James Anderson is in “fantastic physical condition” as he prepares to play for England in their opening warm-up match in South Africa, according to head coach Chris Silverwood.
The Lancashire seamer has not featured for his country since suffering a calf injury in the first Ashes Test against Australia at the start of August, missing the recent tour of New Zealand as he continued his rehabilitation.
However, the 37-year-old – England’s leading wicket-taker in the longest format – was included in the squad for the four-Test series against South Africa, which begins in Centurion on Boxing Day.
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Before then, however, the tourist has a two-day practice match against a Cricket South Africa Invitational XI in Benoni, with the game getting under way on Tuesday.
Anderson is set to feature as he aims to prove his fitness ahead of the opener at SuperSport Park, according to a tweet from his county, with Silverwood impressed by the experienced bowler’s displays during practice.
“He [Anderson] is in fantastic physical condition,” Silverwood told the media. “Watching him in the nets it looks like he’s right in rhythm, he looks strong and he’s doing what Jimmy does with the ball. He gets wickets.
The Proteas – which has appointed Mark Boucher as its new head coach – has named six uncapped players in the squad for the first two Tests.
Pacemen Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks, batsmen Pieter Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius and wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second were all selected, along with opening batsman Aiden Markram, who missed the third and final Test against India in October due to a wrist injury.
Lungi Ngidi and Wiaan Mulder, however, are both ruled out.