arrogance - after all, everyone (you and me included, in our respective careers) would want to aim higher. Please people, just because you don't like England because they are #1, don't post inane comments. At least try to read the article properly before posting anything.

  • Shan156 on April 24, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @indiarox4ever, true, but you guys claim that about a team which lost 8 away tests in a stretch!

  • Ali_Chaudhary on April 24, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Not gonna happen Mr. Anderson. Since becoming No. 1 (that too after beating SL and Ind at home) you havent won a single Test Series. Lost 3-0 to a 6th ranked team. Drew 1-1 against a 6th ranked team. The best english team was that beat Pakistan in pakistan, Sl in SL, SA in SA Wi in WI. You are far away from that team. You even lost to WI last series who I think are the worst test side.

  • BowledYa on April 24, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    I need to get in here. England is not a world beater as was apparent by their thrashing at the hands of Pakistan, which is just now rebuilding its team after the 2010 fiascos. If Pakistan continues without much more disruption don't count them out as one of the top teams in the next 2-3 years. And, we have always played well overseas especially in England. Again, if Pakistan continues to solidify then we look forward to beating England in England whenever the next series is.

  • glance_to_leg on April 24, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    EdwinD, I am not sure I agree about the superiority of the England team in the 1980s. Dilley - bless the man - could bowl raw and fast, but I don't think he is as good consistently as most of the current crop; Hendrick was naggingly accurate, but never had any real pace. Willis was a fine bowler, full of heart, but would he actually have walked into the current team? Also I think it is a mistake to compare individuals; one has to look at the whole squad, the strength in depth. This England team is not great, but no England team I have ever watched has been great. I think this one would probably beat that of the 1980s. Certainly Swann is vastly better than Emburey, perhaps the most tedious off-break bowler ever, if a delightful chap.

  • Gmale on April 24, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Oye Jimmy, I wouldn't worry about India a bit. Bounce the top two, they dont have a 3 after Dravid, Bowl on leg stump to Sachin, York & Bounce VVS, line & length to their skipper and run the tail out 'coz their tail is too busy eating to practice any running...if Yuvraj makes it to the team bounce & swing him out, Kohli might resist but he wont have company too long at the other end. I would focus on SA & WI, WI esp if they field Gayle

  • disco_bob on April 24, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    England have already peaked at no. 1 and are on their way down as they currently split the mantle with SA

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 24, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    @Edwin: well, I sense we are just going to have to disagree in terms of comparing teams about different eras, hardly surprising given the amount of debate about that subject which cricket supporters engage in. I just think it's easy to forget how often the England teams of the 1980s and 1990s struggled, and to glamorise past eras. We remember Gooch, Dilley, Gower, Knott, Botham etc as great players but tend to forget the long periods during which they struggled. In suggesting the current Indian team is so much worse than that of the 1990s I think you are forgetting just how difficult India used to find it to win any test away from home. Do you think the typical 1990s England bowling attack of Cork, Tufnell, Malcolm and Fraser (say) better than the current bowlers? Do you believe that the likes of Kallis, Amla, de Villers, Ponting, Clarke and Hussey do not compare well with the likes of Michael Bevan, Greg Blewett, Darryl Cullinan and Hansie Cronje?

  • yorkshirematt on April 24, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    @Typical indian guy Did you ever watch england in the 90s or are you, as i suspect, too young to remember how shocking they were? Compared to then this england side does look like a world beater

  • voma on April 24, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    @Wefinishthis , seriously you should read the article completly before commenting on it ! Anderson did not say England are the best team ever , he actually said . He believes that this England squad , could be the best ever England team . I believe the guy is entitled to an opinion , dont u ? . @ EdwinD , come on mate . Seriously the England team in the 90s , had a few world class players . But could never field 11 , why the continuely failed to win back to back series . The team now is definetly as good as the team of 1981

  • yorkshirematt on April 24, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Note to indians aussies and saffers Anderson is saying this England side CAN be ONE OF the best ENGLAND sides ever. Not "we ARE the greatest team in the world ever." There is a difference.

  • The_boundary_lurker on April 24, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Oh, and @EdwinD, Knott and Dilley? Really?

  • brittop on April 24, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    @EdwinD: Gonna have to disagree with you. Your 8 from 1981 leaves places for Swann and 2 batsmen. No way is Hendrick getting into my team ahead of Anderson or Broad (or even Bresnan or Finn). Despite being a Graham Dilley fan, I don't think he gets in ahead of today's quicks. Also Cook instead of Boycott. Knott v Prior is a tricky one. Knotty was one of my first cricketing heroes, but it's his superior keeping v Prior's superior batting - not sure! (Bob Taylor actually played in the first four tests in 81, but we're obviously discounting him!). So that's Gooch, Cook, Gower, Pitersen, Bell, Botham, Knott/Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Willis. Not sure which quick drops out if we need two spinners, but Monty is probably the second spinner, since Emburey is also an off-spinner.

  • The_boundary_lurker on April 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    @ EdwinD, Botham AND Botham in this England team? An exciting prospect! Provided you can keep them from punching each other...

  • on April 24, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    aus best team: marsh,warner,watson,ponting,clarke,husey,wade,harris,siddle,hilfenhaus,lyon sa best team: smith,rudolph,amla,kallis,divillers,duminy,boucher,steyn,morkel,philander,tahir/botha ind best team: gambhir,sehwag,kohli,tendulkar,lakshman,r.sharma,dhoni,ashwin,zaheer,u.yadav,i. sharma/harbhajan(depending on pitch) sl best team: opener,dilshan,sanghakara,jayawardane,samaraweera,mathews,p.jayawardane,herath,welegedara,lakmal,d.prasad/randiv(depending on pitch) pak best team: taufeeq,hafeez,a.ali,younis,misbah,shafiq/u.akmal,k.akmal,gul,cheema,wahab/rehman(depending on pitch) eng best team: strauss,cook,trott,petersen,bell,bopara,prior,broad,swann,andreson,finn/panesor(depending on pitch) wi best team: gayle,(barath/simmons/k.edwards),sarwan,darren bravo,chandrapaul,(dwayne bravo/samuels/deonaraine/nash),(ramdin/baugh),f.edwards,roach,(rampaul/sammy),(naraine/shillingford,bishoo) nz best team: even new zealand's selectors dont know,how can i know??

  • YorkshirePudding on April 24, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    @stone-mason,, got my tickets to lords, and really looking forward to this summer against SA......@Wefinishthis, please learn to read, the article isnt about england being the Greatest team of all time, its about aspiring to be the greatest ENGLAND team of all time, and they still have a lot to do to beat the england team of the 1950's, which is arguably the best team England has ever produced, also it might interest you to know that the only people that have claimed this team is great, are the media, the players and management have never said any such thing.

  • mikey76 on April 24, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    The whole SA thing is getting really old too. Yes KP and Trott are south african, just like Allan Lamb and Robin Smith were south african. Its just back then nobody minded because we were losing, now we are No.1 the whole "born in SA" stick is being wielded. But its ok for Khawaja to play for Aus, or Tahir to play for SA, or Van Wyk to play for NZ. And just because you were born somewhere doesn't mean you're from that country. Colin Cowdrey was born in India, certainly didn't make him Indian!

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    @kpisthebest It just goes to show you mate, people will see and read whatever they want to. Looking at the comments you'd have thought he'd made some extraordinary claims but he hasn't, nothing of the sort, just talked about his career and where he wants this side to go in the future. The hate for England by some fans is seriously clouding there judgement, I suppose that's what it's all about when you're at the top of the tree, everyone wants to knock you down. If SA ever get there, they will get it, even though they seem to be flavor of the month atm.

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    @Wefinishthis It's good to see you've not read the article at all, where exactly is it printed that England are currently the best team ever, I'll answer for you, it isn't but obviously you'd rather come and read the comments page and talk rubbish instead. Just like your comment about Bell and Cook, you do know when Cook played against Warne and Co in 2006 Ashes, he was 22 and had just got into the side that year but yet still scored a ton against them in Aus, wow what a bunny. If you're looking for a bunny against Warne and Co, look no further than your mate Kallis, he was dire against that side averages 38 against them in 18 tests and on top of that he's absolute rubbish in English conditions, proper bunny in England averages 29 LOL. Still a great player he is, it just shows that even great players struggle against world class bowling.

  • Alexk400 on April 24, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    India need some TALL and STRONG pakistani fast bowlers to match up with england australia

  • kpisthebest on April 24, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    SA and no.1? They hardly win at home.You don't become no.1 if you can only win series against teams like SL, WI, Bang and NZ since beating OZ in 08/09.

    Also what is all this talk about English teams of the 80's? The present lot are better than them.

    Poor Anderson as looking at the comments one would think that he has said England are one of the greatest sides ever to have played the game!

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    @sandy_bangalore All the bases covered, really? but yet they still struggle to win series, honestly do people even take notice of how SA play or do they just look at the team sheet and think that looks the best. Cricket isn't played on a sheet and SA have massively under achieved with the players they've got at their disposal, they're mentally fragile, on top of that and their tactics are the defensive beyond belief. All this stops them becoming the best team or even the team they could be. When they come over to England later this year all that will be on display and they will be beaten and all this will be put to bed once and for all.

  • voma on April 24, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @Mervo , so Australia have never recruited foriegn born players then ? . I can name 2 to start with , wessels and Symmonds . The last 1 born in England , ha ha . After England have beaten West Indies AND South Africa , i personally can not wait till the next Ashes .

  • PuneetM on April 24, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Seriously??? and this coming from James Anderson who was hammered into submission in the world cup?

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Here we go again SA the team everyone talks up but how the hell did they go 3 years at home without winning a series, SL is there only win in all that time. People really do need to think before they go shouting ff about a team that really don't deserve praise at all. At the very least a top side should win at home, SA don't, it's as simple as that, they even lost against Australia at home, the side we beat twice in a row. Alright England lost against Pak but they went to SA and couldn't get beat by them in their own back yard, as well as the demolition job in Australia, beat NZ away a few years ago, add to that all the trouncings they've handed out at home, it's a joke to even bring SA into this, with their rubbish home record. People tend to look at the names on the team sheet instead of their actual results, all you have to do is look what tough time they had with India at home and then how England handled them so easily.

  • Wefinishthis on April 24, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    I agree with so many people on this thread. Great to hear some South African supporters get behind their team, you guys are too polite and respectful unlike some other supporters who talk up their players like they're either gods (I don't even need to mention their name) or that they're the greatest team ever (such as that claimed in this article). I guess I get a little annoyed hearing about how great merely good players such as Anderson are and only ever hear about how good these great players such as Kallis, Steyn and Philander are. Kallis and Steyn are going to be all-time greats whilst Philander is a superstar. If they were from any other team we would never hear the end of it from their fans! EdwinD - We can prove your point since many of the players in this England team such as Cook and Bell were bunnies against the great Australia team with McGrath and Warne.

  • EdwinD on April 24, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    AVDS - I would not say I have rose-tinted spectacles - in fact England don't have a huge amount of past success.However Botham, Boycott, Gooch, Gower, Botham, Willis, Dilley, Hendrick and Knott would get into this England team - that's my opinion - we're comparing English players here nothing else. I agree with TypicaklIndianGuy in that this English team is no better than that of the 90's...but the quality of other teams has degraded so much that England appear to be a lot better. That's not their fault though - they can only play who's in front of them. You just need to look at the current top teams (India, SA, Aus) - how many of them would get into their team of the 90's - I can only see Steyn, Sehwag, Dhoni as standouts....point is not many.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    @neo-galactico on (April 24 2012, 12:40 PM GMT) - I presume you are referring to my comment and no it is not bogus - because that was the result - and it was a strong point of view which I had. I said it at the time and all I got was one of your fans defending Smith because you had won the series. Then later the same fan booed because he said SA deserved number 1 status. Sorry but setting a team of NZ's strength 387 does not strike me as ambitious captaincy when you have the self proclaimed best bowling attack in the world and when a win would have taken you to number 1. Look at Clarke in WI - he declared when behind because he backed his bowlers and it earnt Aus a win which looked highly improbable going into the latter stages of the test.And you only deserve to be number 1 if your players convert their talent into results otherwise we can say that India didn't deserve to lose 4-0 to Eng and Aus if we're talking about individual talent deserving results

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    @stone-mason on (April 24 2012, 11:39 AM GMT) Good , honest statement. Re away from home , I'd certainly say you were less vulnerable in SC than England but still wouldn't say you were outright the best but it is your home form which has let you down more. I too look forward to a hard fought series and may the best team win

  • AdrianVanDenStael on April 24, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    @anuradha_d: I agree that Mr Dobell said some things about England being one of the best teams ever which seem ridiculous in retrospect. However, if he has tried to get Anderson to say the same thing here he hasn't been very successful. All Anderson has suggested, not unreasonably, is that he aspires to be part of a team that will be regarded as among England's best ever. I think people, e.g. dsig3/EdwinD/Mervo, who ridicule that must have a somewhat exaggerated assessment of England's past success. How often in living memory have England had the best test team in the world? In the late 1920s, perhaps the mid-1950s, perhaps around 1970, and that's probably it. When Edwin says 'I can only think of Swann, Cook and possibly Pieterson who would get into the England '81 Ashes team' you are looking at the past through rose-tinted spectacles. Either side of that summer that England team lost away in India, the West Indies (who regularly thrashed England), and indeed just about everyone else.

  • rahulcricket007 on April 24, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    @S JAGERNATH . INDIAN PITCHES DOESN'T TURN THESE DAYS AS THEY WERE USED TO IN THE 1990S . INDIAN PITCHES ARE FLAT . THEY TURN ONLY ON LAST DAY(WITH EXCPEPTION OF CHEPAUK & KANPUR) . ALSO ENGLAND 'S TEST VENEUES ARE MOHALI , NAGPUR , BANGALORE , AHEMDABAD . OUT OF THESE FOUR VENUES MOHALI & BANGLAORE PITCHES HELPS SEAMERS MORE . I AM PREETY DISAPPOINTED BY BCCI 'S TEST VENUES SELECTION . THEY SHOULD HAVE USED HOME ADAVNTAGE . THE TEST VENUES IN MY OPININONS SHOULD BE CHENNAI , KOLKATA , KANPUR , DELHI . THESE ARE THE REAL DUSTBOWLS OF INDIA .

  • on April 24, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Jimmy and Swanny, crickets Hoddle and Waddle, massive!

  • on April 24, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    The issue is that players in the current England side are talking about their 'legacy' in the first place, they should let the results speak for themselves.

  • on April 24, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    sorry folks these are just claims the loss against Pak just speaks volume about where the team stands, you got a long way to go..

  • neo-galactico on April 24, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    The comment on SA drawing the last test against Nz is bogus and unwarranted, SA had the chace to win that game by failed because of uncharacteristic drop catches and a dubious call when 'wondrekid' Williamson had been cleanly caught. And so this constant bashing of Smith's captaincy is unfair, although he can be more adventurous with his captaincy to simply label him conservatative is over simplication of the matter. Yes SA have probably the best team 'on paper' but the players are scarcely in form at the same time and they still frusrate at crucial moments, hopefully that'll be rectified soon because we deserve to be top of the rankings with the kind of players we have and talent that cannot make the team. And FYI there is NO quota system in the team, the best players get to the team and those who leave for pastures new do so for their own accord and they refuse to win national caps by the taking wickets or making runs in domestic cricket.

  • Chris_P on April 24, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    What's wrong with some of you people? I can't see anything wrong with a representative player who is proud and good enough to play for his country from having ambitions. He has earned the right to have his opinion aired, unlike all of the armchair critics. What do you people want him to say, "We are hopeless and we want to go out to be cannon fodder for every one else" Grow up use your brains, guys.

  • shillingsworth on April 24, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    @Mervo - England do not 'recruit' players. Pietersen and Trott decided to move to England with no guarantee that they would make it in county cricket, let alone play for England. The choice was theirs. Of course you can argue that they learnt the game in South Africa but county cricket can surely take much of the credit for their development into international players. As for your statement 'so few English developed players in their squad', some players may have been born outside the UK but, since they have lived here from an early age and played no representative cricket in their country of birth, it is nonsensical. Khawaja and Symonds are Australian developed, just as Prior, Dernbach, Strauss and Meaker are English developed.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    Re the number 1 tag - please people tell my why SA (who have drawn most of their recent series and most played at home) deserve it more than England? SA are number 2 in the ICC rankings and their results have been more solid than spectacular. In fact if you take away the Eng home defeat Australia are probably as /if not more deserving on recent form. You could even say Pak , by beating Eng deserve the tag. Anyway SA play Eng and should they trounce us as predicted by many they prove themselves to be the better side. If they don't win then England deservedly remain number 1 until SA or Aus knock us off

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @Sirchris on (April 24 2012, 09:31 AM GMT) So you're proud of all the drawn series. If SA are so much better than Eng why aren't their results backing it all up ? And if SA's bowling attck is this steamrolling machine you all make them out to be then how come on your own turf and in your own conditions you could not defend a 300+ lead against Australia? And how come when you had a 3 match series vs India you only drew 1-1 at home when in the following 12 months Eng and Aus both whipped India 4-0? Yes England's batting was pathetic for the who UAE test series and in the 1st SL test but at least we recognise our faults/problems.. By the way I am hugely respectful of SA as a cricketing nation and I expect a really tough , close fought series as they always are between the 2 sides. I'm just pointing out a few home truths to people who are saying they are so superior to England.

  • stone-mason on April 24, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    @ Wefinishthis & YorkshirePudding. Rest assured lads as other Saffers stated. 1. We are proud. 2. We are competitive. 3. We have been underperforming at times (Sometimes rub-of-the-green) in not securing as much wins as we should. 4. We are well balanced. 5. We are bleeding-in new talent. 5. We are motivated. 6. We are hungry. 7. We are currently the best away from home. 8. we are acustomed to English conditions. 9. We are level on points as Eng and 10. WE ARE COMING to applying our trade in Eng, having fun, expressing ourselves, playing as a unit and along the way, take what is ours. (Fruits of the harvest from our labour - It's biblical to reap what you sow) Thanks for winning the last test in Sri Lanka boys - you left us with decent motivation to TAKE as oppose to receive, ist that what its all about?

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @EdwinD on (April 24 2012, 09:46 AM GMT) Fair points re different eras. I'd say Prior would get in the 81 Ashes team there due to his batting and Broad or Anderson could get in there as a bowlers but it is really tough to compare eras. All Jimmy and team can do is try to be the best they can and make England the best they can.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @Mervo on (April 24 2012, 09:54 AM GMT) Name a better achieving Eng side from the past 40 years

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    @ Sirchris on (April 24 2012, 10:25 AM GMT) It tells me that England badly underperformed with the bat and deservedly lost those 4 tests. My response was to someone who was saying that if it wasn't for one big inns from KP we'd have suffered a double whitewash. The fact is we would have suffered a double whitewash if it were not for the KP inns but if I wanted to put a different spin on things we'd have done much better had any of our batsmen put in performances in UAE. Eng lost the 2 series 4-1 in total and that was that. We can all put different spins on things to make things seem worse or better. Had that person not made that comment I would not even have made mine

  • karthik_raja on April 24, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @JG2704.. India were not #1 when lost 4-0. Get ur facts right. Ind lost only 2 matches as 1st ranked team. They were in 3rd position when they lost the fourth Test. Bt, it was only Eng which got whitewashed immediately after their numero uno status.. Ind lost to one of the top ranked team, unlike Eng.

  • Sirchris on April 24, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @JG2704 You said "If Engs batsmen had performed half as well as they did for the last 2 years in the tests we lost we'd have won 3 of those 4 tests" But they didn't, did they. So what does that actually tell you?

  • anuradha_d on April 24, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Mr. Dobell decalred this English side as amongst the best in the history of the game...... and now he is manipulating Anderson into saying something similar.....

    how about setting more rational objectives.....such as "not the worst team in the history to have travelled the subcontinent".......

  • Mervo on April 24, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Greatest English team ever? Give us a break. They are nowhere near that with so many recruits from South Africa. I know that some will claim that English teams always did that. perhaps they had to also, but not as many as now. So few English developed players in their squad put this claim out of context. In terms of 'great' players - Cook may make the grade, but really none of the bowlers will ever exceed 400 wickets with the exception of the durable Anderson.

  • EdwinD on April 24, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Although JA can't do anything about it, it's worth remembering that the general standard these days is not as it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Imo this current England team would have been beaten by the WI of the 80's, or the Australians/South African's/Pakistanis of the 90's.

    As for the best England team, again just my opinion but I can only think of Swann, Cook and possibly Pieterson who would get into the England '81 Ashes team....I'm not old enough to comment prior to the 70's!

  • Sirchris on April 24, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    @ gimme-a-greentop Well said! Us Saffers are all out there and are tremendously proud of how our team has progressed over the last couple of years. This year's England-SA series is going to be an absolute cracker!

  • WickyRoy.paklover on April 24, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Me 4rm pak. I would say one thing ,poms have got huge talent in terms of pace bowlng beside a good spiner(perhaps not as good as his quick felows) bt i thnk S.a are a team to beat Nowadays as they hav most balancd combinatn bt I can assure u "PROTEAS",IF PAK CAN'T BEAT U THEN THEY WOULD NOT LET U WIN AS WELL

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Predictable amount of dire comms here. This is what Jimmy said when DIRECTLY ASKED A QUESTION ABOUT ENGLAND'S LEGACY - "We want to be one of the greatest England teams there has ever been, and we honestly feel we have the potential in the dressing room to achieve that " - My I ask where he actually says "WE WILL BE...."? And maybe some of these folk can name a better Eng side from the last 30-40 years as he is only saying the best England side and not the best side across all countries?

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @ sandy_bangalore - So I ask you to show me that apart from the Pak series in UAE - where exactly SA's record betters Engs vs common opponents in the last 2 years

  • YorkshirePudding on April 24, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @gimme-a-greentop, Steyn is a once in a generation bowler and that will make him one of the greats. Jimmy will be one of the great England fast bowlers, and among the best of his and Steyns generation, the question isnt so much Steyn or Anderson, its more Morkel/Anderson at the moment. Philander, Pattinson, and Cummins may well add to that argument but they are still relatively new on the scene, and have yet to play around the world, though Philander looks the real deal, im waiting until hes been to the sub-continent.

  • Selassie-I on April 24, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Interesting to see how many people seem to be assuming that Jimmy has said that this is "the greatest team ever" etc. when he hasn't, he has said that it is their aim, and if that is not their aim, what should it be? Surely that should be the aim of every team? as to comments of England being 'whipped' away from home from certain Aussies, memories must run short in the Antipodies... I seem to remember a few innings victories in our last tour down under, although it was late at night here so i might have been dreaming. We did lose to pakistan horribly although the matches were contested despite our batting failures... not complete one sided innings victories. Also we drew in SL in very testing 40+C tempreatures, not bad when it barely gets above 30 in blighty.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Typicalindianguy on (April 24 2012, 05:13 AM GMT) They actually talk about being the best ENG team of all time not THE best team of all time.Also you mention about us losing all 5 tests in SC if it wasn't for KPs heroics. How about this. If Engs batsmen had performed half as well as they did for the last 2 years in the tests we lost we'd have won 3 of those 4 tests. It works both ways

  • YorkshirePudding on April 24, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @jackiethepen, spot on with the analysis about the state of the game, its going to be very interesting for the next 3-4 years with teams struggling outside of thier comfort zones, anyone of the top 5 teams can beat the other.....India struggled in England and Aus, England struggled in the Sub con, SA struggle at home, Australia and Windies are rebuilding and the later is rife with internal politics, SL are struggling to find a replacement for Murali, Pakistan cant play at home and lack batting strength, NZ Bangladesh and dont get enough cricket home or away, and Zimbabwe is returning to the fold after a few years.

  • on April 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    You'll never equal Glenn McGrath...

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @indiarox4ever - for 1 the WC was in different conditions than Aus. 2 , Aus actually beat us 6-1 in the ODI series 3, LOL at an Indian fan giving the " rapidly deteriorating team" to ANY other international side. 4 - India were number 1 when they lost 4-0 in a series and weren't even vaguely competitive in England. At least Eng made 3 of the 4 tests they lost competitive

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @ Wefinishthis on (April 24 2012, 05:36 AM GMT) SA aren't even number 1 yet and Eng are number 1 by the smallest of margins after the decimal point. If Smith's captaincy had been a little more ambitious in the 3rd test vs NZ (taking a note from Clarke vs WI) then they'd likely be number 1 right now. Fact is that despite Eng having a rep for playing more home tests SA have played 5 of the last 7 series at home and only won 3 of the last 7 and only one of those (a 4 test home series vs WI 2-0) by more than a solitary test. They did better vs Pak in UAE than Eng but apart from that Eng trump/beat SA on head to head results vs all common opponents from the last 2 years. The truth is that while SA on paper may have a better side they draw too many series or only eke out series by solitary tests. Basically they underperform

  • Tigg on April 24, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    The only thing the saffers lack is a quality spinner. They will be a huge test.

  • S.Jagernath on April 24, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    They are on their way to becoming one of the greatest bowling sides ever already.Once they fire in India,they will have proved their quality as bowlers.The batsmen need to produce more quality innings on turners though.Its going to get better,Indian pitches will turn but the spin bowlers are not as dangerous as Ajmal & Rehman are on spinning surfaces.Their 1st task is to survive the attack of Dale Steyn,Morne Morkel & Vernon Philander.Expecting S.A to go there & hurt England.

  • JG2704 on April 24, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @dsig3 on (April 24 2012, 04:10 AM GMT) Jimmy is saying what he wants the England side to achieve and believes he/they can. He won't look silly by saying what he believes England can achieve in response to a question broaching that subject which was just a small part of the interview

  • gimme-a-greentop on April 24, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @ Wefinishthis and jmcilhinney...You guys missed the posts on the SA vs NZ series..there where plenty of SA supporters indulging in a lot of rhetoric posting, I know because I was one of them ! We are enormously proud our team, but have been through this Jimmy vs Steyn debate before and I think it's time to just wait and see what happens in the upcoming series while continuing to enjoy the relative merits of both bowlers...

  • sandy_bangalore on April 24, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    As an Indian fan, i completely agree with Wefinishthis. SA have got a world beating sde, and have their bases covered in every single department. In fact, a SA B team would give every team a good game! Unlike England, they have players like AB and Kallis and Amla who are among the finest players of spin in the world! Unlik India, they produce pacers by the dozen. And unlike Aus and Pak, they have a strong top order.

  • jackiethepen on April 24, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    When Australia and the West Indies were dominating cricket I don't think there were such good teams around as rivals. Sri Lanka only started playing Test cricket 30 years ago and now they are a world class side. India have gone from strength to strength over the last 50 years. England were pretty poor until Hussain became captain. South Africa were outlawed from world cricket. Pakistan seem to possess any number of talented players now benefiting from the spread of cricket. This lack of any dominating power seems to me to be excellent for the game. England will have to look to their laurels. But Jimmy is a phenomenal bowler and surely at the height of his powers? I am surprised he isn't playing T20 for England. At the same time he might pick up more injuries playing all 3 forms of the game. Look at Broad.

  • AdamB on April 24, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Firstly, he is in the number one team by their own right. Whether they are the best team or not will be seen later in the summer (I believe not). And the guy was asked a question about future legacy. Of course he talked about legacy! If you read closely (the article, not just the headline), you will see that he is talking about the team's goals and potential, not that the team is the best team in the world now.

    @dsig3 your quote is just reinforcing the fact that they're trying to plan ahead. Many teams have gotten to the top and gotten complacent recently (unfortunately for me it seems this includes England), and 'talking about our legacy' was referring to pushing on from there.

  • KennytheLeggie on April 24, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @TypicalIndianguy Why do people keep bringing up the issue of players born in other countries playing for England? Players from other countries have been playing for England for over 100 years! And would you prefer professional sportsman to answer when asked 'no, we wont be unbeatable or world champions'. If you never aim for the impossible, you never progress.

  • on April 24, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Greatest side ever??? quite interesting...!!! I bet England will not be no 1 by then end of this year...!!!

  • jmcilhinney on April 24, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    I swear that there must be a whole bunch of people sitting around at their keyboards just waiting for a story to appear so that they can criticise. I wonder how many people actually read the story properly. @Typicalindianguy, can you show me where he talks about being unbeatable or world champs? @Kolpak1989, can you show me where he talks about England being immortals? Talk about putting words in his mouth. You guys just criticise him for saying things that you just made up yourselves. @Wefinishthis, maybe the SA fans are able to be proud of their team without posting a bunch of rhetoric on a web site. Nothing we post makes any difference to results on the field. By the way, England are #1 in their own right because their points have been rounded down and SA's rounded up. @dsig3, who are you to say what they can can talk about and not? Must he think only about bowling 24-7? He was asked a question by a journalist. Should he have just said "no comment"?

  • Aussasinator on April 24, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    He's's living in fool's paradise. England gets whipped away from home. The No. 1 tag sits quite underservingly at the moment and should vanish soon. And Anderson had better watch out for some Aussie revenge from Warner and Clarke during the Ashes forthcoming.

  • Keshav21 on April 24, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    I am not sure how he can call this team as best ever team. They lost 3-0 against Pakistan and they just equal the series in Srilanka that too because of KP. MR. Jimmy you need to win all over the world to call yourself like that just like Australia in 90's and West indies in 80's.

  • Kolpak1989 on April 24, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Bit arrogant talking about themselves as immortals already isn't it? These are the blokes who just got thumped by the number 5 side in the world!

  • on April 24, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    windies ,have a chance of becoming a next grt team in this world!!! they just need some more time and have to travel arround the world !!!! there are many talents who are not a part of national side!!!!!

  • Wefinishthis on April 24, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    This is laughable. They're not even no.1 in their own right at the moment, being equal first with South Africa. The question should be about Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander and whether or not this could be the greatest South African side of all time and how long their reign at no.1 will be. I can't see anyone beating them in a series for a long time. As an Aussie supporter, I don't understand where all the SA fans are on cricinfo. They have the 2 best bowlers in the world as well as 2 of the best 4 batsmen and no real weaknesses other than perhaps their spin bowling or keeping. The SA fans need to speak up, they have a lot to be proud of!

  • indiarox4ever on April 24, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    What went wrong at the world cup? Simple--England was not playing in England or against a rapidly deteriorating team like Australia. Anderson is dreaming. The 'best ever' teams lose matches once in a while, not 4 at a stretch.

  • Typicalindianguy on April 24, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    It looks funny when England players talk like they will be unbeatable or worl champs or best England team ever.... I dont see present team anywhere closer to your 90's. But you can say far better team in last decade. If not Pieterson (SA) heroics in srilanka, u register no win in sub continent in last test match season. I bet England ( with no SA or Irish) have to sweat for a win even against Afghanistan or Bangladesh on sub continent pitches. Mr. Anderson, your matrix will not executed here, LONG WAY TO GO.

  • dsig3 on April 24, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - Jimmy says "Once we became the No. 1-rated Test team we talked about our legacy" - Nuff said

  • YorkshirePudding on April 24, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    A good interview, especially about his changed action and it serves as a warning about trying to alter a players natural ability simply because a coach believes its bad.....@dsig3, did you even read the entire article or just base it on the headline. Anderson is talking about a legacy for england, so the #1 status and length of time its held is largely irrelavant on that front, every generation of cricketers leaves a legacy of some sort, good or bad.

  • dsig3 on April 24, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Jimmy, if I were you mate I would just focus on playing good cricket and forget about legacies. You may not even be No.1 by next year and these comments will really make you look silly. Start talking about legacies when you have held the spot for 5-10 years champ.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • dsig3 on April 24, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Jimmy, if I were you mate I would just focus on playing good cricket and forget about legacies. You may not even be No.1 by next year and these comments will really make you look silly. Start talking about legacies when you have held the spot for 5-10 years champ.

  • YorkshirePudding on April 24, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    A good interview, especially about his changed action and it serves as a warning about trying to alter a players natural ability simply because a coach believes its bad.....@dsig3, did you even read the entire article or just base it on the headline. Anderson is talking about a legacy for england, so the #1 status and length of time its held is largely irrelavant on that front, every generation of cricketers leaves a legacy of some sort, good or bad.

  • dsig3 on April 24, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - Jimmy says "Once we became the No. 1-rated Test team we talked about our legacy" - Nuff said

  • Typicalindianguy on April 24, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    It looks funny when England players talk like they will be unbeatable or worl champs or best England team ever.... I dont see present team anywhere closer to your 90's. But you can say far better team in last decade. If not Pieterson (SA) heroics in srilanka, u register no win in sub continent in last test match season. I bet England ( with no SA or Irish) have to sweat for a win even against Afghanistan or Bangladesh on sub continent pitches. Mr. Anderson, your matrix will not executed here, LONG WAY TO GO.

  • indiarox4ever on April 24, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    What went wrong at the world cup? Simple--England was not playing in England or against a rapidly deteriorating team like Australia. Anderson is dreaming. The 'best ever' teams lose matches once in a while, not 4 at a stretch.

  • Wefinishthis on April 24, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    This is laughable. They're not even no.1 in their own right at the moment, being equal first with South Africa. The question should be about Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander and whether or not this could be the greatest South African side of all time and how long their reign at no.1 will be. I can't see anyone beating them in a series for a long time. As an Aussie supporter, I don't understand where all the SA fans are on cricinfo. They have the 2 best bowlers in the world as well as 2 of the best 4 batsmen and no real weaknesses other than perhaps their spin bowling or keeping. The SA fans need to speak up, they have a lot to be proud of!

  • on April 24, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    windies ,have a chance of becoming a next grt team in this world!!! they just need some more time and have to travel arround the world !!!! there are many talents who are not a part of national side!!!!!

  • Kolpak1989 on April 24, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Bit arrogant talking about themselves as immortals already isn't it? These are the blokes who just got thumped by the number 5 side in the world!

  • Keshav21 on April 24, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    I am not sure how he can call this team as best ever team. They lost 3-0 against Pakistan and they just equal the series in Srilanka that too because of KP. MR. Jimmy you need to win all over the world to call yourself like that just like Australia in 90's and West indies in 80's.

  • Aussasinator on April 24, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    He's's living in fool's paradise. England gets whipped away from home. The No. 1 tag sits quite underservingly at the moment and should vanish soon. And Anderson had better watch out for some Aussie revenge from Warner and Clarke during the Ashes forthcoming.