Anderson eyes great escape

James Anderson says England’s batsmen are ready to dig in to salvage a draw in the final Test against South Africa.

England already hold an unassailable 2-0 series lead as the fourth Test heads into the final day, but Anderson wants yet another great escape from the side, who need to bat out the final day having already lost three second innings wickets.

The fast bowler was part of a famous last-wicket partnership alongside Monty Panesar, which thwarted Australia in the 2009 Ashes, while Paul Collingwood and Graham Onions achieved a similar feat against the Proteas at Centurion six years ago.

“Obviously it will be a tough task for us – especially on that pitch, which we’ve seen plenty of deterioration on. But we’re going to give it a good go and be positive about it,” he said.

“The batsmen we’ve got left are positive naturally, just in attitude and character.

“It’s not just the way people go about scoring runs it’s actually positive in the fact we’ve got people who know they can bat a whole day in a Test. We’ve got the skill to do it.

“We’ll need a bit of luck as well on a pitch like that, we’ve seen bit of variable bounce and bit of spin as well but we have to be as positive as possible.”

Despite England’s struggles with the bat, Anderson could feel pleased with his work with the ball – specifically the wicket of AB De Villiers for a duck with a superb delivery.

Before the match, the South Africa captain had suggested Anderson’s talents were on the wane, saying he had “lost some pace over the years”.

“It was nice to get the captain out,” the Lancastrian admitted.

“I’m sure the smile on your face is referring to the comments that he made before the game, which were mentioned in the huddle, so yeah, it’s nice to get him out early because he’s a dangerous player.”

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