Anderson better than Steyn? Laughable!
The statement by England bowling coach David Saker that Jimmy Anderson is a better and more skilful bowler than Dale Steyn is laughable. Saker was quoted as saying, "I know Dale Steyn is an outstanding bowler but when you watch Jimmy and the way he went about things, he has got more skills than Dale Steyn in his locker."
There is no doubt that Anderson is indeed a quality bowler but to put him ahead of the premier fast bowler in the world is pretty silly.
Dale Steyn is ranked No 1 in the world for a reason. He has been the most successful fast bowler in test cricket for some time. Anderson occupies the No 6 spot. There is a vast difference in style between Anderson and Steyn. There is also a considerable difference in class.
Anderson is a swing bowler in the true sense of the word. He moves the ball both ways through the air. Swing bowling is a lost art so it is good that in international cricket there is still a good exponent of this art left.
Anderson is a lot slower through the air than Dale Steyn. He bowls in the high 130s when he gets it together. He tries to be aggressive but doesn’t quite pull it off due to the fact that he is not that quick.
Steyn at full tilt gets it up to the 150 mark when he is really going well. He swings the ball away from the right-hander at that pace. This makes him virtually unplayable at times. He has the ability to bring the ball back in off the seam as well and he possesses a lethal bouncer.
There is little doubt that if top batsmen around the world are canvassed, they'd say they would prefer to face Anderson rather than Steyn. I am not quite sure what the motivation by the England camp was to come up with that statement.
It would have been far more sensible to say that both Anderson and Steyn are world-class bowlers and that their respective skill sets should be treasured and admired. There is no need to draw a comparison between two bowlers who are vastly different. Maybe it was an attempt by Saker to make himself, as the bowling coach, look good.
Instead of doing just that the statement cost him credibility.