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‘He was someone I used to watch’ – English pacer James Anderson speaks about his inspiration in Test cricket, namedrops legendary Indian pacer

The 5th Test will be played in Dharamshala on March 7 amid high alerts of snowfall.

James Anderson

James Anderson, the seasoned English pacer, recently acknowledged Indian cricket legend Zaheer Khan as a significant source of inspiration in his career. Sharing insights on the Jio Cinema platform, Anderson revealed that he closely observed Zaheer Khan’s techniques, particularly in areas like utilising reverse swing and concealing the ball during the run-up.

Since making his Test debut in 2003, three years after Zaheer Khan, Anderson has continued to excel in the international cricket arena. He has maintained his form, even at the age of 41. In contrast, Zaheer Khan, who retired in 2014, left an indelible mark with over 600 wickets across formats. He left, serving as a role model for aspiring fast bowlers worldwide.

Anderson highlighted how Zaheer Khan‘s expertise with the old ball had a profound impact on the Englishman’s approach to the game. The art of reverse swing and the innovation of the knuckleball were key aspects of Khan’s bowling repertoire that resonated with Anderson, influencing his development as a bowler.

He said, “For me, Zaheer Khan was someone I used to watch a lot to try and learn from,” Anderson told Jio Cinema. “How he used the reverse swing, how he covered the ball when he ran into the bowl—that’s something I tried to sort of develop on the back of playing against him quite a few times here.”

James Anderson praises Jasprit Bumrah

Having competed against Zaheer Khan for a decade, Anderson now finds himself facing the new leader of India’s pace attack, Jasprit Bumrah. The Englishman lauded Bumrah, describing him as “world-class” and commending his accuracy. Anderson emphasised Bumrah’s proficiency in reverse swing, acknowledging the significant role it plays in Indian conditions.

“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 a good pace and is very accurate and consistent,” he said.

“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.”

Notably, both Anderson and Bumrah will be facing each other in the fifth and final test of the ongoing series between India and England. The 5th Test will be played in Dharamshala on March 7 amid high alerts of snowfall.

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