South Africa vs England: Visitors ponder over all-seam attack in build-up to Test series opener at Centurion

England are considering an all-pace attack for the first Test against South Africa in Pretoria starting on Boxing Day, but their plans will depend on whether they can get Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad fully fit.

Reuters, Dec 23, 2019 19:07:52 IST

Pretoria: England are considering an all-pace attack for the first Test against South Africa in Pretoria starting on Boxing Day, but their plans will depend on whether they can get Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad fully fit.

Both fast bowlers had net sessions on Monday and came through unscathed, but have not bowled in match conditions on the tour after being laid low by flu over the past week.

South Africa vs England: Visitors ponder over all-seam attack in build-up to Test series opener at Centurion

Veteran England pacer James Anderson bowls during a warm-up game ahead of the first Test at Centurion. Image credit: Twitter/@jimmy9

With James Anderson only recently back to full fitness after an extended spell on the sidelines there may be concerns about any of them breaking down, but England coach Chris Silverwood said they would trust the players on how they feel.

“Broady, if he tells me he is fit then I have to believe him. He has got a lot of experience under his belt and he knows his body,” Silverwood told reporters on Monday.

“Jofra has had two good days (in the nets) and as long as his pace is up and he feels good, then he will be a serious contender for selection.”

Silverwood admits an all-pace attack on what is traditionally a bouncy pitch on the Highveld is something they are considering.

“We are looking at what is most effective on this ground. We have got some good recent results from the spin-bowling department and (Jack) Leach is coming back to fitness, we also have Dominic Bess and Parky (Matthew Parkinson),” he said.

“We have got resources there, but we are just looking at what will be most effective in this game. We are not definitely going down the route of all seam, it is something we will discuss in the next few days.”

Other seam options include Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Craig Overton.

Silverwood also had special praise for the efforts of Woakes and suggested he might shorten his length on the South African wickets to be more effective.

“We saw in the two-day fixture he did get aggressive for a while and it worked. It is something he has in his armoury and I think he enjoyed it.”

The first Test, from 26-30 December, at Centurion is followed by matches at Newlands in Cape Town, St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Dec 23, 2019 19:07:52 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
6 New Zealand 6056 252