It seems that a fast bowler goes through an evolution as well, until they reach the final stage — a place occupied by the likes of James Anderson and Zaheer Khan. It is here that bowlers learn that to beat a batsman, you must first learn how to think like one. And not only do you understand batsmen, you have the skill and control to execute the arcs of your plans.
Listen to the way commentators talk when Khan or Anderson run to the crease. They talk about each ball as if it’s part of a specific plan; it’s all evidence of a master plan — and watching it unfold over the course of a few overs is watching a master at his craft. He controls everything in his domain and the batsmen have little hope to do more than survive
I think these types of bowlers are much more respected than those like Dale Steyn. Don’t get me wrong; Steyn is a great bowler with a similar level of control. But he relies on sheer pace, and he hasn’t been through the trial and tribulation Anderson or Khan have. Steyn is all about innate talent; Anderson and Khan are about bowling within very strict limitations. Wasim Akram may have been the first true fast bowler guru who understood mortality and ascended to nirvana; he shortened his run-up, figured out how to hold a ball, and then knew exactly where it would land and what it would do. All those who follow are reincarnations.
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