Jimmy Anderson's rise has been phenomenal

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 21, 2013 04:41 hrs

Way back when Jimmy Anderson was pulled out of playing grade cricket in Australia and asked to join an injury struck England team, nobody would have believed that he would go on to become the terrific bowler that he is today.

England were down in the dumps and facing another humiliating tour Down Under with the Test series lost and the long one-day triseries still left to be played when the call went to the Lancastrian who had gone to play grade cricket in Australia and get some toughening up and experience too. He impressed straightaway and England knew they had a fine prospect.

But as it happens with a lot of youngsters who get carried away when they get picked for their country very early in their careers, Anderson seemed to stray a bit and ignored the hard work ethic and thus got more action on the physios table than on the field.

There was also the effort to be 'hip' by colouring the hair red and such like, so it was no surprise when he found himself on the outside. The best part about being outside is that you start to miss being on the inside and realise that it is a much better place to be, and then if the player is prepared to do the hard yards, then he with the natural talent that he has can come back. That is exactly what Anderson has done.

He has got fitter and stronger and has honed his craft to a nicety, and so many in England can today claim him to be the best new ball bowler in the world, though the South African Dale Steyn is still the one with the extra pace and bounce and the lethal outswinger.

Anderson got 10 wickets in the first Test which gets him bonus points in the ratings calculation and he is thus well ahead of Shahid Afridi who staged another of his remarkable comebacks to win the first one-dayer against West Indies with both bat and ball.

Afridi is by far the most popular of the Pakistani players for his ability to hit the huge sixes, and whenever he comes in to bat, the stands are full and expectant of another display of batting fireworks.

There is sometimes the element of hit and miss in his batting, but whenever he gives himself some time out in the middle before launching into attack mode, he invariably gets a good score and provides full entertainment to the spectators. That is what he did and then took the ball and ripped out seven wickets with his fastish legspinners and won the game for Pakistan.

There was a match turning hundred by Ian Bell during the week too, but it is Jimmy Anderson with his haul of 10 wickets who is the Ceat international cricketer of the week. 

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