Head coach Chris Silverwood has made it clear that England would not think twice about effecting changes in their XI for the second Test against South Africa, particularly if conditions in Cape Town demand so.
A 107-run defeat in the opening Test once again reflected England’s troubles with the red ball. An outbreak of illness within the squad that laid low 10 players at various times has only compounded matters for the visitors.
Spinner Jack Leach has now regained fitness that should help England reassess their bowling combination for the next Test. If they include a spinner in their line-up after fielding an all-seam attack in the first Test, then either Stuart Broad or James Anderson is likely to be dropped.
Silverwood minced no words to say that England are concentrating on building a team for the future.
“In Jimmy and Stu, we have a wealth of experience and we’d be really stupid not to take that into consideration every game. But equally, you want your youngsters to come through and if we’re going to make room for a spinner, we’ve got to have a look at which seamers are right for this pitch. If there’s a big decision, we’re not afraid to make it,” Silverwood was quoted as saying by the ICC website.
The Newlands pitch is one of the few in South Africa to assist spin bowling.
“We’ve got to look at playing a spinner at Newlands,” he said. “We’ll go down there and do what we always do.”