Sil­ver­wood: Jimmy & Jofra can be a threat

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

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

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