Anderson, with 871 international wickets to his name, holds the record for the most number of wickets (584) taken by a fast bowler in Test cricket. The right-arm quick has undoubtedly been one of the finest exponents of swing bowling in his generation and has helped England earn many memorable wins in his near two decade long international career.
And, in fact, Anderson is the bowler to have dismissed Tendulkar the most times in Tests.
Tests: Bowlers to have dismissed SRT most times
In a video chat with fellow batting great Brian Lara ahead of the ongoing Test series between England and West Indies, Tendulkar broke down Anderson’s rare skill while reverse swinging the ball.
Tendulkar himself wasn’t the most comfortable while facing Anderson in his career. The right-arm pacer’s ability to swing the ball away consistently before bringing one back in troubled the Master Blaster on several occasions.
It is this sort of mastery with the moving ball that has elevated Anderson to greatness. He hasn’t ever been known for having express pace, but his talent to keep hitting the right spot while swinging the red ball both ways is what sets him apart.
While Anderson’s quality as a conventional swing bowler is well known, Tendulkar shared light on another rare ability that the Englishman possesses.
Here’s what Tendulkar explained:
“Jimmy Anderson was possibly the first bowler who bowled reverse swing also reverse. In conventional reverse swing, the ball moves in the direction of the shiny side. If a bowler keeps a nice [straight] wrist position, the ball will always swing in the direction of the shiny side. But what Anderson did differently was that he bent his wrist while releasing the ball as if he was bowling an in-swinger. So as a batsman you could see that the shiny side will make the ball swing away from you but because Anderson bent his wrist in that manner right at the end, the ball would angle in first before shaping away. He showed you that he’s bowling an in-swinger and got you to commit, but the ball started leaving you after travelling three-fourths of the pitch. That is something that was new to me. You see more bowlers do this variation these days, but Anderson was the one who started it a long time ago. I rate him very, very highly. He’s one of the best exponents of reverse swing.”
Watch Tendulkar talk about Anderson’s brilliance here:
Anderson had recently spoken about the need to remain focussed when bowling to Tendulkar.
“I don’t really remember having a specific game plan against Tendulkar. I just remember that once he came in I went in my mind: ‘I CANNOT bowl a bad ball here.’ He is that good a player and so key for India,” Anderson had said in Sky Sports cricket vodcast.
“Particularly in India, when you got him out, the whole atmosphere in the ground changed. He was such a big wicket, you just focus so much on bowling your best ball. Top of off stump, and hope he misses a straight one. In England he might nick the odd one, but I generally tried to get him LBW early. I got success against him but he scored against us quite a lot too.”