• Anderson ‘missed the hard graft’

    England fast bowler James Anderson welcomed a first five-wicket haul in Test cricket since January 2019 on Sunday.

    Day three of the second Test against the Proteas yielded figures of 5-40 for Anderson, who missed the bulk of last year’s Ashes series against Australia an the entire tour of New Zealand due to injury.

    ‘I have missed the hard graft of proper Test cricket, the hard toil of having to work for your wickets. It gives you a real buzz when you are out there and able to take wickets,’ said Anderson.

    ‘That is why I still want to play cricket. You put in a proper shift and it makes all the hard work and frustration worth it.

    ‘I love the challenge that Test cricket brings – trying different fields and plans when things are not going your way. That is why I want to keep going.’

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    Last week’s series opener at SuperSport Park in Centurion was Anderson’s first since August 2019, when he reinjured himself against the Aussies in Birmingham.

    ‘The biggest thing for me at Centurion was getting through the gam. I pulled up after four overs at Edgbaston and didn’t want that to happen again so I was a bit nervous about that,’ he added.

    ‘I also wanted to bowl well. I don’t know if I was trying too hard but I was desperate to prove I was worth my place in the team. Looking back, I was a bit rusty and needed that extra game to get match fit.

    ‘I have felt really up to speed in this game – I have worked hard to get back and feel in really good shape.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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