March 21, 2018

Battling South Africans leave test finely poised against England

16 July 2017, 06:18 | Joan Schultz

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South Africa saw James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, capture their last four first-innings wickets for four runs in 16 balls as they slumped from an overnight 309 for six to 335 all out. Look at the way South Africa played attritionally.

Solidity was Joe Root's stated aim on assuming the captaincy in February.

England must increasingly manage Anderson's physical well-being and workload as they try to ensure they get the most out of him at an advanced stage of his outstanding career.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has confirmed that all-rounder JP Duminy will be dropped for the second Test against England in Nottingham, which gets underway on Friday. The best way is to watch the ball and react.

But on the eve of this match, Root did admit that Ballance, his Yorkshire teammate, was ostensibly his pick and backed him to justify that faith, saying: "I take a lot of responsibility in the selection of the squad".

"I worry about the mentality of the Test batting because as soon as the things get hard - it swings around or spins - they play aggressively". England on day one were too short.

The 34-year-old followed up with a second successive wicket maiden by finding Keshav Maharaj's edge - the 700th Test wicket taken by Anderson and Broad in partnership.

"You get out in county cricket and the week after you face a different team with different bowlers".

After Ben Stokes departed cheaply, Jonny Bairstow (45) took England in sight of 200 before falling to a wonderful delivery from Maharaj which pitched on middle and took out off stump.

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With the line-up South Africa have now, they need someone who is not as shackled by expectation or form as the rest to just bat.

It was yet another example of the resilience of a South Africa side who have lost just one of their last 19 away Test series. "They are not good enough or winning enough games to go with that line up".

Just as it looked like the Proteas might be bowled out well before the end of the day, a stern 74 run stand between Morris (23 not out) and Philander (54 not out) brought them back into the game with the latter completing his seventh half-century.

"It was not a great day for us".

"I don't think numerous batsmen will think they got jaffas (well-bowled deliveries) to get out from".

"The batters have been fantastic over the previous months and you are going to have days like this, especially with a young side".

'The real test will come when he's faced with a flat pitch, with no lateral movement or variable bounce.

Yorkshireman Root is championing the Brut Sport Style range while Anderson, a Lancastrian, is backing Brut Original.

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