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Zaheer’s ‘hand’ in Anderson success

Monty Panesar

Calcutta: James Anderson may have troubled the batsmen with his reverse swing on Wednesday but it was Zaheer Khan who inspired the pacer to start practising it.

“Might be the last time we toured here... Zaheer did it a lot. That’s when I started practising it... It’s a good skill to hide the shine of the ball and make it difficult for the batsmen.

“Every bowler has his own style of reversing the ball. But you need to be clever to use the skill well. You also need a good speed, say around 135-140 km/hr, to reverse the ball. Otherwise it becomes ineffective,” the England pacer said.

“We had hints of it in the last two matches. I saw the pitch and said let’s go ahead. We were actually waiting it to reverse the last two games but didn’t happen. Reverse swing is crucial for seam bowlers because it keeps you in the game. I felt pretty good whole day. I think I bowled reasonably well with the new ball first thing. And enjoyed it as much as I could.”

Anderson, who enjoys a superb success rate against Sachin Tendulkar, rated his wicket as the best among the three he picked.

“I would say Sachin was the big one because he is a such a classy player if he gets going he will get big hundreds. It’s a nice thing to have done that but I will probably think about it when I will retire. But that was a crucial wicket and I was delighted with getting him out. He looked like he was set. He looked scratchy early on but once he got going he looked dangerous. I was really pleased to get him out. I bowl better at him than anyone else.”

Anderson feels swing can make a big difference in this Test.

“The new ball swung this game. It hasn’t done in the last two games. I imagine it will keep on swinging pretty much the whole game. I suppose the early start helps. I think it swung a little bit, more than in Mumbai… It’s gonna deteriorate like any other good pitch.”