NZ vs ENG: “I Used To Watch Him So Closely When I Was A Coach On Tours Of England” – Ravi Shastri Lauds James Anderson

James Anderson
James Anderson. Pic Credits: Twitter.

Ravi Shastri, a renowned pundit, and former India coach are unsurprised that James Anderson, a 40-year-old English fast bowler, is now ranked No. 1 in the world among Test bowlers. Ravi Shastri also praises Anderson’s professionalism and work ethic.

The Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who had topped the ICC Test bowling rankings for the previous four years, was deposed by the right-arm seamer.

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James Anderson, who has continued to excel in Test matches, has taken over as Australia’s captain from Pat Cummins and surpassed Ravichandran Ashwin to take the top spot among bowlers in the most recent ICC Men’s Test Rankings. The fast bowler from England received high accolades from Indian veteran Ravi Shastri, who praised him as one of the sport’s all-time greatest pacers. In addition, he discussed how, while serving as the team’s head coach, he used Anderson’s “work ethic” to motivate the Indian fast bowlers.

In total, James Anderson has held the number-one slot six times in his career, which began in 2003. The first time was in 2016. And 2018 marked the most recent time Anderson reached the top of the chart. His ascent also meant that, at 40 years and 207 days, he overtook Australian legend Clarrie Grimmett as the oldest bowler since the achievement was accomplished in 1936.

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“James Anderson’s work ethic was something I used to appreciate”: Ravi Shastri

Shastri recalls watching James Anderson’s practice sessions intently while he was on tour with the Indian squad as their head coach and even asking the Indian pacers to watch his “work ethic” and “professionalism” in a recent edition of The ICC Review.

“I used to watch him so closely when I was a coach on tours of England every time. And what I used to admire was his work ethic. Even in Indian conditions, there were times he didn’t play in India. But he would go out to bowl at lunch or straight after the day’s play or before the day’s play. I would say he would bowl 20 balls or 25 balls at the most,” Shastri said.

“But for every ball, he would give it his all. And at times I would tell my fast bowlers, ‘Just watch that. Just watch the professionalism, the work ethic’. And it’s not a half-hearted delivery. Those 15-20 balls, whatever they had to bowl, would be as if he’s bowling in a game. He bowls six and maybe takes a little break as if it’s someone else’s bowling. Then come back and do that. And then the action, the follow through and the rhythm, the running in, was just the same for all those 20 balls” Ravi Shastri Added.

Shastri called the Englishman a “role model” and believes that if a player is not physically fit, they cannot play until the age of 40. Under English conditions, Anderson can intimidate any hitter, the former all-rounder said, adding: “So these are real professionals, and a stickler for fitness. You can’t play at 40 and produce these kinds of results unless you are supremely fit. So, hats off. Well done, Jimmy. I would say. He’s a role model. He inspires so many.”

In terms of most test wickets taken overall, James Anderson is now ranked third in the globe. He has 682 wickets, trailing only spinners Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800).
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