Johannesburg, Aug 1 (ANI): Pakistani fast bowling great Wasim Akram has praised England spearhead James Anderson, saying that Anderson is the best bowler currently operating in world cricket.
According to Sport24, Anderson has taken 13 wickets in the first two Ashes Tests to help England into a 2-0 lead over Australia ahead of the third Test at the Lancashire paceman's Old Trafford home ground starting Thursday.
The report further said that Anderson, whose tally of 320 Test wickets places him third on England's all-time list behind Sir Ian Botham and Bob Willis, is currently only equal fifth with Australia's Peter Siddle in ICC's Test bowling rankings, which are led by South African quick Dale Steyn.
However, Akram, who is arguably the greatest left-arm fast bowler, said that he does not have any doubt about Anderson's standing amongst his peers, saying that for him Anderson is the best bowler of this era as he is leading from the front.
Akram, who formed a highly effective fast bowling partnership in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his teammate Waqar Younis, further said that Anderson's performance is consistent with both the old and the new ball.
The report further said that Akram, who took 414 wickets in 104 Tests at a mean average of 23.62, and Younis often proved too much for even the world's best batsmen with their command of reverse swing.
But Akram, who played for Lancashire between 1988 and 1998, also said that in Anderson, he recognised an equally skilled exponent, saying that Anderson can match his and Younis' skills because of his control, adding that he bowls five away-swingers, then one in-swinger and takes a wicket.
Although Anderson's career average of 29.66 is more expensive than Steyn's 22.65, Wasim said that the Englishman had the edge as he bowls one delivery with the old ball, the in-swinger to the right-hander, while Anderson can do a lot more with the old ball. (ANI)