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Anderson set to shine for England

James Anderson returns to the scene of one of his best international performances on Thursday boosted by his growing influence as a key member of England's attack.

The Lancashire seamer first established himself as a bowler of international class at Newlands four years ago when his man-of-the-match display of four for 29 helped England secure a superb victory over Pakistan in the World Cup.

Now 25, Anderson has struggled to recapture that early promise until recently when a series of outstanding bowling performances during the recent NatWest Series triumph over India confirmed him as back to his best.

Those displays have also convinced England's management that Anderson has emerged from his years of injury and inconsistency to become a major international star as he prepares for their opening match of the World Twenty20 against Zimbabwe.

"Jimmy is a real revelation," said chairman of selectors David Graveney.

"The way he has bowled has been outstanding.

"People say it's only because he has bowled lots of overs for Lancashire and that maybe that is part of the reason but he has also sat down with Allan Donald and Lancashire have also had a part to play."

Anderson's relationship with former South Africa fast bowler Donald, currently working as England's bowling coach, has been key in the revival of his fortunes.

Encouraged to lead the attack rather than just be a member of it by Donald, who has named him as "captain of the bowlers", Anderson has responded superbly to form a strong new-ball partnership with Stuart Broad.

Their hopes on continuing that partnership in the Twenty20 tournament may depend on whether England decide to utilise the skills of Sussex's James Kirtley, one of five specialists in the squad.

But such are the strength of Anderson's recent displays he is unlikely to be the one displaced with Graveney adding: "He has got confidence and taken wickets.

"He bowls in a slightly different way to the way he did when he first came into the England team. When he played in the 2003 World Cup he delivered a devastating display of late swing, particularly in that game in Cape Town when he bowled out Pakistan.

"He is now bowling quickly and aggressively and he bowls a very good bouncer now. He's on top of his game, he looks to be enjoying his cricket and whatever AD has said to him about leading the attack is certainly working."

source - sportinglife.com
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