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CricketIndia pacers have learnt watching James Anderson, says Mohammed Shami

India’s pace bowling has captured the imagination of the cricket world and they have won tremendous praise in the current Test series against England. However, Mohammed Shami, a vital cog in that department, said they are still learning from a role model in the opposition.Mohammad Shami

James Anderson is 36 with questions swirling about his retirement and the need to somehow keep him at the top of his game until next year’s Ashes series against Australia at home. He is yet to dismiss India skipper Virat Kohli even once in this series, going into the fourth Test starting at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday, but he is the highest wicket-taker from either side, with 17 scalps.

That has left him seven wickets short of overhauling Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563, the best by a pace bowler and fourth all-time. The Aussie has predicted none will touch the record of Anderson when he finishes up.

The last time Anderson played at this venue, he took with seven wickets and was named Man-of-the-Match.

 

India bowlers will fancy dominating the shaky England batting line-up, having succeeded with their disciplined approach in this series. But Shami acknowledged that there was more to learn from Anderson.

Asked about England’s highest wicket-taker and master of swing bowling, Shami began with an understatement. “There is no doubt he’s a good bowler,” he said on Tuesday.

“I hope he gets those seven wickets and builds on that number. As far as learning goes, when you see a senior player performing before you like that, you observe him as much as you can.

“I’m always looking at how he doesn’t have as much pace as us but still takes wickets — what lengths he bowls. You get to learn these things. He’s a different bowler in different conditions. No matter where a player comes from, the first thing you have to see is what he works on in home conditions.

“We’ve been able to learn a great deal from Anderson. We saw him on the last tour here as well, he bowled really well. So far, what I’ve learnt from Anderson is this — the stricter and more accurate you are, the better it is for you.”

Shami, who has 118 wickets in 33 Tests, believes he himself has been a work in progress.

“From childhood, I have been into fast bowling and in my family we had fast bowlers. I have become a fast bowler from the family point of view, but I didn’t have that much understanding of it as a kid.

“When I grew up, I understood fast bowling better and kept improving and have managed to reach here to play for my country. And we have formed a pace unit that people are now talking about us, and for us.”

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