Akram says Anderson bowling reverse swing like 'watching himself bowl'
Wasim Akram, the great Pakistan fast bowler, has said he was so impressed by James Anderson's ability to deliver reverse swing in the third Test match at Eden Gardens that he thought India's baffled batsmen were facing his own country rather than England.
"The way they bowled tells me England will only get better in this series because they have the knowledge of reverse swing and, crucially, an idea of how to use it," the Telegraph quoted Akram, as saying.
"To me it looked like the Pakistan team were playing out there, it really did. The skill is phenomenal," he added.
"James Anderson has got the knack of reverse swing and will only get better. I reckon he is on a par with Dale Steyn," he said.
Akram added: "Finn is raw and a bit wayward but he has the pace and just needs to spend more time with Mushy (Mushtaq Ahmed). I can sense his influence."
Reverse swing is an individual talent but the bowler needs team support. The ball has to be cherished and worked on methodically. One side must be bone dry, the other smooth and shiny.
"Look at the state of the ball in Calcutta when the two teams were bowling. When India had the ball it was average looking. Nobody was bothering to shine the ball, or take responsibility for keeping it dry," Akram said.
"When England bowled it was different. One side of the ball was shiny and the other dry. Learn how to look after the cricket ball itself and also know your ball. The Kookaburra will take 40-50 overs to reverse, the Duke about 30 overs and the SD [which is used in India] will take about 10-15 overs. All these details every bowler should know," he added.