Anderson perfected reverse swing by watching Zaheer

Kolkata: Having returned impressive figures by getting the ball to reverse on day one of the Eden Gardens Test, England pacer James Anderson said he learnt the art of hiding the ball from batsmen before deliveries by watching Indian seamer Zaheer Khan.

 The visiting new ball bowler, who finished the day with a haul of 3/68, kept the old ball hidden behind his hand before deliveries to prevent the batsman from judging which direction it would reverse swing.

"In our last series here, Zaheer did that a lot, which I practised a lot. It is a good skill to have and makes it more difficult for the batsman to judge the direction of the swing," said Anderson.

India opener Gautam Gambhir also admitted that Anderson's hiding the ball made it difficult.

"It was reversing big and with Anderson hiding the ball, it was really difficult to pick," said Gambhir.

Calling the pitch "abrasive", Anderson said it would assist the pacers both with the new and the old ball throughout the match.

"The pitch is abrasive and perfect for reverse swing. Unlike the last two matches, the new ball swung here. With the dew around, it well help the new ball and later reverse with the old ball. I think it will continue to swing the whole match.

"It is a good wicket and I don't think there are much demons in it," he said.

Anderson added that Sachin Tendulkar's wicket was the most crucial in the ongoing third cricket Test against India at the Eden Gardens here.

"His was a crucial wicket, I was delighted. He looked scratchy early on but can be dangerous if he gets going. So I am very pleased. His was the big one. He is such a class player and could have gone on to score a big hundred. We got him just at the right time," Anderson said after stumps on Day 1.

"It is a nice thing to have and probably (I will) think more about that in years to come and when retired will tell people that's happened," said Anderson on becoming the most successful bowler against Tendulkar.

Anderson has dismissed Sachin Tendulkar eight times in the longer version of the game now shares the record with Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan. Tendulkar scored 76 before edging one to wicket-keeper Matt Prior. He ended the day with figures of 3/68.