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Alastair Cook to be careful with James Anderson's return

Alastair Cook to be careful with James Anderson's return
James Anderson bowled in the nets ahead of the second Test in Cape Town.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England captain Alastair Cook stated that the team management will adopt a careful approach with the return of James Anderson for the second Test against South Africa.

Anderson missed the first Test with a calf injury but is targeting a comeback for the second game after having bowled in the nets in Durban.

Cook disclosed that the final decision of including Anderson in the playing XI for the second Test in Cape Town will be taken after having a discussion with the 33-year-old.

Nevertheless, Cook further added that if Anderson is fit and confident to play, he will be opening the bowling in the second Test.

"We haven't started training yet; He'll be added to our 12 but it would be fair to say the 11 that played did a pretty good job in Durban.

“But when you have someone like Jimmy, with his wickets, then if he is fit to go obviously he will play.

“It's an interesting call because he hasn't bowled a huge amount of overs on this tour, and the conditions are going to be tough here with the heat.

"We'll have a good chat when we get back to the changing room and see how he feels.

“You've got to be really careful with heart and head - he's desperate to play but we have to make sure it is the right decision.

"But you want your best players playing and if he is fit, ready and confident, he will be opening the bowling.

“We just don't want to hinder ourselves and have an injury caused that we could have prevented." 

England had a mixed bag of results in 2015 but ended it on a high with a 241-run victory against South Africa in the first Test match.

Stressing on the importance of not getting carried away, Cook is looking forward to building back to back wins against South Africa much like England did against Australia in the Ashes.

"The word consistency has come up a lot. 2015 was a year where we were up and down a lot.

"It was great to finish the year with a performance like that, a relentless performance from pretty much ball one, and now can we do it again.

“Can we have an Edgbaston-Trent Bridge fortnight in Durban and Cape Town.

"The number of English people here, it's going to be a great Test match to be part of but we have to be careful not get carried away.” 

Wary of a fight back from South Africa in the second Test, Cook has urged the team to carry forward the momentum they gained in the Durban Test.

“There were times when we didn't get it right bowling in Durban but we managed to get it back through absolute determination and skill, now we have to have the hunger to do it again.

"South Africa have a great record here and they will be very keen to continue that.

“I haven't had a look at the wicket but it seems pretty good from here, and you can soon lose a toss - they have some great batters who could score runs and we have to be careful about that.

“We have to keep the standards we had in Durban.”

In the last 10 years, South Africa have played 14 Test matches in Cape Town and have won nine while losing just the two games in the period.

© Cricket World 2016