ENG vs SA 3rd Test: James Anderson says positive England have changed the face of Test cricket

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ENG vs SA 3rd Test: James Anderson says positive England have changed the face of Test cricket
ENG vs SA 3rd Test: James Anderson says positive England have changed the face of Test cricket

ENG vs SA 3rd Test: James Anderson says positive England have changed the face of Test cricket

ENG vs SA 3rd Test: James Anderson believes England’s positive style of Test cricket has changed the way people view the longest format of the game around the world as they stand on the brink of victory over South Africa in the third Test at The Oval.

With 10 second innings wickets left, England only needs 33 more runs to win the series 2-1. After displaying calculated aggressiveness with both bat and ball to defeat the tourists, that seems like a formality.

Anderson has already discussed the satisfaction the England squad derives from playing with freedom and attributes the five-day game’s transformation to coach Brendon McCullum.

“It’s been amazing. I’ll be honest, Baz (McCullum) has been a breath of fresh air. He has come in and it all feels positive. There is always a positive atmosphere in the dressing room,” Anderson told Sky Sports.

“The sort of messages he sends about going out and also trying to entertain and play a certain brand of cricket, everyone has bought into it.

“Some days it hasn’t come off, but when it does it’s spectacular and I think it’s changed not just how the players think about Test cricket, but how the world will think about Test cricket.”

One of those who has benefited, according to Anderson, is opener Zak Crawley. Crawley has been scrutinised all summer for his run-scarce performance. But on Sunday, as England ended the day on 97 without losing and pursued 130 to win, he raced to 57 off 44 balls.

“He has shown glimpses of that throughout the summer. But not gone on to get the big score he would like,” Anderson said. “But the message that keeps coming from the coach and the captain is to go out there and be positive. He has done that.”

If all goes as expected, England will have defeated India in a rescheduled Test. And also won series against South Africa and New Zealand this summer.

“It’s been an incredible summer and also hopefully we can get over the line tomorrow,” Anderson says.

“We just want the job done, there’s still 33 runs needed on a tricky wicket. And you can’t take anything for granted in this game.”