Melbourne: England bowling coach David Saker has compared paceman James Anderson and spinner Graeme Swann to the legendary pair of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Saker said when Anderson and Swann bowl in tandem it reminds him of the combination of Australian greats McGrath and Warne. Anderson and Swann so far have shared 455 Test wickets between them, a figure which is quite distant from the combined tally of 1271 of the two Australians, who retired in 2007.
"When Jimmy and Swann bowl together it is not unlike McGrath and Warnie at times. McGrath and Warne in tandem were amazing but I have seen some spells from Jimmy and Swanny that have been just as good or better at times," Saker, a former Victoria and Tasmania seamer, said.
"In Sri Lanka [earlier this year] there were a couple of times, especially late on day four in the second Test, when those two reminded me so much of McGrath and Warne. They put so much pressure on the Sri Lankan batting group and the wickets fell," Saker was quoted as saying by the Australian.
Saker also said that England's bowling depth was reminiscent of the successful Australia teams of the 1990s and early 2000s. "McGrath was the stand-out in that group but they had Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Andy Bichel...they were all fantastic bowlers," he said.
"This group is very skillful too. What they do really well is assess conditions quickly. They will see if it is swinging and, if so, they will stick to our original plans. If it is not doing that, they will come up with some other plan. They are very skillful - to be able to bowl conventional swing and they say 'this is not going to work' and then switch to reverse and attack in different ways - that is a huge weapon to have."