Silverwood: Jimmy & Jofra can be a threat
ENGLAND head coach Chris Silverwood can’t wait to see Jofra Archer and Jimmy Anderson form England’s bowling spearhead.
With the Lancashire seamer having missed the Ashes series and the recent tour to New Zealand, the pair have yet to line-up together for England.
But Anderson has now shaken off his calf injury, which ironically opened the door to the Test side for Archer, and the duo could well open the bowling against South Africa in the first Test, which starts on Boxing Day.
The men are separated by 13 years and 146 Test caps, but this winter the country’s star bowler of years gone by and the man likeliest to shoulder the burden in the future are ready to share the stage.
“You’ve got a guy with 500-plus Test wickets and then a youngster there with all that pace. I am excited, to be honest with you,” said Silverwood.
An athlete less committed than Anderson might have taken the easy road to retirement after a serious setback at the age of 37, which he initially suffered while playing in the Specsavers County Championship for Lancashire against Durham at Sedburgh School.
But he joined Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood in an advance party coached by Red Rose boss Glen Chapple – that trained at Potchefstroom for two weeks to prepare for the Proteas.
And Silverwood is impressed by what he has seen from England’s leading Test wicket-taker.
“He’s in fantastic physical condition. Watching him in the nets it looks like he’s right in rhythm, he looks strong and he’s doing what Jimmy does with the ball. He gets wickets,” said Silverwood.
“To have him and Stuart Broad, that’s 1,000 wickets there and there’s a lot of experience for them to pass on to the rest of the bowlers. That’s what they’ve been doing: leading, talking to everyone, passing on knowledge.”
Archer struggled on flat pitches in New Zealand as England slipped to a 1-0 series defeat. But Silverwood believes he will get more success in South Africa.
“He’s still very young into his international career, especially his Test career, and it’s the first time he’s come across those (New Zealand) conditions. So did I expect him to have all the answers? No I didn’t, and I think it’d be wrong of me if I did,” he said.
“But he will learn and he’s got some good people around him that he can learn from. We will continue talking to him.
“And Joe Root is continually learning what’s the best way of captaining him as well.”
Jimmy Anderson speaks with England head coach Chris Silverwood