England will not be complacent against South Africa, says Chris Silverwood ahead of Test series | Cricket News


Watch the first Test between South Africa and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7am on Boxing Day

Last Updated: 16/12/19 6:37pm

Chris Silverwood insists complacency won't be a problem on England's tour of South Africa

Chris Silverwood insists complacency won’t be a problem on England’s tour of South Africa

England head coach Chris Silverwood says there will be no complacency from his side in their four-match Test series against South Africa that gets underway on December 26.

South Africa have lost their last five Tests – including two shock losses at home to Sri Lanka in February and a 3-0 whitewash in India in October – and they have named a largely inexperienced squad to face England, with six of their 16-man party uncapped.

Meanwhile, off the field, boardroom upheaval has had sponsors threatening to quit the sport and a strike mooted by the country’s player union.

Despite such a troubled build-up to the series, Silverwood expects South Africa to present a big challenge to his side on home soil.

“Complacency is one thing we don’t have and I expect South Africa to come out hard they are a proud nation,” Silverwood said after training on Monday ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Pretoria. “We expect them to come back hard in all departments and they will be hungry.

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Ashley Giles talks Joe Root’s captaincy and why he selected Chris Silverwood as England coach

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“But it’s more about concentrating on ourselves getting our things in order and making sure we’re in the best possible position when the first Test arrives.”

England are not in the greatest of form in Test cricket either as they get set for their opening warm-up match of the tour, a two-day match against a South Africa Invitation XI on Tuesday. The tourists fell to a 1-0 defeat in their two-Test series in New Zealand at the start of December.

England have struggled to win overseas on a consistent basis of late, but they do appear to enjoy touring South Africa at least, winning twice and drawing once on their last three visits, with the home side last winning back in 1999.

Silverwood says the team are desperate to turn their Test fortunes around, adding: “The one thing we really want to drive forward is the test team and we’ll put things in place that will help us do that.

“The New Zealand tour was part and parcel of that and we switched up the batting line-up and looked at new ways of doing things.

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Joe Root says England have learnt a lot from their series defeat in New Zealand

Joe Root says England have learnt a lot from their series defeat in New Zealand

“It’s not reinventing the wheel by a long shot but New Zealand was a great learning curve for us and we’ll look to keep pushing on from there.

“The challenge is getting those first innings runs and as soon as we do that we’ll be very hard to beat.”

Silverwood added he expects Jofra Archer to find South Africa a happier hunting ground than New Zealand, where he took just two wickets in the series, and has challenged the paceman to make his mark in South Africa.

Ahead of their opening warm-up game on Tuesday, Archer batted and took part in fielding drills during a three-hour training session at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park, but he did not bowl due to a cold. Silverwood called it a minor complaint, however, and just “a little bit of a sniffle”.

Jofra Archer struggled on England's recent tour of New Zealand, taking only two wickets over the two Tests

Jofra Archer struggled on England’s recent tour of New Zealand, taking only two wickets over the two Tests

“I think he’ll get more out of the pitches than in New Zealand. There’s usually a bit more bounce here which I think will encourage him,” said Silverwood.

“Everything’s got to be a big challenge for him. So we try and challenge him constantly behind the scenes, setting little targets and things like that.

“He’s still very young into his international career, especially his Test career, and it’s the first time he’s come across those [New Zealand] conditions, so did I expect him to have all the answers? No I didn’t, and I think it’d be wrong of me if I did.

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Was this the worst dropped catch ever in Test cricket? Watch how Joe Denly somehow spilled Kane Williamson at midwicket!

Was this the worst dropped catch ever in Test cricket? Watch how Joe Denly somehow spilled Kane Williamson at midwicket!

“But he will learn and he’s got some good people around him that he can learn from.”

Silverwood added he is excited at the prospect of Archer likely taking to the field with England’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time, James Anderson, over the course of the tour.

A calf injury has sidelined Anderson ever since the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston earlier this summer, with Archer making his Test bow in the second game at Lord’s. The two men are separated by 13 years and 146 Test caps.

“You’ve got a guy with 500-plus Test wickets and then a youngster there with all that pace. I am excited,” added Silverwood.

“He [Anderson] is in fantastic physical condition. Watching him in the nets it looks like he’s right in rhythm, he looks strong and he’s doing what Jimmy does with the ball. He gets wickets.

“To have him and Stuart Broad, that’s 1,000 wickets there and there’s a lot of experience for them to pass on to the rest of the bowlers. That’s what they’ve been doing: leading, talking to everyone, passing on knowledge.”

Watch England’s tour of South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with the first Test from 7am on Boxing Day.





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