Zaheer Khan was someone I used to watch a lot to try and learn from, says James Anderson

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) England’s veteran fast-bowler James Anderson revealed that former India left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan was someone he used to watch a lot and tried learning from to understand about the deliveries which can work well in conditions here during the Test matches.

“There are not many better bowlers than Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj. They’re world-class bowlers. You put Ishant Sharma in there as well, and that’s a really strong bowling attack. For me, Zaheer Khan was someone I used to watch a lot to try and learn from. How he used the reverse swing, how he covered the ball when he ran into bowl, that’s something I tried to sort of develop on the back of playing against him quite a few times here,” said Anderson to JioCinema.

Anderson also admitted to being left in awe of Jasprit Bumrah’s magical spell at Visakhapatnam, which included a reverse-swinging masterclass of taking a six-fer in England’s first innings.

“With someone of his quality you expect that standard from him. You know that reverse swing can play a big part in India and he’s a great exponent of it. He’s got good pace and is very accurate, very consistent.”

“That yorker we saw to Ollie Pope, he’s got that up his sleeve as well. It’s not a fluke that he’s got to number one in the world. He’s a world-class bowler and from our point of view we weren’t surprised that he put up a performance like that.”

At 41, Anderson is England’s leading wicket-taker in Tests with 698 scalps, a longevity which is very rare to see at the international level. “Yeah, I guess you do look at things like that, but to be honest, I just go with the feel of me and my body. I don’t feel like I’m 41 years and 200 days old. You know, I still feel young.”

“I can keep up with the young guys in training. I can still bowl the speeds that I want to, I can still deliver the skills that I want to. So, for me that's the most important thing. The age is just a number and it’s pretty irrelevant from my thought process,” he said.

Asked if the art of swing bowling was dying, Anderson denied such thoughts. “I don’t think it’s dying. Because of the growth of white-ball cricket in recent times, the focus has moved to change of pace and different deliveries like yorkers, and things like that. But for me, in Test cricket, we’ve seen throughout this series already that swing can play a big part.”

“The way Bumrah bowled, I think, has been amazing to watch. That reverse swing spell in the second Test was one of the best you’ll see. So for me, I think there’s still people out there wanting to learn the skills and it’s not easy to do.”

Anderson is leading an England fast-bowling line-up which includes Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson and Gus Atkinson, who haven’t played Tests in India before. He feels it is his responsibility to pass on the understanding of how to bowl in Tests in India, based on his trips in this part of the world since 2006.

“Well, I think it’s really important as a senior player that you offer as much advice as possible, especially coming to a place where there’s quite a few guys in our team that haven’t necessarily played that much out here. So, I think it’s important that you do offer advice but at the same time not try to force yourself on them.”

“I think it’s important that they’ve got to be asking questions as well, they’ve got to try and find their own way because it’s different for each player. I can’t say to an Ollie Robinson or a Gus Atkinson that this is how you should bowl here. They’re very different bowlers to me so they’ve got to find what works for them and if I can offer any advice to help them along the way then great.”

Anderson also felt that it was unfortunate for Virat Kohli to pull out of the series due to personal reasons, depriving the cricket fans of a face-off between the two. “Yeah, you always want to play against the best players. And it’s been a shame that he’s not been a part of the series. We have had some great battles over the years.”

“But not just for me, I think as a team you want to play against the best in the world and he certainly is that. I guess English fans will be thankful he’s not playing because he’s such a quality player. But from our point of view you want to test yourself, you want to come up against the best and he’s been someone who I’ve found really challenging to bowl at over the years and it’s a shame he’s not been playing.”

Anderson signed off by recalling his fond memories of the 2-1 series triumph in India in 2012. “The 2012 series, when we came here, is probably the biggest one. I don’t think an English team had won for quite a long time here -- for 20 odd years. So, for us to win here, it was probably one of the best series wins that I’ve been involved in my career.”

“You know, it was just a great team performance. The batters turned up when we needed them. We had good spinners as well on that trip, which helped. So, I think that for me is right up there.”

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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