Jimmy Anderson not guaranteed to face India in second Test, admits Silverwood | Sport

England’s head coach, Chris Silverwood, has refused to guarantee Jimmy Anderson will start England’s second Test against India on Saturda...


England’s head coach, Chris Silverwood, has refused to guarantee Jimmy Anderson will start England’s second Test against India on Saturday despite his sensational display in the first Test in Chennai, one that all but sealed victory for the tourists.

Silverwood was full of praise for Anderson, whose reverse-swinging stop-the-clocks over in the second innings did for Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane and opened the door for England’s final-day charge and their subsequent 227-run triumph, ranked by some as England’s best overseas Test win.

“He blew the game open for us,” said Silverwood. “It was quite remarkable to watch. Anyone watching at home – any aspiring fast bowlers – when you see an over like that, it’s inspirational. He hit his straps straight away with his swing and to be so accurate. It just shows what a class act he is.”

But Silverwood would not go as far as saying the 38-year-old would keep his place when battle resumes in Chennai. “Broady [Stuart Broad] didn’t play in the last game and we’ve many bowlers here who we could play at any given point … I’m not reluctant to change a winning team if it’s the best thing to do for the players and the team and the longevity of it,” he said.

“You run the risk of the result being different, but you could play the same team and the result would be different because we know India will come back hard. We know they’re a very good team and we’ve got the utmost respect for them.”

Silverwood did not deny that the temptation to pick Broad and Anderson was very strong. “Has it crossed my mind? Yes – they are both class acts,” he said. “Things are working at the moment, but we do have to look after our players and I just feel very lucky I have an abundance of talent that means we can do this.”

There will be at least one enforced change. Jos Buttler has flown home as part of England’s rotation policy, with Ben Foakes, who played the last of his five Tests two years ago, pulling on the gloves.

“He’s looking good. He’s been training hard,” said Silverwood. “Having this opportunity has given him a great focus over the past couple of weeks. I don’t see it as weakening; I see it as an opportunity for people to come in and show what they can do.”

The wicketkeeping swap does, arguably, diminish England’s batting, which could open the door to Moeen Ali, whose return to Test cricket to date has involved catching Covid and subsequently watching from the wings. Silverwood did not rule out spinner rotation, but expressed confidence in Dom Bess, whose Test swung from the high of Virat Kohli’s wicket to a proliferation of full tosses on the final day.

“I am not worried,” he said. “I had a chat with him afterwards and he’s still in good spirits – everybody has a bad day and I can accept that. It’s not through lack of effort – for me we get to the nets tomorrow working hard again.”

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Newsrust: Jimmy Anderson not guaranteed to face India in second Test, admits Silverwood | Sport
Jimmy Anderson not guaranteed to face India in second Test, admits Silverwood | Sport
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