Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif may have been tainted by the spot-fixing controversy and his Indian counterpart Zaheer Khan, may be past his peak. But they both have found an adoring fan in England ace seamer James Anderson.
Anderson has signaled a renaissance of sorts in his career by becoming the third-highest wicket-taker in 2010 and topping the bowling charts in the ongoing Ashes with 17 scalps. But the World's No. 4 bowler attributes most of his success of mimicking the pace, swing and guile of the sub-continent's top bowlers.
"To get to this stage has been about practice. I have watched a lot of other international cricketers. I learned a lot from Asif in England, how he hit the seam, wobbled it a bit and could swing it a bit too," Anderson was quoted as saying by a leading British newspaper.
Anderson added that deceiving the batsmen by not enabling them to pick the exact kind of deliveries he was in the process of producing, was his tribute to the prowess of Zaheer Khan."Hiding the ball is something I picked up from Zaheer Khan in India," said Anderson.
On being catapulted to the No. 4 spot on the ICC's bowling charts, Anderson said, "I always knew I had a lot more ability and skill than I showed in my early career. But I have improved a hell of a lot."
Anderson along with his team-mate Jonathan Trott, is in the running for the Performer of the Series award, which will be presented at the end of the ongoing fifth and final Ashes Test of England's 2010-11 tour of Down Under.