Mark Nicholas
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Former Hampshire batsman; host of Channel 9's cricket coverage

England v NZ, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day

Anderson's magic not to be missed

None of the other three England bowlers with 300 Test wickets - or many other of the game's finest swing merchants - could have bowled better than James Anderson at Lord's

Mark Nicholas

May 19, 2013

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

James Anderson is delighted after picking up the wicket of Ross Taylor, England v New Zealand, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day, May 17, 2013
James Anderson's career has not been a smooth upward graph from the start, but he has matured into a bowler capable of wonderful feats © Getty Images
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Consecutive balls to Dean Brownlie at Lord's on Sunday afternoon crystallised James Anderson's brilliance. The first swung in and zipped past the inside edge; the second swung away, found the outside edge and was comfortably held low at slip. Both were delivered at a lively 83mph, both were perfectly pitched in that place Geoffrey Boycott once christened the corridor of uncertainty, and both had the seam positioned upright and threatening.

All in a day's work or a mind-blowing talent? It depends on your take, the answer is to try it. Go bowl a ball that fast, land it where you aim to and swing it one way, never mind two. Believe me, it is extremely difficult.

How well we remember the Burnley boy's debut on this very same Lord's ground ten years ago. That skunk hair variously coloured red, white and blue; the Mediterranean look with its five o'clock shadow; the mistrusting eyes and the quiet responses to innocent questions all combining to confuse our first impression. At once showman on the field and shy off it. But he could bowl, we knew that immediately. We thrilled at the late outswing while forensically analysing the idiosyncratic head position at the point of delivery. And we salivated because a star was born.

For those of us involved with Channel 4's television coverage of the time, Anderson was the cause of deep embarrassment. During the early part of that summer, commerce dictated that we came off air at 6pm - the soap Hollyoaks I think, or The Simpsons, was the programmers' darling. Jimmy took his first Test wicket at five minutes past the hour. All hell let loose - "Bring back the BBC" was the cry. We got it sorted in the end but the boy-wonder moment was never anything more than a replay.

Now, almost a decade on, we dare not miss a ball. There is a magic about him, a looseness to his talent that rewards the eye. For a while, the coaches tried to iron out the idiosyncrasies but leopards and spots and all that, so they went back to letting him be who he is.

From that point, the wickets have come in a rush: 305 of them now and only three Englishmen have more. Two of them, Fred Trueman and Ian Botham, had the same sort of magic, best illustrated in their ability to outwit the great players of the age. Bob Willis relied more on sweat and blood and bursts of such ferocity that he became irresistible. They were the comic-book heroes of their time. Anderson is a PlayStation salesman's dream.

Fred's girl married Raquel Welch's son, though not for long - "not as long as my run-up as it 'appened." Fred liked it while it lasted, being a regular in the court of Raquel. Beefy attempted to conquer the world and has come close enough to receive the Queen's approval with a knighthood. Bob sank into verses of Dylan and hours of Wagner. Jimmy appeared naked in Attitude, the biggest selling gay magazine in Britain. It takes all sorts to collect 300 wickets for England.

None of the first three to the landmark could have bowled any more beautifully than Anderson bowled in this match. Nor could Malcolm Marshall or Dennis Lillee or anyone else you care to name. At his best, Anderson glides to the wicket and then, with feline agility, gathers himself to deliver and strike. Like Marshall, the wrist is the key along with commitment to the idea.

 
 
We dare not miss a ball when Anderson is bowling. There is a magic about him, a looseness to his talent that rewards the eye
 

Few people have ever truly mastered swing in both directions. Usually, one way suffers in the pursuit of the other. Once Marshall collared the inswinger for example, he tended to shape the ball out rather than hoop it. It was much harder to bat against, even though his pace had throttled back by then. Anderson has developed in much the same fashion but because he was never super quick like Marshall, his pace hasn't changed much. Come to think of it, any suspicion that he had lost a yard can be put to bed.

The greatest gift given to these bowlers of swing is the lateness of the movement. The ball appears gun-barrel straight until the batsman sets himself to play and then, whoosh, it's gone. The deliveries to Brownlie were good examples of this. The latest swing comes with an old ball and the skill to reverse it. Think Wasim and Waqar throughout their careers and Andrew Flintoff against the Australians in 2005.

Anderson is a superb practitioner of reverse swing - his talents are broad church as he proved in India recently - but his orthodox methods are ideal for conditions at home. His innate ability to make the ball spit from the surface allows the movement to appear quicker than it actually is. This is a nightmare for opponents, who feel for the ball, afraid of its powers. Again, the two to Brownlie were examples of this. Marshall might just as well have been the bowler.

So there you have it - James Anderson, the real deal. Think what he has mastered: swing and seam, wobble seam (don't laugh, there is such a thing and it works; It means not keeping the seam upright and not canting it in either direction, such as when Stuart Broad produced the ball to knock over Hamish Rutherford) reverse swing, changes of pace, slower balls, Test-match stamina, one-day cricket flexibility, the list goes on.

He can bat - witness the match-saver against Australia in Cardiff in 2009 - and he fields magnificently well in pretty much any position (though he dropped a dolly at slip in New Zealand's second innings). Anderson has become the talisman of this team, the leader of the fast attack, the go-to man for the captain. Jimmy the Burnley boy, once usurped by Hollyoaks - or Homer was it? - yes, Jimmy done good.

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

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Posted by Shan156 on (May 22, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

@Yasar Khan, Agreed. I too admire Kapil considering that he was a good allrounder, a WC winning captain, and the only Indian captain to win a test series away from home by a two test margin (England - 1986). India also drew a test series in Aus. under his captaincy in 1985-1986. Kapil Dev deserves full respect for leading a weak attack superbly for several years. I remember his 9/83 against WI in Ahmedabad (1982-1983). Though he overbowled and India lost the match, that was a superb exhibition of bowling. At a time when most teams (definitely England) were getting thrashed by the mighty Windies home and away, Kapil (along with Gavaskar and Amarnath) provided some resistance. My post was a reply to @maddy20 that stats-wise, JA is not too far behind Kapil. As a bowler, of course. At the end of the day, we could all enjoy fine seam bowling regardless of nationality instead of arguing over trivial matters like who is better.

Posted by   on (May 22, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

OMG I cant belive that Jimmy cross 300. I still remember when he start his career me and my friend nady thought that this kid is not enough talent but now i am the big admirer of Jimmy. the presentation of swing is the real art and Jimmy is the master. those who left handed batsman he come round the wicket ball just comes in and then move in to slip region. Mind blowing ball that he produce so ma y time and dismiss so many good batsman around the world....

Posted by   on (May 22, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Let us not forget Kapil Dev did end up scoring 5000 Test runs and there was a small matter of captaining his country to a WC win in England. Anderson is a treat to watch no doubt but compare Kapil and Jimmy at their best and you might have no winners or losers for that matter.

Posted by Shan156 on (May 21, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

@Amir Jafri, does it need to be mentioned? Wasim Akram is the greatest left arm paceman in history. Some Indian fans had the gall to mention Zaheer in the same breath as Wasim and these are the same fans who have come out in full force against comparing Jimmy to Steyn. In fact, the gulf between Wasim and Zaheer is wider than the one between Steyn and Jimmy.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

Jimmy is a high quality fast bowler. Definitely the most skillful bowler on the scene right now. Generally English bowlers struggle outside of their backyard but Anderson bowled well in India in the recent series. I think there is till ways to go before we start comparing him to Marshall, Wasim, Waqar, etc. However, I am sure he will leave a legacy behind. And he is certainly the best bowler England has produced in a while.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Jimmy Anderson is arguably the second best pacer among the current ones, a distant second to some Dale Steyn. He is a very good pacer but not great. And for Gods sake, please do not bring Marshal into this comparison. If England wins the second test somebody may compare Bell with Sir Viv.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Amazing as Jimmy's talent is, I was surprised Wasim Akram's command of the yo-yo didn't even merit a mention in this gallery of swing greats.

Posted by 5wombats on (May 21, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

@maddy20 on (May 21, 2013, 0:31 GMT) As ever - a wonderfully rounded and relevent post from you. While you have taken the trouble to come on here to thrash Anderson we took the trouble to look up India bowlers performances in the recent India V England test series in India. In reality Andersons series average of 30 in that series is only bettered by one Indian - Yadav who played one Test and took 4 wickets at 21. All other Indian bowlers - playing on "designer" doctored pitches specifically for spin bowlers had worse series averages thatn Jimmy Anderson. So either Anderson is a good bowler on spinning pitches - or Indian spin bowlers are poor on spinning pitches. Which is it? Still crowing about what happened 6 years ago, eh? If you are going to try to score points here on an England forum all that is going to happen is that you are going to be reminded what England did to India 6 months ago. And BTW aren't India touring SA and England in the next year or so -? Oh dear oh dear......

Posted by Shan156 on (May 21, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, excellent post and I have the same thoughts. Eng. fans don't care if he is the best in the business. We enjoy watching him play and he gets us the results more often than not. Seriously, if these so-called 'fans' cannot enjoy a great exhibition of swing bowling by Jimmy, then these people are not really 'fans'. It is akin to someone not enjoying a masterclass in batting by Sachin and instead comparing his batting average to the likes of Kallis or Sangakkara. Kallis is a great and so is Sachin. Steyn is a great, may be the best but that doesn't mean Jimmy is poor. He is a very good bowler in his own right.

Posted by Shan156 on (May 21, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

continued from previous post, @maddy20, Morkel's record is also very similar even though he has a slightly better average and SR than Jimmy. But, considering that you measure a fast bowler's worth by his performance in India, Morkel averages a very poor 41 in India. So, how is he better than Anderson? Of course, he has age by his side and he may well end up with better figures than Anderson but the same is true for Anderson vs Kapil as well. Perhaps you put Kapil on a pedestal because he is an Indian but if you really want to bring in names, you should have probably checked their records first and compared them with Jimmy's.

oh btw, considering your fixation with the SC, you may need to check Lillee's record there. 4 tests, 6 wkts, 68.33 avg, and SR of 132. Not over yet - he played 1 test in WI and did not pick up a single wicket and gave away 132 runs. 349 out of his 355 test wickets were taken in Aus/Eng/NZ. Wonder if you would still consider him a great.

Posted by Shan156 on (May 21, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

@maddy20, Mentioning Kapil Dev and Morkel in the same list as Lillee, Holding, Hadlee, and Steyn is as funny as comparing Anderson to these legends. Anderson has a better strike rate at a slightly higher average than Kapil. Kapil does have a superb record in India but surprisingly has a pathetic record (average of 39 and SR of 78.5) in 'pace-friendly' England. Anderson averages sub-30 in both countries. Kapil played 50 tests more than Jimmy and picked up 129 wickets more. If Jimmy can keep up his fitness for a few more years (very much possible), he may well end up with more wickets, better average, and a better SR than Kapil. Take nothing away from Kapil, but Jimmy is as good as, if not better than, him.

continued.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 21, 2013, 0:53 GMT)

It's fairly obvious that those who keep pointing to Anderson's career average and calling him average based on that alone don't actually watch him play. If all you can do is look up a player's average then you're a poor excuse for a cricket fan. Anderson's career numbers are and will be dragged down by a poor patch early on but right now, he's an excellent bowler and obviously one of the best in the world. If you can't see that then you don't know cricket. Whether or not he's the best in the world doesn't really matter to me. I don't think he is but I don't really care anyway. He's an excellent bowler and I'm glad he's playing for England and I'm quite sure that all the whingers would be crowing about him if he was in their team.

Posted by maddy20 on (May 21, 2013, 0:31 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge Dale Steyn has 4 five wicket hauls in India in tests! What do you have to say for that. In the current bowlers Anderson does not even feature in the top 5. If you consider all time then he would probably end up as 15th or 16th! Have you forgotten Sobers, Walsh, Ambrose, Lillee, Kapil Dev, Holding, Richard Hadlee, Steyn, Morkel etc., Mr Nicholas? Comparing him to these fine bowlers is as funny as it can get. One series win in India in 30 years and these English fans have gone out of control. Did you forget that we too beat you about 6 years ago in your own backyard? Really funny article. Made my day!

Posted by MK88 on (May 20, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

We applaud Jimmy and his 300 wickets. But comparing him with Bothams, Malcoms and Lilles is laughable. There is a fine South African bowler by the name Dale Steyn. If you are to praise a fast bowler, he sets the bar.

Posted by MK88 on (May 20, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

No matter who says what, Jimmy Anderson is second to what we SAns call The Phalaborwa Express: Dale Steyn. You can go as far as borrowing words from Shakespeare, Steyn still pips him flat. Anderson and co couldn't answer to Amla, Kallis and Smith not so long ago. You will also do well to remember the 3-0 beating by Pakistan. And his skills were no where to be found in the draw against NZ. One good home performance against NZ and he is the world's best?? Comparing Jimmy with Ians, Malcoms and Lilles sounds desperate. Try Steyn: The best in business.

Posted by Shan156 on (May 20, 2013, 22:37 GMT)

@Nikhil Baiju, shows how much you know the game. I cannot believe that you actually think that Siddle is better than Anderson and Morkel because he averages slightly better. Regardless of his average, which is poor due to his poor start, Jimmy is a world class bowler, something India are missing since the days of Dev. Zak was a good bowler but only for a brief period of time.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (May 20, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

@Selassie-I: Amongst genuine commentators and ex-cricketers, this 'issue' simply doesn't exist. But yes, the envy from some is clear, but these particular 'Anderson haters' you speak of generally support teams which he and England have bested in the last few years, so you're always going to get the odd one. England fans thoroughly enjoy watching this show, it's a sign of desperation in fans jealous that their own don't possess a bowler as successful as Anderson. It's in the lower ranked teams that Anderson inspires such glorious bitterness. England fans just love watching this awesome bowler do what he does every match without fail.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

people who are considered legends in England would be counted as ordinary achievers elsewhere..

Posted by 5wombats on (May 20, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

In this game Jimmy was unplayable at times, particularly in that second innings. @Westmorlandia on (May 20, 2013, 10:33 GMT) You are wasting your time with @gsingh7. He doesn't know these facts that can be easily found here on cricinfo; JM Anderson IN AUSTRALIA 2010/11 24 wickets at 26. JM Anderson IN UAE 2011/12 9 wickets at 27. JM Anderson IN SRI LANKA 2011/12 9 wickets at 21. JM Anderson IN INDIA 2012/13 12 wickets at 30. I make that 54 wickets at 25 in conditions that are not English. His overall career average in matches in England is 189 wickets at 27. Jimmys bowling average abroad in the last 3 years is actually better than his overall career average! Even so, if @gsingh7 wants to carry on saying that Jimmy can only take wickets in England - just let him. People like that don't let trivial little things like facts get in the way. Please publish.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

James Anderson is a strictly 'decent' bowler with an avg of 30 just like Morkel and slightly worse than Peter Siddle who is averaging around 28 i think. The only world class fast bowler right now is Steyn. Jury is still out on Philander. It doesn't matter if jimmy glides or canters or gallops to the crease. He is still massively overrated. And please don't mention Marshall and Jimmy in the same sentence even if it is about something as subjective as 'beauty in bowling' which in itself exists only in the writer's imagination.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Even an average bowler will look good in English conditions. Anderson when he entered the scene was one of them, he offered prodigious swing and sting in helpful conditions. However he fared badly when conditions did not suit him. That changed post 2010. He is effective in every condition and unlike other bowlers who have good records by cleaning up the tail Anderson gets the wickets of the top order consistently. Steyn and Anderson are two bowlers who can bowl fast and also swing the ball both ways..

Posted by tjsimonsen on (May 20, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

@ gsingh7: Since 2010 Anderson's average in Asia is less than 27, his average in SL alone is less than 22! His average in Australia in the same period is 26. All are less than his career average in England (although his home average since 2010 is 23). Steyn is a fantastic bowler and he has unbelievable stats in India and at home, but other than that his stats are not significantly better than Anderson's: since 2010 they are distinctly worse in England, Australia and UAE. Philander's stats are incredible, but I will reserve judgment until he has played 25-30 more tests. Morkel's stats are overall similar to Anderson's - both career-wise and overthe past 3 years. Your (and manu others') critisism of the bowler Anderson is today is thus plain wrong.

Posted by Damo_s on (May 20, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Well one thing's for sure. England are going to really miss him when he retires. I dont see any of the other bowlers stepping up and being ready to take his place.

Posted by Selassie-I on (May 20, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Nice to see that all the Anderson haters are out in force, the article is about Jimmy taking 300 wickets, and how he's become a master of the art of swing and seam bowling. Anyone who watched his performance in this test could not argue with that, he consistently bowled unplayable deliveries, beat the endge numerous accoasions and barely bowled a bad ball - I should think a lot of commentors on here haven't actually watched him bowl much and just assume based ona quick glance at some stats.

Yes there have been better bwolers, but give the guy some kind of credit rather than just saying he's not as good as such and sucha bowler!

If you want proof of his quality, look at the batsmen he's dismissed most - SRT, Kallis being int he top 3!

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Any bowler that makes Tendulkar his bunny is great in my book. What people fail to address on here is that Jimmy knocks over the best players, not the tail. In recent times he has been doing it in all conditions too, i.e. Australia and India.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (May 20, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

@gsingh7: You've conveniently forgotten to mention the fact that everyone remembers: Anderson's transition from a lethal green-top bowler to a Sub-Continent/flat-deck specialist. It's a shame you didn't read a little around the Anderson subject more before you posted your comment. It's so well documented I am surprised you missed it.. Check out the last series between your India and England if you want to see him in action. His famous change to an any-pitch bowler is very well documented, do keep up with the times.

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (May 20, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@MiddlePeg: I don't follow your line of reasoning that suggests Steyn only takes wickets because of the overall quality of the SA attack. I think if you took Anderson out of the English side and replaced him with Steyn what you would see is Steyn taking a load of wickets for England. There have also been times when Steyn has been the lone performer with the ball, he does not only rely on the support of Philander and Morkel, although no doubt it is useful to hunt as part of a pack. I think the moral of the story is that both are excellent bowlers in their own slightly different ways with Steyn the better of the two because of his sheer presence and ability to take wickets anywhere anyhow (plain numbers would back this up), although Anderson has improved greatly in this respect eg. taking wickets in India on flat pitches etc.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (May 20, 2013, 10:51 GMT)

wow Nice article..Great Job Nicholos...

Posted by Meety on (May 20, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Gee, was Nicholas rying to be provocative? A bit of perspective - 18 wickets fell for about 120 runs. NZ failed NZs match aggregate was 275 for 20 wickets! Yep, fine bowler, but saying "...None of the first three to the landmark could have bowled any more beautifully than Anderson bowled in this match. Nor could Malcolm Marshall or Dennis Lillee or anyone else you care to name..." - is a terrible joke. Should of stuck to the first sentence -although I would almost guarantee that Tyson, Trueman or Bedser would of done a much better demolision job than Anderson or Broad. For the record - had Richard hadlee played 13 tests @ Lords - he would of had nearly 90 Test wickets there (v Anderson 58). McGrath averages 11.75 over 3 tests @ Lords, with a wicket every 27 balls. I am very confident either of those two bowlers would of got 15 wickets against that NZ batting in that Test. Marshall averaged 17 with a S/Rate of 39, but Lillee had a S/Rate of 70 @ Lords so maybe Nicholas got that right!

Posted by Westmorlandia on (May 20, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

gsingh7 - You need to remember that Anderson's fugures since 2010 or so (which is the period where he has won his plaudits) are considerably better than his career averages. In the last 3 years he averages 25. Regarding Australia, he had notoriously bad figures there until the 2010-2011 tour, when he played a huge part in England's crushing victory - he averaged 26. So overall there are players with better figures, but I think people are really interested in the bowler that Anderson is now, in 2013, and has been for the last few years.

Posted by MiddlePeg on (May 20, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

I have a lot of time for Anderson. It's easy to point out other bowlers who have superior stats or who bowl faster. The truth is that Jimmy pretty much does it alone. There isn't a consistent bowler at the other end keeping up the pressure on the batsmen over after over. I think if you took Anderson out of the England line up and replaced him with Steyn, you'd see how brilliant Anderson is. Steyn has a lot of other bowlers helping him take wickets. Botham had Willis, Marshall was part of an exterminatng army. James Anderson flies solo a lot of the time and is one of the best ever. Full stop.

Posted by gsingh7 on (May 20, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

steyn ans philander and morkel are having better figures than jimmy. even starc and pattinson and bird are above him in bowling stats . jimmy can only bowl in english condition as in sc and in aus he averages about 10 runs more than in england

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Good , but not great like Trueman who took his 300 at a little over 20 ave.

Posted by poms_have_short_memories on (May 20, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

James Anderson is a very good pace bowler, but great?, no.. not yet anyway, maybe by the time he retires. Comparing him to Lillee and Marshall is pure folly. Trueman was a far better bowler than Anderson will ever be and John Snow was better, and they bowled against much better batsmen.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (May 20, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

I think his action also leads to some more problems for the batsmen, just in case late swing both ways was not problem enough! His whirlwind, slightly convoluted action looks difficult but he has good control and it seems it makes the batsmen more likely to misread him.

Posted by neo-galactico on (May 20, 2013, 8:30 GMT)

Surprisingly none of the pundits have referred to Steyn whilst giving praise to Jimmy. Last year they couldn't wait to say Anderson is equal to Steyn. Truthfully Steyn is a better bowler one that will most likely be among greats when he retires but for the last 5 years Anderson has been very good. Steyn may bully batsman into giving him their wickets, whereas Anderson entices them into doing so. Steyn is better but he's not as skilled as Jimmy, he loses his inswinger from time to time, whereas Jimmy has supreme control over his.

Posted by I.Aziz on (May 20, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

yes i have seen the greats bowl and i agree to what you say, every one has their own specialty and what Anderson has at Lords is certainly special (Y) he is an pace bowling artist in English conditions and is quite pleasing to eyes when he is on song their.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Great bowler in his own right. Surprised that it took him so long to reach 300 wickets though. Goes to show how tough Test cricket is..

Posted by SamRoy on (May 20, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

Sir, most of the facts are acceptable in this article. Except "Nor could Malcolm Marshall or Dennis Lillee or anyone else you care to name". It is an offensive statement to great bowlers. And Anderson is not great. World class yes, very good yes, but not great. Can't really raise his game to another level like Steyn could, Donald could, Akram could, Marshall could, Ambrose could, McGrath could in times of adversity. And Sir, if you think that Anderson is more skillful than Wasim Akram (or even equal to that of Akram) as a swing bowler or even as a fast bowler, than I am sorry to say that as just mere cricket lover I understand the game better than you.

Posted by landl47 on (May 20, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

He did bowl very well in this game. Broad got the wickets in the second innings, but Anderson barely bowled a loose ball and beat the bat frequently. He'll bowl much worse and take more wickets.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (May 20, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

sorry mark nicholas: he hasnt mastered odiu flexibility and slower balls

Posted by Harlequin. on (May 20, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

@abhisek - nowhere does it say he is rated above marshall and lillee, please check the article before commenting

Posted by   on (May 20, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

could not go beyond the part where he has been rated above Marshall and Lille, please check the avearges before comparing.......and as far as beauty in bowling is concerned I think it is an individual opinion

Posted by Saurabh2493 on (May 20, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

@RandyOZ Anderson's average is a highish 30 only because of his inconsistency early on in his career. Since the start of the pakistan tour in 2010, Anderson has taken 140 wickets in 33 tests at 25.28, and has been in devastating form recently, including an unbelievable average on 30 in 4 tests in India- being the most successful fast bowler there in the 2 recent tests. Pattinson gave a few problems, but none got as much out of those helpless conditions as Anderson. Moreover, this current Australian batting lineup boasts of only 1 good batsman- alright, Clarke is more than just a good batsman, but with little or no support at the other end. It is hard to imagine this Australian batting line up, save for the odd wonder innings from Clarke, holding up against the likes of Anderson, Swann, Broad and others.

Posted by cric_J on (May 20, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

It is a very bold statement to say that none of the greats like Beefy, Lillee , Marshall etc. could have bowled as well as Jimmy did in this test.A very bold statement.

But I won't comment on it if it is true or not. Because I haven't seen any of those greats bowl.

All I can say is that the Jimmy of 2003 with his boy-lost-in-the-woods eyes has come a long way from the time when his sudden outbursts of brilliance were followed by tantalizing patches of highly ordinary performances to now being consistently unplayable. He has come a long way from his shy , underconfident self who carried drinks for over an year or so to now being the leader of the attack. He has come a long way from hardly looking like taking 150 test wickets to now being on the verge of being England's all time highest test wicket-taker. A very, very long way indeed !

But what hasn't changed is that "magic" about him. It was there 10 years ago ,it still is ,and it always will be. Perhaps more than any other bowler.

Posted by SoverBerry2 on (May 20, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

We have the greatest English bowler in the making. He need to pick around 75 wickets to surpass Sir Ian Botham. Can he do it in 4-5 years? Need to take around 20 wickets in a season. Looks easy if he can stay fit.

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 19, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Can't wait for Clarke to dispatch this attack into oblivion. With Anderson the only bowler of any note (and a small note at that with an average over 30) it will be a field day for Clarke and co!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (May 19, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

And magic it was. Anderson is one of those bowlers who creates 8-10 chances every innings, and today was no different. His reputation on either flat decks or green tops, anywhere in the world, precedes him, and requires no further analysis. Well bowled yet again Jimmy.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

Great writing. Sophisticated punditry sets cricket apart. Great to have test cricket back as well.

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Mark NicholasClose
Mark Nicholas A prolific and stylish middle-order batsman for Hampshire, Mark Nicholas was unlucky never to have played for England, but after captaining his county to four major trophies he made his reputation as a presenter, commentator and columnist. Named the UK Sports Presenter of the Year in 2001 and 2005 by the Royal Television Society, he has commentated all over the world, from the World Cup in the West Indies to the Indian Premier League. He now hosts the cricket coverage for Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in England.

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'Kenya cricket is dead and buried'

The veteran spinner's dream spell against Australia in 2003 symbolised a brief golden period for Kenya, but since his retirement, the country's cricket has nose-dived

Dhoni clears the stadium

Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore

'You can't survive 66 Tests on the basis of a quota'

Ashwell Prince talks about proving critics wrong, scoring hundreds against Australia, and that unending partnership in Colombo

Umar Akmal gives Raza the glare

Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore

A hint of the vintage Sehwag

The Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Kings XI Punjab and Northern Knights, in Mohali

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