The Ashes 2013-14 November 12, 2013

How Jimmy earned Australia's respect

A decade on from his first visit down under, James Anderson has earned the admiration of Australians who once dismissed him as a soft target
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Not many international fast bowlers have to cope with the stigma of being publicly named by opposition batsmen as someone noted for dropping his head. Fewer still can overcome it. None, however, have managed to subvert the notion quite so completely as James Anderson, the embodiment of England's evolution from uncertain to unerring.

Watching Anderson in 2013 it is difficult to comprehend exactly how lost he looked at times during his earlier days. During a new-ball spell on the final afternoon of the rain-ruined tour match in Hobart, Anderson filleted Alex Doolan and then Usman Khawaja while operating a gear or two short of his sharpest. His precision and command of movement contrasted visibly with the rest of the touring attack. Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann are hardly callow youths battling to land the ball where they wish to, but next to Anderson's beautifully calibrated sights they were made to appear novices.

"Immensely impressive," said Ian Bell, another Englishman to have overcome modest beginnings against Australia. "He just seems to be able to turn up now without much practice and just get straight into the swing of things. We've seen it now whatever the conditions, India, Australia, South Africa he can just do it straight away. He leads our attack very well, and I'm sure he'll be passing on as much information to the younger guys as he can."

More than a decade has passed since Anderson was first one of those younger guys himself, drafted into the England ODI team in Australia following an outbreak of injuries. At a sweltering MCG he bowled Adam Gilchrist, but not before the brazen wicketkeeper had slugged 124. At the other end Ricky Ponting glided to 119, and six debut overs cost 46. Anderson's shoulders slumped as England sagged to an 89-run defeat, and from that moment the Australians felt they had the measure of the 21-year-old. "We were able to keep him down," Ponting said recently, "for long periods of time."

Those periods lasted whole days, matches and even tours. Anderson endured a problematic relationship with Troy Cooley during his tenure as the ECB bowling coach, and was notably absent during the 2005 Ashes series as Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison were preferred. Cooley had swapped sides by the time of the 2006-07 tour, and when Anderson subbed in for the injured Jones in a series Australia had earmarked for vengeance, a single Ponting glare seemed enough to bring the bowler to heel.

Looking back on those days, Anderson reasons quite frankly that he was not skilful enough to respond in the way he needed to - with precision deliveries at a batsman's weak spots. "It's difficult from a bowler's point of view to impose yourself on someone when your skills aren't good enough or the ball's not going where you want it to," he said. "It was crucial in my career that I managed to figure that out and get some consistency, get my skills to the standard they need to be to play international cricket. Once I did that you can then look at imposing yourself on the opposition."

It takes only a few minutes' observation of Anderson on the field to glimpse how well he has channelled a northern temper to add just the right amount of spice to his bowling, no more and no less

The visible skill was also linked to the inward thoughts. Body language and mental discipline took time to master, as did the knowledge of where energy is best spent. Economy of effort is quickly apparent when viewing Anderson in repose. When either watching the game or talking about it he can seem perpetually sleepy. But it takes only a few minutes' observation of Anderson on the field to glimpse how well he has channelled a northern temper to add just the right amount of spice to his bowling, no more and no less. He is never more alert than at the top of his run-up - exactly as it should be.

"I've always been fairly aggressive," Anderson said. "But in the past it was hard to be aggressive on the field without having the skills to fall back on. You look a bit of an idiot if you're shouting and screaming and then bowling and spraying it everywhere. Now I try to use it in a controlled way to get my mind right and get into a battle and still have the skills in concentrating on what I'm doing with the ball."

Since 2009 in England, Anderson has won far more battles against Australia than he has lost. A moment of particular satisfaction arrived at Adelaide Oval in 2010, when he capitalised on the narrowest of new-ball windows on the first morning to coax edges from Ponting and his eventual successor Michael Clarke. It was a two-over burst that set England on their way, and the result of shrewd tactical planning with David Saker, the bowling coach who has overseen Anderson's development of tactical mastery to capitalise on the technical groove he rediscovered after Cooley returned home to Cricket Australia.

"I think the way he works out a batsman and comes up with plans for me we are really on the same wave length and that's the whole thing," Anderson said of Saker. "We've built up a good friendship around that and he's probably more tactically minded than he is technical from a coach's point of view. He's the best tactical bowling coach I've worked with - the stage of my career I'm at, I don't really need any technical help, it's more the tactical side of things I need help with and he's perfect for that."

The marriage of tactical nous to prodigious technical, physical and mental strength was on full display at Trent Bridge earlier this year, when Anderson's 10 wickets had the major say in the outcome of the series. Saker's hand was evident in a cutter used to foil Chris Rogers, while Anderson's concentration of will was writ large across a 13-over spell on the final morning that took England to the brink. He was to return from cramp after lunch to winkle out Brad Haddin and deliver victory, completing a performance that drained Anderson more than he admitted at the time.

"Getting 10 in the first Test is setting high standards for myself … but my form did drop off a little bit and the wickets did dry up," Anderson said. "It's something about last time I was here I managed, to maintain my consistency throughout the series. I got more wickets in that series out here than I did in England in the last one and I didn't get a five-wicket haul in the series. It showed my consistency was good throughout the series and I'll be quite happy to not take a 10 wicket haul and get 24 wickets again."

Evenness of performance is clearly an attribute Anderson values, having learned that he will be measured as much on the quality of his worst days as the sparkle of his best ones. Having now performed over time against Australia as well as the rest of the world, and shed the negative connotations once attached to him by Ponting, among others, Anderson has a rather different hurdle to overcome on this tour - matching up to the high expectations that now exist both in his own dressing room and that of his opponents. Ryan Harris, a fellow paceman cursed by youth but blessed by maturity, summed up the regard in which Anderson is now held.

"I remember watching him as a young kid, he always had the talent, it's just maturity, as you get older you get better, simple as that," Harris said. "When he was here last time he copped a lot of stick about how he hadn't performed well in Australia and he ran through us as their main wicket-taker. We know what he does, we know he swings the ball around. I'm sure our batters will be looking at all that, but we expect him to be at his best again like he has done the last few years. He's world class."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 19, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Jimmy invokes the upmost respect from all apart from his most embittered slain foes. It's a shame that a young man being forced to remodel his action due to injury at the start of his career should incite such jealousy because he proves better than any bowlers from certain international teams. We all remember what Jimmy did this year, and all the years before that. Some would like to forget. The Aussies meanwhile will have to face him all again in just a few days time. And they have Mitchell Johnsson as their thrid seamer!!

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 18, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    @ Cubitt on (November 13, 2013, 17:13 GMT): You seem to have missed my point. Yes, his average has improved - but has it improved because his bowling has become better or because the opposition is not as good? Now he has improved no doubt, but in my opinion he's gotten fat on some pretty weak opposition.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | November 17, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @ electric_loco_WAP4. When you begin a post putting Pattinson, a promising kid, at the same level as Steyn, AND manage to omit Philander, it becomes pretty clear that what is to follow has to be somewhere between ill-informed and garbage. As always, you managed the latter - and completely failed in your only objective, bashing any team or player not from the SC, & and not from a country with a very large population, but no pacer of Anderson's caliber.

    Anderson looked good enough on the SC when England crushed India this year, did he not?

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | November 16, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    before ashes started in england english comentetors call anderson best fast fast bowler in the world better then styen at the end of ashes series no one talk about anderson i think every one knows who is the best fast bowler in the world .anderson is a gud bowler but i donot think he is in the class of dale styen

  • POSTED BY Bonehead_maz on | November 15, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Dayum right he has our respect ! He's 60% as good as Terry Alderman !

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | November 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    If there is one more Ashes held in the next year, Anderson's average will be the most talked about and most remembered figure, possibly eclipsing Don Bradman's average. It is amazing how Anderson divides opinion and the truth is that he is going through a purple patch and needs to get his average below 25 before he hangs up his boots to be considered a great bowler even by English standards.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | November 15, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @monkeymomo - I had never considered that bowling attack before, but age-wise it could have been a possibility, and would have been a force to be reckoned with. Dare I say it, it is probably slightly better than the current SA line-up. Ah but to dream!

    @yevghenny - it seems he/she is just reading what he/she wants to read when it comes to the comments, as he/she also claims English fans 'absolute dismissal of stats' which isn't the case on this comment thread at least.

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | November 14, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    @golgo: Rankin is nowhere near Andersons ability. I agree, Jones was awesome, I wish he could still play tests, he was great to watch. Flintoff was overrated, good bowler, not as good as Jimmy.

    If they were still playing it would be Flintoff at 6 (shudder), Swann, Broad, Jones, Jimmy and England would have a very, very good bowling unit.

    @Ali Chaudhary: I'm just going to assume you didn't even watch Eng V SA.

    Anderson may well never win over everyone, but in an age of flat tracks and in a batsman dominated game, he has done very well in the last 4 years. I've no question he is the second best pacer behind Steyn. Probably only equaled by Harris.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Ian Jones - so Siddle is 234??? He's not, actually he's 29, even though he looks 234.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 14, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    He used to be poor, now he is class. End of.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 19, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Jimmy invokes the upmost respect from all apart from his most embittered slain foes. It's a shame that a young man being forced to remodel his action due to injury at the start of his career should incite such jealousy because he proves better than any bowlers from certain international teams. We all remember what Jimmy did this year, and all the years before that. Some would like to forget. The Aussies meanwhile will have to face him all again in just a few days time. And they have Mitchell Johnsson as their thrid seamer!!

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 18, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    @ Cubitt on (November 13, 2013, 17:13 GMT): You seem to have missed my point. Yes, his average has improved - but has it improved because his bowling has become better or because the opposition is not as good? Now he has improved no doubt, but in my opinion he's gotten fat on some pretty weak opposition.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | November 17, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @ electric_loco_WAP4. When you begin a post putting Pattinson, a promising kid, at the same level as Steyn, AND manage to omit Philander, it becomes pretty clear that what is to follow has to be somewhere between ill-informed and garbage. As always, you managed the latter - and completely failed in your only objective, bashing any team or player not from the SC, & and not from a country with a very large population, but no pacer of Anderson's caliber.

    Anderson looked good enough on the SC when England crushed India this year, did he not?

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | November 16, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    before ashes started in england english comentetors call anderson best fast fast bowler in the world better then styen at the end of ashes series no one talk about anderson i think every one knows who is the best fast bowler in the world .anderson is a gud bowler but i donot think he is in the class of dale styen

  • POSTED BY Bonehead_maz on | November 15, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Dayum right he has our respect ! He's 60% as good as Terry Alderman !

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | November 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    If there is one more Ashes held in the next year, Anderson's average will be the most talked about and most remembered figure, possibly eclipsing Don Bradman's average. It is amazing how Anderson divides opinion and the truth is that he is going through a purple patch and needs to get his average below 25 before he hangs up his boots to be considered a great bowler even by English standards.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | November 15, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @monkeymomo - I had never considered that bowling attack before, but age-wise it could have been a possibility, and would have been a force to be reckoned with. Dare I say it, it is probably slightly better than the current SA line-up. Ah but to dream!

    @yevghenny - it seems he/she is just reading what he/she wants to read when it comes to the comments, as he/she also claims English fans 'absolute dismissal of stats' which isn't the case on this comment thread at least.

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | November 14, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    @golgo: Rankin is nowhere near Andersons ability. I agree, Jones was awesome, I wish he could still play tests, he was great to watch. Flintoff was overrated, good bowler, not as good as Jimmy.

    If they were still playing it would be Flintoff at 6 (shudder), Swann, Broad, Jones, Jimmy and England would have a very, very good bowling unit.

    @Ali Chaudhary: I'm just going to assume you didn't even watch Eng V SA.

    Anderson may well never win over everyone, but in an age of flat tracks and in a batsman dominated game, he has done very well in the last 4 years. I've no question he is the second best pacer behind Steyn. Probably only equaled by Harris.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Ian Jones - so Siddle is 234??? He's not, actually he's 29, even though he looks 234.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 14, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    He used to be poor, now he is class. End of.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | November 14, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    but will never be known as true great no matter how much that fact saddens the English fans ==

    I don't think I've ever heard him described as a true great by English supporters? This just seems to be an argument put forward by people who simply refuse to acknowledge anything positive about English cricket. Anderson has been a fantastic bowler for England for the last 5 years and has led the side on the field with incredibly consistent performances all over the world. I honestly couldn't care where that leaves him in the "true great" list

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    electric-loco - one of the funniest and ludicrously false posts I've ever read! First falsehood - Young Aussie quicks? Which one? Harris is 34, Mitch is 31, Siddle is 234. Pattinson, Cummins, Bird are all badly injured (what are the Aussies doctors and physios doing?)

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | November 14, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Anderson has always been top drawer in bowling and recognised as such by the best. That is why he was targeted by Ponting & co. Funny to see such inane comments from non-cricketers; get a life kiddies.

    He is a far better bowler than the injury prone Flintoff who blossomed and fizzled out during Andersons growth era and is a great to everyone with cricket knowledge.

  • POSTED BY golgo_85 on | November 14, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Let's put it this way - if Simon Jones hadn't suffered from those injuries and if Flintoff was still playing, Anderson wouldn't have had a career this long. He's more like England's Javagal Srinath. After all these years of cricket, the "leader" of a pace attack shouldn't really have an average of over 30. I can't wait to see Rankin outshining him when he does get the opportunity eventually.

  • POSTED BY on | November 14, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    some absolute trash being posted by so called cricket fans in here.....Virtually every cricketing pundit and expert in the world all sing from the same hymn sheet, i.e Anderson is world class, in any era. He takes wickets in all conditions, and is 2nd only to Steyn in terms of sheer volume of wickets over an extended period, and personally, I think Anderson, whilst not having the 'nip' that Steyn has, is a more all-round skilled bowler currently. Anderson since late 2009 has played 41 tests and taken 173 wickets at 25.87.....top drawer in anyone's books

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 14, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    @Ali Chaudary and @Whofriggincares have hit the nail on the head, good bowler but not great. He is the best of an ordinary bunch these days.

  • POSTED BY Ali_Chaudhary on | November 14, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Anderson only bowled to hit for 4s and 6s when he bowled to aussie legendry batters like, Hydo, Punter, Gilli, Martin etc. By only dominating against 3rd grade Aussie batting lineup he doesnt become a great bowler. At the Moment there are only Amla and Kallis good Players and look what they did to him in England last summer. He was made a street bowler. Not for once did he beat the batsman in that series. He is only geting the wickets of aged, out of form or 3rd grade batsmen. For me Freddy Flintoff was faaaar better bowler than him.

  • POSTED BY AussieFan555 on | November 14, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Sure, Anderson is better than anything Australia have currently got, we've been on the receiving end of his bowling enough times. I can't believe how many times an England side with Anderson keep beating Australia, he has my respect. All we can offer is T20 players like Johnson. For that reason I'm not looking forward to these Ashes, they're gonna be worse than the last one. If England won 3-0 last time they'll be looking for 4-5 nil this time. I doubt they'll be much Oz support around when that happens.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 14, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Fair assessment @whofriggincares. I've taunted his +30 average myself but never deny his quality and that he is a gutsy cricketer. But, that is not enough to will him into the same class as the greats, he isn't in that class, despite being good. He opens the bowling so he should always be among the wickets.

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | November 14, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Love reading the English fan's absolute dismissal of stats as a guide to how good a career is or has been. Anderson is a hell of a bowler absolutely no doubt he has become world class and opposition teams fear him as much as anyone going around and rightly so. He has the ability to wreck top orders and influence the outcomes of matches, who wouldn't love to have a bowler of his quality at this stage of his career playing for them? BUT there is a reason he averages over 30 (sorry but it is a fact) and that is he hasn't been able to do it over a very long period of time . McGrath , Marshall , Holding , Garner , Lillee , Warne , Hadlee , Akram , Walsh, Ambrose ,Murali , Younis , Imran and Steyn all averaged low to mid 20's for a reason and that is that they did it their whole career simple. Anderson will never be included in the elite group for that very simple reason. A very good bowler no doubt , but will never be known as true great no matter how much that fact saddens the English fans

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 14, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @RU4RNick: Good points, but i would have expected the English supporters to be aware of the dangers of writing of some of our blokes so early. It's easy to see why the English team fell through the cracksduring the ninties under a storm of denial and blind arrogance. Time will tell my friends, time will tell.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | November 14, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    @Eight8, hear hear! Can't really say much more than that.

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | November 14, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge. You are certainly renowned for being totally inaccurate with your comments and I delight in your almost 100% hit rate of inane posts. Regarding your comment about "here today gone tomorrow Aussie pretenders" bowlers, have you actually considered the averages of the bowlers:

    James Anderson: 30.11

    Aussie seam bowlers for the 1st test: Ryan Harris: 22.26. Peter Siddle: 29.11. Mitchell Johnson: 30.93.

    And the Aussies don't get to bowl half their overs in seam friendly English conditions. As usual you are way off track, or might need to start classifying you "king of swing" as a pretender as well given his record vs the Aussie pretenders...

    Can't wait for your next post!

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | November 14, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    FFL i literally laughed out loud when i read you putting Anderson in the same echalon as Steyn. He's not even in the same atmosphere. He doesn't even average under 30. LOL

    Steyn, Philander and Harris are the three top pacemen in the world. Then you've got your daylight then you got guys like Anderson, Broad, Siddle, Morkel and Pattinson on the next Tier of really good but not great bowlers. Then there's the rest of the field.

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    The saying rather goes 'Steyn, Philander, daylight, Anderson and the rest'

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 13, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    For a lot of the Aussie commenters here I would say 'Let us see where the Ashes end up and who is instrumental in that result.' I have my ideas but they are possibly not the same as yours. BTW I do appreciate Harris too.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 13, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    It's so funny and predictable, those that keep mocking Jimmy and comparing him to guys that have only been around for a few games - and even worse, mostly short-spell specialists that are seldom off the operating/recovery table. Well the title of this article says it all really: "How Jimmy earned Australia's respect!"

    Until the day comes (and I for one will not be holding my breath!) that we can read trustworthy articles entitled "How [insert new Australian bowler's name here] earned England's respect" - those moaning and constantly grasping at straws have absolutely nothing to base these arguments on at all.

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | November 13, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    @dunger.bob: When Mitch is on form he is amazing and I love watching hm bowl. He has a bit of a sling and you can see how much power he puts into it. Personally Id love to see him get back to top form consistently.

    After the Ashes of course.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 13, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    People seem to forget that at the start of his carreer he was poor, and only in the last two years has he become world class. Very early on he was the "Burnley Express". Then he became the bowler who could only swing the ball in England, and was useless outside of here. Only since he developed Asif's wobble seam has he become world class. Still very accurate, but slowing down, and wasn't great near the end of last series.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Sponge on | November 13, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Cric_j, it's comforting your words of wisdom are coming from your bed! Did you just knock off a couple of runs while watching re-runs of Jimmy bamboozling batsman with his sky high average that puts him about 11112th on the list if bowlers to be in awe of? Freddyforpieminister I think you'll find the sniping comes from English fans and Australian fans equally but that won't suit your bias obviously lol!

  • POSTED BY Cubitt on | November 13, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    @OneEyedAussie In his first 10 series Anderson averaged 38.8. In his last 13 series he averages 25.9. So yes, he has improved "that much".

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 13, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    The King of Swing that is James anderson has been bamboozling teams for years with his mastery of the skills of bowling. A proven flat-deck specialist, it's funny to watch pretenders (especially here today gone tomorrow Aussie pretenders) try to emulate Anderson's success. They haven't for a very good reason - He's much better. Over the years I've watched opposition to Anderson fade to black amongst opposing fans. These days they just have to admit hes' brilliant, his record proven to all but those who don't watch the game. That's why the saying goes 'Steyn, Anderson and beneath them daylight.' Here's hoping another 20+ wicket series for Jimmy.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | November 13, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    @Dan Brettig : "James Anderson, the embodiment of England's evolution from uncertain to unerring." One simply can't do better than that to emphasize Jimmy's importance to this England side. Absolutely golden Dan.

    @Dark_Harlequin : "The thing I always find about Jimmy is that those who slate him are the ones who only look at stats, and those who recognise his class are the ones who watch him play." I don't think I've ever agreed with a comment on Cricinfo as much as I do with this one bud !

    @Martin Owen Jones : "Give me a list of test captains who would want Patto and Siddle in their team ahead of Anderson. Have a look at what Dhoni said after our last tour there. " Yeah we desperately need that list ASAP ! And some exceedingly efficient marking by you too.

    P.S. I almost fell off my bed realising that there hasn't been a single "Jimmy is useless because Steyn is better." comment as of yet. But was saved by the trademark "His career average is about 30 and close to 40 vs Aus." rant.

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | November 13, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    @Truemans Ghost. Didnt at all mean to sound dismissive of Botham he is one of the England greats and 383 test wickets is nothing to sneeze at. I just think in a conversation of world class bowlers his name would not come up. For arguments sake top 10 bowlers of the last 30yrs would look something like 1. Warne, 2. Akram, 3. Murali (if you go on stats not degree of elbow bend), 4. McGrath, 5. Walsh, 6. Ambrose, 7. Donald, 8. Lillee, 9. Marshall, 10. Hadlee I think for me the world class list actually ends there. After that are a list of very good bowlers that includes Waqar, Pollock, Kumble, Singh, Dev (to be fair prob Botham), and this is where anderson comes into the equation. The next few years will determine whether he goes up a gear

  • POSTED BY on | November 13, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4

    As a pointless troll - excellent 10/10

    Everything else - 0/10. Try using facts, it makes everything so much easier

    Give me a list of test captains who would want Patto and Siddle in their team ahead of Anderson. Have a look at what Dhoni said after our last tour there.

    He's played against low ranked teams? He does always seems to play against Australia, so maybe. Lets look at his last few series... Australia (h), NZ(h), NZ(a), India(a), SA (h), India(h).

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 13, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Marcus Stubbs, about 6 of that 10 wicket haul was tail-enders. The only thing he did after was taking 4 wickets in an innings in the last test where he only got those wickets form Aus trying to up the scoring rate. I'm struggling to think of one top order batsman he had a good series against... He had no bunnies in the series except for Peter Siddle. I'm not quite sure he's even in the same universe as Mcgrath/Warne. I for one and fearing Broad far more than Anderson and Aussie batsmen based on that series will certainly have more fear of Broad than Jimmy.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 13, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Has he really improved that much? I'm pretty sure the Australian batsmen of '06/07 (Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Martyn, Clarke, Hussey, Gilchrist) would still go through him like warm butter.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | November 13, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    It says it all about Saker's success with Anderson at Test level. At state and lower bowling coaches should be technical coaches, but at test they should be tactical as all the technical issues should be pretty much developed (or they wouldn't be in the team in the first place).

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | November 13, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Kensohatter. I think you are a bit dismissive in saying Botham "only" had 383 wickets. By the time he retired I think only Hadlee and Kapil Dev had 400. I think he might even have had the record for most test wickets for a while, but I may be wrong. His career was almost then oposite of andersons. When young he was astonishingly good, then had a long decline and a lot of people remember that and forget what an impact he had in the first 5 years or so of his career.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | November 13, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    Who'd have thought the best article I've read on Jimmy would have come from an Aussie?!

    The thing I always find about Jimmy is that those who slate him are the ones who only look at stats, and those who recognise his class are the ones who watch him play.

    Here's hoping for a few more years of Uri Geller-esque swing bowling!

  • POSTED BY andrew-schulz on | November 13, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Presumably the writer knows that Anderson's average against Australia is still nearer 40 than 30. Yes, he has improved.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | November 13, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Certainly there are many more far talented pacers there - may I say real quick and intimidating as well .He is not among the best fast/FM/Swing bowlers even at present like the top quicks in the world Patto,Siddle,Ryno,Steyn and Morke not even taking the fastest in world -Mitch -but he has done alright from a stats p.o.v. Something the far talented young Aus pacers can imbibe from the veteran 33 year old. He has had to make best use of his limited ability and has done it quite well.The young Aus quicks can take his eg. of keeping fitness levels up - even though JA is no where as quick as them . He has had seaming,swinging friendly pitches at home and low ranked teams which has helped his stats though aas his struggles in sub cont and sporting tracks in Aus show . But not taking credit away ,he has had a useful career and just may take 350 wkts in tests. He's not a Brett Lee - but who is? - but good honest trier who has tested some bats esp. in swing and seam around.

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | November 13, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    I reckon England would be plenty happy they finally have a bowler they can point at and say yep hes world class. Trying to think of any before him...Checked cricinfos options for pace bowlers in the best XI and Gough is the only guy of the last 25yrs and lets be fair that guy had a huge heart but he was of the same class of a Terry Alderman, Chaminda Vaas or Zaheer Khan none of which are world class. Before all the English fans get all in a huss and name Botham lets remember as good an allrounder as he was 1. he only took 383 wickets and 2. I can think of 3 guys of the modern era better than him (Kallis, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev and Hadlee has to come close too!). Flintoff is a non event and can be filed under flash in the pan category

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 13, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @ FreddyForPrimeMinister and @Milhouse79 : This article is all about emotional maturity. It's a wonderful thing. If the hecklers line you up, ignore them. Taking pot shots from his own bell tower is not what Jimmy would do. He's too mature for that.

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | November 13, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Anderson has been consistently good over the past few years, but it has been the supporting cast (Swann, Panesar, Broad, Bresnan) through their occasional performances who have swung matches and series' in England's favour. As long as the opponents are able to deny major success to the others, England is beatable. Anderson anyway will take a few wickets, but by that time England would have lost the game. The focus then could be on playing out Jimmy other and not allowing any of the others to settle.

  • POSTED BY FreddyForPrimeMinister on | November 13, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    Anderson - world class. But I'd like to say Ryan Harris is a class act himself - not just as a bowler but as a gentleman. If only the Aussie fans on here could conduct themselves with such decorum, we could have some really enjoyable banter instead of listening to biased sniping that has no part in this great game. Can't wait for the series to start and the hot air to finish! :)

  • POSTED BY VerbosityAbridged on | November 12, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    What's really great about this article is, it's about the person the article is written about; not the journalist himself. It's quite rare to find an article of this quality today.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Good article that. During the 2010/11 Ashes we lost Broad with stomach strain, and Bresnan stepped in perfectly well... If we lose Anderson for any reason this series I don't have the same confidence that we will walk away with daylight between the two teams. As a bowler, he's managed to get into the minds of the Aussie batting line up like Magrath/ Warne managed to do to us even before a ball was bowled. I'd expect Australia are wondering what he'll do, what he'll come up with, maybe days before the test even starts. Fit Anderson, winning England. Simple as that.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | November 12, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    I have no doubts that clueless Aussies will look at his average and make disparaging remarks. The fact is that Jimmy is one of the best quicks in the world and has been at the top of his game for the last 5 years. When he wins games for England, we apparently rely on him and when Broad, Swann, Bres and the rest step up, apparently he is off colour.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 12, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right. No, wait, hang on, that's our bloke who does that.

    I could spend a lot of time praising up Jimmy, but I might just leave that to the English. I'm sure they'll polish him up to a suitable sparkling lustre.

    Instead, I'd like to point out to some of our guys (looking at you Mitch) that a bad start doesn't necessarily mean a bad middle and finish. The proof is might there before your eyes. James Anderson did it, so it can be done.

    As the article says, maturity and being comfortable in your own skin is the key. If you can be like that, it doesn't really matter what the opposition or the crowd get up to. You are an island, immune to sledging and silly songs. .. Take a leaf out of Jimmy's book Mitch, you'll love it I reckon.

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  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 12, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right. No, wait, hang on, that's our bloke who does that.

    I could spend a lot of time praising up Jimmy, but I might just leave that to the English. I'm sure they'll polish him up to a suitable sparkling lustre.

    Instead, I'd like to point out to some of our guys (looking at you Mitch) that a bad start doesn't necessarily mean a bad middle and finish. The proof is might there before your eyes. James Anderson did it, so it can be done.

    As the article says, maturity and being comfortable in your own skin is the key. If you can be like that, it doesn't really matter what the opposition or the crowd get up to. You are an island, immune to sledging and silly songs. .. Take a leaf out of Jimmy's book Mitch, you'll love it I reckon.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | November 12, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    I have no doubts that clueless Aussies will look at his average and make disparaging remarks. The fact is that Jimmy is one of the best quicks in the world and has been at the top of his game for the last 5 years. When he wins games for England, we apparently rely on him and when Broad, Swann, Bres and the rest step up, apparently he is off colour.

  • POSTED BY on | November 12, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Good article that. During the 2010/11 Ashes we lost Broad with stomach strain, and Bresnan stepped in perfectly well... If we lose Anderson for any reason this series I don't have the same confidence that we will walk away with daylight between the two teams. As a bowler, he's managed to get into the minds of the Aussie batting line up like Magrath/ Warne managed to do to us even before a ball was bowled. I'd expect Australia are wondering what he'll do, what he'll come up with, maybe days before the test even starts. Fit Anderson, winning England. Simple as that.

  • POSTED BY VerbosityAbridged on | November 12, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    What's really great about this article is, it's about the person the article is written about; not the journalist himself. It's quite rare to find an article of this quality today.

  • POSTED BY FreddyForPrimeMinister on | November 13, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    Anderson - world class. But I'd like to say Ryan Harris is a class act himself - not just as a bowler but as a gentleman. If only the Aussie fans on here could conduct themselves with such decorum, we could have some really enjoyable banter instead of listening to biased sniping that has no part in this great game. Can't wait for the series to start and the hot air to finish! :)

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | November 13, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Anderson has been consistently good over the past few years, but it has been the supporting cast (Swann, Panesar, Broad, Bresnan) through their occasional performances who have swung matches and series' in England's favour. As long as the opponents are able to deny major success to the others, England is beatable. Anderson anyway will take a few wickets, but by that time England would have lost the game. The focus then could be on playing out Jimmy other and not allowing any of the others to settle.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 13, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @ FreddyForPrimeMinister and @Milhouse79 : This article is all about emotional maturity. It's a wonderful thing. If the hecklers line you up, ignore them. Taking pot shots from his own bell tower is not what Jimmy would do. He's too mature for that.

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | November 13, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    I reckon England would be plenty happy they finally have a bowler they can point at and say yep hes world class. Trying to think of any before him...Checked cricinfos options for pace bowlers in the best XI and Gough is the only guy of the last 25yrs and lets be fair that guy had a huge heart but he was of the same class of a Terry Alderman, Chaminda Vaas or Zaheer Khan none of which are world class. Before all the English fans get all in a huss and name Botham lets remember as good an allrounder as he was 1. he only took 383 wickets and 2. I can think of 3 guys of the modern era better than him (Kallis, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev and Hadlee has to come close too!). Flintoff is a non event and can be filed under flash in the pan category

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | November 13, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Certainly there are many more far talented pacers there - may I say real quick and intimidating as well .He is not among the best fast/FM/Swing bowlers even at present like the top quicks in the world Patto,Siddle,Ryno,Steyn and Morke not even taking the fastest in world -Mitch -but he has done alright from a stats p.o.v. Something the far talented young Aus pacers can imbibe from the veteran 33 year old. He has had to make best use of his limited ability and has done it quite well.The young Aus quicks can take his eg. of keeping fitness levels up - even though JA is no where as quick as them . He has had seaming,swinging friendly pitches at home and low ranked teams which has helped his stats though aas his struggles in sub cont and sporting tracks in Aus show . But not taking credit away ,he has had a useful career and just may take 350 wkts in tests. He's not a Brett Lee - but who is? - but good honest trier who has tested some bats esp. in swing and seam around.

  • POSTED BY andrew-schulz on | November 13, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Presumably the writer knows that Anderson's average against Australia is still nearer 40 than 30. Yes, he has improved.