England were in for a reality check after in their first Test against South Africa in Centurion as they lost by 107 runs to concede 0-1 lead. The Three Lions, who were the No.1 team in the long format even a year ago, have had a less than remarkable 2019 in the same. They have not won a single series this year and could now think of something drastic to level the series against the Proteas in the second Test in Cape Town starting January 3.
Coach Chris Silverwood has hinted that the visitors could even choose to drop either of their two veteran pacers — James Anderson and Stuart Broad — in the next game and pick a spinner instead. Anderson, who played his 150th Test in Centurion, picked a wicket with the very first ball of the match but could add just one more to his tally in the remaining duration of the game.
Broad did better by picking five in the game with a four-for in the first innings. The Anderson-Broad pair is the most experienced one at the moment with over 1,050 Test wickets between them. While 36-year-old Anderson (577 wickets) is the highest wicket-taking pacer in Tests at the moment and the fourth-highest overall, 33-year-old Broad (476 scalps) is the seventh-highest wicket-taker in Tests.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad share over 1,000 Tests wickets between them
England have also been hit by illness as a number of players have been found afflicted at various points of time. Dominic Sibley is the latest to join the list although Joe Root’s side has a piece of good news in spinner Jack Leach regaining his fitness. He could be in the playing XI at Newlands if England chose to do away with an all-pace bowling attack which they chose in the first Test.
“In Jimmy (Anderson) and Stuart (Broad), we have a wealth of experience and we’d be really stupid not to take that into consideration every game,” Silverwood was quoted as saying by ICC.
“But, equally, you want your youngsters to come through, and if we’re going to make room for a spinner, we’ve got to have a look at which seamers are right for this pitch. If there’s a big decision, we’re not afraid to make it.” Cape Town is one of the few in South Africa that helps spinners and Silverwood is aware of that.
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