Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Recalling Anderson Is a Risk, Cook Acknowledges

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Recalling Anderson Is a Risk, Cook Acknowledges

Article excerpt

CAPTAIN Alastair Cook admits recalling James Anderson for the second Test against South Africa will be a gamble for England.

Anderson missed England's handsome win in Durban with a calf strain but is confident he is fit to line up at Newlands this morning.

He took full part in a prematch net session, bowling a lengthy spell with additional support on his right calf and also batted with no obvious signs of discomfort.

The 33-year-old has bowled just five competitive overs since arriving in the country and, while that would ordinarily be considered insufficient build-up, England believe their record wicket-taker knows what his body is capable of.

South Africa saw their own spearhead Dale Steyn break down in the first Test on his comeback from injury and although Cook is wary of repeating that mistake, the temptation to unleash Anderson, at the expense of Chris Woakes, remains strong.

"It's fair to say that the XI who played in Durban did a pretty good job, but when you've got Jimmy and his wickets in the background, if he's fit to go, then he'll play," said Cook.

"It's an interesting call because of how many overs he's bowled so far on this tour - not a huge amount - and the conditions will be a tough Test for all of us.

"We'll have a good chat in the changing room and see how he feels. We have to be really careful with heart and head.

"He's desperate to play but we just have to make sure it's the right decision for him.

"If he's fit and ready and confi-dent, then he'll be opening the bowling but we don't want to hinder ourselves and have an injury caused that we could have prevented.

"Obviously there will be a bit of a risk about it."

England are in buoyant mood after their efforts in Durban and will be hoping the brief two-day turnaround plays into their hands.

South Africa looked short on form and confidence last time out but if they had to choose a venue to provide home comfort, it would be Newlands. …

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