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Spin Comes into Play for England Ahead of Second South Africa Test

Spin Comes into Play for England Ahead of Second South Africa Test

England are thinking of bringing a specialist spinner back into the line-up after going with an all-pace attack in their last two outings.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: January 1, 2020, 9:07 AM IST

England are thinking of bringing a specialist spinner back into the line-up after going with an all-pace attack in their last two outings, coach Chris Silverwood said as they arrived in Cape Town for their second Test against South Africa starting on Friday.

That means a seamer such as record wicket-taker James Anderson or Stuart Broad may be dropped for a contest expected to be played on a much flatter deck than the first Test in Pretoria, which South Africa won by 107 runs inside four days on Sunday.

It was a second successive Test without a specialist spinner, as England went instead with seamers Anderson, Broad, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran, and part-time contributions from captain Joe Root and Joe Denly.

South Africa is traditionally a seamers' paradise, but the home side went into the first Test with spinner Keshav Maharaj, who despite not bowling many overs took two vital wickets in England's second innings. That helped check any hopes the tourists had of reaching the imposing target set them for victory.

"We've got to look at playing a spinner at Newlands. We'll look through the records, what features where and who is going to have most impact on that game. We'll do our homework and go from there," coach Chris Silverwood told reporters.

Dom Bess, who played twice against Pakistan in 2018 and was recently at a spin bowling camp in Sri Lanka led by Rangana Herath, is likely to be the first choice despite only being called up for the tour as cover when a virus swept through the squad.

This is because Jack Leach continues to struggle with the bug that laid low as many of 15 squad members since England’s arrival in the country on Dec. 14.

"It's been really a tough month or so for Jack Leach, having gone down in New Zealand as well," added Root. "It's really sad and really hard for him."

Leach, 28, also spent time in hospital in New Zealand last month with gastroenteritis and has had Crohn's disease since he was a teenager.

"We're trying to manage that as best we can. We've got some very able back-up in Dom Bess and we've got Matt Parkinson as well as another option. We'll look at the surface and make our decision," the skipper added.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking