Cook joins the 'Anderson is best' club

England

England captain Alastair Cook has echoed bowling coach David Saker's assessment that James Anderson is the 'most skillful' fast bowler in the world, even more so that number one Test bowler Dale Steyn.

England captain Alastair Cook has echoed bowling coach David Saker's assessment that James Anderson is the 'most skillful' fast bowler in the world, even more so that number one Test bowler Dale Steyn.

Saker made his comments during the Ashes last year, and Cook has stated the same now, while admitting that Anderson is not on a par with the Proteas man in terms of pace. He feels Anderson has more swing variations though.

Cook said: "He is the most skilful bowler in the world. There have been some very good bowlers I've played with but, for pure out-and-out skill, there is no doubt. He is the best bowler England have ever produced.

"No disrespect to Dale Steyn, but the way Jimmy can swing the ball both ways – I don't think Dale can do that quite as well as Jimmy but Dale has the advantage of being able to bowl quicker.

"Dale has been the number one bowler in the world for quite a long time in terms of the number of wickets he takes. He always picks up wickets. And those two are in the same class.

"Anderson will soon be the leading wicket taker in Test matches for England. That is quite a glowing reference. It's an amazing achievement. If he does it in this game, it will mean England are in a very strong position.

"You saw his guts and determination last week at Manchester when he was bowling when he wasn't very well. That was extraordinary. That pretty much tells me, tells everyone, what a bloke he is and to back it up with his talent and skill means he is a very fine bowler."

Anderson is seven wickets shy of reaching Ian Botham's 383 Test wickets for England, the highest such tally, while Steyn has taken that exact number of wickets, in 23 fewer Tests (75 vs 98).

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