What’s the story?
English fast bowler, James Anderson, during a segment with the Sky Sports, revealed that former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and South African opener Hashim Amla are the best batsman he has bowled to in his career.
“I’d put Ponting right up there, especially in Australian conditions. Basically, he hit you off your length and made it really difficult for you to settle as a bowler,” said the bowler about Ponting. He also added another big name to it by saying, “Now, Hashim Amla is right up there too- he is very difficult to bowl at, especially in Test cricket.”
In case you didn’t know...
Anderson has dismissed Ricky Ponting on a score of 12 or less four times in 12 Tests that they have played against each other. However, the Englishman has dismissed Hashim Amla just twice; once for 9 in 2008 in Edgbaston and then for 100 in Centurion in the year 2009.
But on most occasions, the batsmen, being two among the best in the world, have a higher success rate against Anderson than failure.
The heart of the matter
Sitting alongside the Aussie world-class spinner, Shane Warne, Anderson nominated the two batsmen. When asked the same question, Shane Warne’s answer had no surprise; he picked Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara as the best batsmen he had bowled to.
The duo were by far the best batsmen of Warne’s era and it came as no surprise that he named them. He also added that the pair was well ahead of any other batsman he has bowled to.
Parallels from history
44-year-old Muttiah Muralitharan, having played against some of the best batsmen in the world, picked West Indies legend Brian Lara as the best and the toughest batsman to bowl to. He also admitted that Lara was one of the best players of spin.
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson earlier revealed that bowling against AB de Villiers is a bit of a challenge for any bowler. According to him, having excelled as the best batsman across all the formats of the game, AB has emerged as a quality batsman.
It comes as no surprise that Anderson named Ponting as the two were part of various battles in the Ashes over the years. Amla, on the other hand, has always been considered a sound batsman and few would question his name being taken by Anderson as one of the two toughest batsmen he has bowled to.