England could stick with all-seam attack - Silverwood

By Sports Desk December 23, 2019

Chris Silverwood revealed England are mulling over sticking with an all-seam attack for the first Test against South Africa at Centurion.

England selected four seamers and all-rounder Ben Stokes for the second and final match of their series against New Zealand last time out.

The tourists have been affected by illness ahead of the opener against the Proteas, with Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Jack Leach among those struck down.

Head coach Silverwood says spinner Leach may not be selected regardless of his health, due to previous fixtures at SuperSport Park.

Asked if it is possible England could line up on Boxing Day without a frontline slow bowler, he replied: "Yeah, I think it is.

"Obviously in Hamilton we looked at all the stats, who took wickets at the ground, and it showed that spin didn't really play much part in the games, or certainly have much effect on the games.

"We look at the stats for this ground, it's the same thing, you're looking at wickets taken by seam, wickets taken by spin and the averages that go along with them, it suggests that seam is the way forward, and the thing that has most effect on the game here, so we're certainly looking at that."

Uncapped leg-spinner Matt Parkinson is another option for England, while Dom Bess was called up as cover for Leach.

Silverwood added: "We've got some good resources in the spin department, Leachy is coming back to fitness now, we've got Dominic Bess here as well, Parky who bowled nicely in Benoni [where England drew with South Africa A in a tour match].

"So we've got the resources but we're looking at it for what it is, what has most effect in this game. We're not definitely going down the road of all seam, but it's something we've got to discuss over the next few days.

"I''s not rocket science, every team has these stats. You look at what's effective on that ground and then you look at what you've got in your arsenal and try to put out the best side you can."

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