Silverwood hails ‘inspirational’ paceman as hosts aim to wrap up series victory
Head coach Chris Silverwood said it would be “fantastic” if England ended their Test summer with a victory over Pakistan that would take them to second place in the World Test Championship.
With Pakistan still trailing by 210 runs, England remain in a good position to clinch a 2-0 series victory.
“It would be fantastic if we could do that,” Silverwood said of the possibility of winning the third Test.
“But it’s more important for the guys to come out tomorrow and put their best foot forward and finish how we’ve played the two series put together. I’m very proud of how they’ve handled themselves, being locked up for the best part of 10 weeks in the bubble – their attitude and effort during that time has been fantastic.”
Silverwood hailed the impact of James Anderson, who took the wicket of Abid Ali to move to 599 victims in Test cricket before bad light stopped play.
“He’s an inspiration, isn’t he? Wow. To have two of them in there [Anderson and Stuart Broad] above 500 – it’s an amazing effort.
“He’s worked so hard to do it and he’s brilliant around the place. He’s constantly helping the other bowlers. It would be brilliant to see him get over the line.
“It’s superb to have one of the best in the world sat in your dressing room, playing for your country – it is absolutely amazing.”
Between the third and fourth days, Anderson suffered four dropped catches in just 37 balls. He had opener Shan Masood spilt at the start of Pakistan’s second innings after three drops in quick succession on the third evening.
“I thought Jimmy handled himself very well,” Silverwood said. “You’ve got to accept these things do happen and, as frustrating as they are, you’ve got to get on with the next ball and try to create the next opportunity.”
Silverwood said that, on a flat wicket, “it will take a lot of effort and a good attitude” to win the game. “But we’ve seen a lot of that throughout the period we’ve been locked up and I can’t fault either one of those in the boys.”
Silverwood added: “The wicket is slow and there’s not a lot of movement out there now. So we have to grind it out.”
He rejected the suggestion that Mark Wood should have been picked for his extra pace and bounce. “I’m happy with the bowling attack we’ve put out there – we didn’t bowl a lot in the last Test match,” he said.