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Corey Anderson the next New Zealand great, says Chris Cairns

New Zealand's Corey Anderson © Getty Images
New Zealand’s Corey Anderson © Getty Images

Jan 6, 2013 :

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns believes that the Corey Anderson is the next great cricketer to come out of the Trans-Tasman country’s slables.

The burly 23 year-old all-rounder grabbed headlines around the world after scoring the fastest One Day International (ODI) century against West Indies in Queenstown that came of just 36 balls, beating predecessor Shahid Afridi‘s record that stood firm for 17 years.

In an article in stuff.co.nz Chris Cairns wrote that Anderson striking the cricket ball is in the league of  Viv Richards, Lance Klusener, Adam Gilchrist, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Symonds.

“Corey Anderson’s innings in Queenstown where he made the fastest ODI hundred ever was simply the cleanest striking I have seen.” Cairns exclaimed ,

“By that I mean this performance has shown team-mates, opponents, media and public what is within his armoury. But it is certainly not the norm and we should never expect it to be.The innings revealed the ferocious power Anderson can deliver but in time he will begin to understand when it is time to release that and move beyond a strike rate of 100. If he can finish his career with a strike rate of 100, then he will be a champion.”

Cairns also pointed out how a 17 year old Afridi could never live up to the immense hype that of that essay at Nairobi in 1996 and that he could never justify his immense talent, he said “ The man that Anderson took the record off was Shahid Afridi and I always felt Afridi never really recovered from that innings which launched his career internationally. Afridi would play with such aggression that you always felt it was like watching someone drive faster and faster on ice. It was never sustainable.”

Cairns, in the midst of a match fixing storm recently views Anderson as predominantly a batting all-rounder despite his more than adequate display with the ball in the 3-match Test series against West Indies in December last year and insisted that he follow Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s footsteps as a lower-order finisher,

“Anderson is an orthodox batsman and I do see him as a batting all-rounder until such time that his body is strong enough to shoulder more bowling – but that is three to four years away. He should try to emulate MS Dhoni . Dhoni’s ability to pace a run chase, be there at the end and use his power when it is required means that Anderson would do well to study the Indian captain’s feats and get alongside him and talk about cricket and run-chasing when the Indians tour in a few weeks.” said Cairns.

Cairns was instrumental in guiding New Zealand to their only International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament win in 2000 at Nairobi, beating India in the finals.

He feels the current New Zealand squad have the potential to win their maiden World Cup, which New Zealand will be co-hosting with Australia  ” This New Zealand side reminds me of the Sri Lankan team of 1996 that won the World Cup. In the lead-up to the tournament they played some excellent cricket and had a wonderful mixture of experience and exciting new talent. Sri Lanka won the World Cup in their backyard in ’96 and that is why I firmly believe New Zealand is on the right track for something special in its backyard in 2015.”

Cairns concluded that Anderson’s emergence as a world class player would significantly take the burden off the top order and provides the much vaunted New Zealand batting balance down the order “The pressure should be and will be on Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Brendan McCullum and Taylor to take responsibility in the big games. Kane Williamson, Anderson, Colin Munro and James Neesham should have a free licence to play with no fear, to explore their games sound in the knowledge that their places in the New Zealand cricket side are safe.”

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