ENG vs SA: Didn't Mind It: James Anderson On South Africa Batting First At Old Trafford

Updated - 26 Aug 2022, 01:55 PM

James Anderson
James Anderson. Image: Twitter

England talisman James Anderson welcomed South Africa skipper Dean Elgar’s decision to bat first in the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday (August 25).

After South Africa beat England by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s to take a 1-0 lead in the series, England bowlers bowled with full strength to demolish the visitors on Day 1.

Proteas’ decision to bat first under the swinging conditions of Old Trafford backfired for Dean Elgar and co after they shot down to 151 in the first innings. Anderson and Stuart Broad picked three wickets apiece to script a stunning collapse, while skipper Ben Stokes chipped in with a couple of dismissals. 

James Anderson
James Anderson. Image: Twitter

Pitches here are normally good to bowl on with a new ball: James Anderson 

Playing at his home ground, Anderson, who has claimed 34 wickets in 10 Tests at this venue, mentioned how the conditions helped the home side to come hard against Dean Elgar & co. 

“I didn’t mind it, actually (South Africa batting first). Pitches here are normally good to bowl on with a new ball, especially early on. The lights were on, it was cloudy…it felt like not the worst toss to lose. As a bowler, when you see it moving around like that, it’s always great,” Anderson said after the day’s play. 

“We know the weather has been pretty average here this last week so it’s been under cover quite a bit and, although it felt hard on top, there was definitely going to be some moisture in there somewhere,” he added.

It was frustrating: James Anderson on bowling with Duke balls 

The quality of the Duke balls, which has faced criticism during this English summer, was once again in the spotlight. Anderson and Broad criticised the balls given to them on Day 1 were average and out of shape.

James Anderson Ashes
James Anderson. Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“They felt better last week but the one we got today was a really average ball. It was out of shape from 20 overs, but it was small enough to fit through the hoops. It was frustrating because the umpires couldn’t do anything about it,” Anderson told BBC.

England’s score read 111/3 at the end of Day 1’s play with Jonny Bairstow (38) and Zak Crawley (17) batting for the hosts.

Also Read: ENG vs SA: James Anderson Becomes First Man To Achieve This Rare Feat In Tests


James Anderson