England pacer Anderson proves he is Test match fit

Posted By: Staff

Cape Town (S. Africa), Dec. 13 (ANI): England fast bowler James Anderson has proved that he is match fit for first Test against South Africa at the Centurion next week.

Anderson proved his fitness on Saturday. Without quite reaching full tilt, his right knee showed no obvious signs of discomfort in three spells, although he took just the one wicket, reports The Telegraph.

Ryan Sidebottom, however, took the bowling honours, overcoming a recent side strain to collect five wickets, mainly with some late reverse swing. He will now compete with Graham Onions for a Test spot.

As a rule, it seems Flower prefers six batsmen, Strauss five. Only once during their commonsensical tenure have they played six, a boring run fest in Barbados. They may regret not having done so, though, at Leeds last summer, when Andrew Flintoff was injured.

Bell probably deserves a place after his 72 in the Ashes decider at the Oval, his finest innings for England. He likes No 6, having scored four of his eight Test centuries there, but will recognize that he will be first off the ship if policy is revised.

The Centurion has hosted 14 Tests, of which South Africa have won 11. There have been two draws and one loss, all against England, but the loss was down to Hansie Cronje's generosity.

England traditionally does not like the first Test of a series. Last summer's home victory over the West Indies was their first in 14 series, a draw in Cardiff against Australia being truer to form.

Rain has blighted all three of England's Tests at Centurion, but the forecast is improving. It is time for a legitimate win.

England (probable): Strauss (captain), Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell, Prior, Broad, Swann, Sidebottom and Anderson. ANI)

Story first published: Sunday, December 13, 2009, 16:15 [IST]
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