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James Anderson is the best, says Wasim Akram

Updated July 31, 2013

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Anderson helped England grab a 2-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes by taking a total of 13 wickets in the two Tests. -File photo by AFP
Anderson helped England grab a 2-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes by taking a total of 13 wickets in the two Tests. -File photo by AFP

Pakistan's former great Wasim Akram has said that England's James Anderson is the best bowler in the world - even better than ICC's top-ranked Dale Steyn.

"Jimmy Anderson is leading from the front. For me he is the best bowler of this era," Akram said in an interview to BBC Sport.

"He does it consistently, with the new ball and the old ball."

Anderson helped England grab a 2-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes by taking a total of 13 wickets in the two Tests.

Akram praised Anderson and said he was right up there among the best fast bowlers.

"Jimmy is up there with me and Waqar because of the control he has.

"He was always good with the new ball, but with the old ball he is intelligent. He bowls five away-swingers, then one inswinger and takes a wicket."

Anderson, ranked at number five in the ICC rankings right below Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, currently has 320 Test wickets and has taken a total of 32 wickets in 2013 in seven Tests.

"Other England bowlers like Steven Finn and Stuart Broad try to alternate inswingers and outswingers, but if you do that your line or length won't be the same every ball you bowl."

Akram said Anderson had the edge over Steyn becuase of the variety he displayed when bowling.

"I have seen Dale Steyn bowling with the old ball and he only bowls one delivery - the inswinger to the right-hander," Akram said.

"Steyn is one of the best in the world as well, but Jimmy is slightly ahead because he does a lot more with the old ball," he added.

The third Ashes Test gets underway on Thursday at Old Trafford.