The leading quick bowler of England, James Anderson, is confident that his side is able to bounce back and will rule the world again in Test cricket soon.
The visiting South Africa disgraced England in the recently concluded three Test series 2-0 and snatched the No.1 ICC Test ranking from the hosts. The hosts entered the third and final Test with a deficit of 1-0 and it was necessary for them to beat the visitors in the last match to maintain their supremacy in the longer version of the game.
England faced a setback when their master blaster and centurion in the second Test, Kevin Petersen, was ruled out of the third Test on disciplinary grounds. Jonny Bairstow replaced him in the squad, he filled the gap of Pietersen by dispatching 95 and 54 runs in two innings and secured his place in the national side for the future. The young fast bowler, Steven Finn, bowled excellently in the match and grabbed eight wickets.
James Anderson was impressed by Andrew Strauss and believed that England can achieve the target of becoming No.1 Test team again under his leadership. He praised the batting performance of Bairstow by commenting,
“We got to No.1 in the world with this team and Straussy leading this team. Especially with a couple of new guys coming in it is an important phase letting them settle into the team. I thought JB was exceptional this week and he showed real signs of being a world class player. We know what it takes to get there so hopefully we can do it again.”
England earned the top spot while humiliating the then No.1 champion India 4-0 in July-August, 2011. The Englishmen got a backlash from Pakistan when they were beaten all ends up 3-0 in the home series which was played in the United Arab Emirates in January-February, 2012. That was the biggest upset for the visitors and a wakeup call as well for Andrew Strauss and company.
The ICC ranked world No.1 team toured Sri Lanka in March-April, 2012, and took part in a two Test series where the hosts won the first match at Galle by a margin of 75 runs. The visitors came back strongly in the next Test, won the encounter by eight wickets and the series was levelled at 1-1.
The English side started off well and defeated the touring West Indies 2-0 in the home series in the first part of the season in May-June, 2012.
England was obligated to win or draw the three Test series against the formidable South African unit to maintain their No.1 spot. The visitors made the first impact by winning the inaugural Test by a mountainous margin of an innings and 12 runs at The Oval, on July 23, 2012. The second Test ended in a draw on August 6, 2012, at Headingley, Leeds and the Proteas won the final match by 51 runs at Lord’s, London, on August 20, 2012.
The bowling attack of England was punished by the South African batsmen in the recently concluded series. They were unable to produce the required results and their weaknesses were fully exposed by the rival batsmen.
Stuart Broad was the highest wicket taker for the home side by grabbing 11 wickets at an average of 39.72 runs per wicket, Steven Finn held 10 averaging 32.20 and James Anderson himself was expensive and claimed 9 wickets at an average of 40.66. Graeme Swann got four wickets at a high average of 77.00 whereas Tim Bresnan managed only one wicket at an expensive average of 139.00.
James Anderson was disheartened by the performance of the England bowlers and believed it was a wakeup call for them and they have to work hard on the weak points if they want to get on top of the word ranking. He further said,
“It was a huge wake-up call for this bowling attack. When you get to No.1 you can start believing your own hype and your own press. When people say you are a great bowling attack you can start believing that and this is a huge wake-up call in this series.”