Strauss salutes king of swing Anderson
NOTTINGHAM: England captain Andrew Strauss hailed James Anderson as the best swing bowler in the world after the Lancashire quick's textbook display in a 354-run first Test rout of Pakistan.
Anderson exploited the overcast conditions superbly for Test-best match figures of 11 wickets for 71 runs.
"I have always maintained that when the ball is swinging there is no better bowler in the world than Jimmy," said Strauss.
The Lancashire quick's haul, the first time he'd taken 10 or more wickets in a match in his 49 Tests, included an extraordinary second innings return of six wickets for 17 runs in 15 overs as Pakistan were bowled out for just 80 - their lowest total against England - before lunch on the fourth day.
Anderson, who turned 28 on Friday, had earlier taken five for 54 as England held Pakistan to 182 in reply to their first innings 354.
"It's fantastic," said Anderson, who has now taken 28 wickets at just 15.89 in four Tests at a Trent Bridge ground renowned for assisting swing bowlers.
"It's a great feeling - I've only done it once before in first-class cricket," added Anderson, whose previous Test match-best was the nine for 98 he took against New Zealand at Trent Bridge two years ago.
However, a constant criticism of Anderson throughout his career is that he has been a far less effective bowler when the ball is not swinging.
After this four Test series against Pakistan, England defend the Ashes in Australia where the Kookaburra cricket ball and overhead conditions are generally less conducive for swing bowling than in England.
"One thing we've talked about is trying to concentrate when it is not swinging," said Anderson who averaged a hugely expensive 84 with the ball during England's 5-0 series loss on their last tour of Australia in 2006/07.
"Our main aim is to bowl maidens and create pressure from both ends."
It marks a return to form for Anderson who struggled for rhythm and wickets during England's recent one-day series wins at home to Australia and Bangladesh.
"It's not been my greatest summer so far, but I always felt I was bowling well through the one-day series, even though the figures might have shown otherwise.
"Here I got the nicks and the catches in the slips."
Strauss also paid tribute to Middle+++ team-mate Eoin Morgan, who made a maiden Test century of 130, and Matt Prior whose second innings 102 not out, made after the wicketkeeper had come in at 72 for five, was another example of the resilience required for England to become a "top quality" Test nation.
"Test matches like this give me a lot of heart because of guys getting us out of trouble when we need them," Strauss explained.
"If you want to be a top quality Test team, you need people to come out and get you out of trouble."