LONDON: James Anderson believes England will have to be patient like never before if they are to maintain their world number one Test ranking against a South Africa side who are masters of playing under pressure.
South Africa will replace England at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings if they emerge victorious in a three-Test series that gets underway at The Oval on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge,” said Anderson. “The last couple of times South Africa have been over here they’ve played really well and beaten us. Both attacks have shown in the last 18 months that they are strong units. I think it’ll be a good battle.
“They’ve got such a strong batting line-up that every wicket’s crucial. They’ve got some great players and we’re going to have to be on the top of our game. We’re looking forward to it.
“South Africa probably soak up pressure better than anybody else in the world, so we might have to be more patient than we have in recent series and that’s going to be our biggest test.”
The Proteas were the last visiting side to win a Test series in England, back in 2008, and Anderson was keeping history in mind. “A lot of the guys played in that series. They played really well last time and they’re going to be strong in our conditions with both bat and ball.
“But our confidence is high, we’re really excited to be playing such a strong team.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.
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