Cricket

James Anderson missed the opening Test at Durban with a calf injury.

Signs looking good for James Anderson return for second Test

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England coach Trevor Bayliss believes the "signs look good" for James Anderson to return for the second Test against South Africa.

Anderson was ruled out of the series opener in Durban due to a niggling calf injury, with England completing a fine 241-run victory in his absence.

But they would welcome their record Test wicket-taker back with open arms at Newlands, providing he can convince the medical staff he is fit to play a full part.

Anderson worked through the equivalent of a full six-over spell in the middle before play on day five and did not appear in any discomfort.

No training is planned on Thursday, leaving Anderson one net session on the eve of the second Test to make his case.

"We'll make the decision when we get to Cape Town," said Bayliss.

"The signs look good and he's been working hard but we'll have to wait and see how he pulls up."

Alastair Cook was also optimistic about a recall for the 32-year-old, with Chris Woakes the likeliest to make way.

"At the moment it's probably quite positive," he said.

"He's done everything the medical team have asked of him. I'll sit down and speak with him and see how he is."

There was a word of warning from former England captain Geoffrey Boycott, though.

Speaking on the BBC's Test Match Special podcast, he said: "I saw him bowl for an hour (at Durban), but what about fielding?

"It's a six-and-a-half hour day and he has to bowl three spells.

"I think there's a very good chance he's fit but just bowling for an hour, that's not like a match.

"They don't have to take a chance with him."

South Africa have fast bowling concerns of their own with Dale Steyn, like Anderson a member of the rarefied 400-Test wickets club, suffering from a right shoulder strain.

Steyn batted in the fourth innings at Kingsmead but after twice leaving the field mid-over on Tuesday, he is a major concern.

He has yet to be officially withdrawn from the squad but the addition of paceman Chris Morris suggests confidence is low.

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