Bowling coach Ottis Gibson expects energetic first-half hour from England

Published: Friday 15th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Ottis Gibson has called on England’s bowlers to wrap up South Africa’s innings early on day two of the third Test.

The Proteas resume on 267 for seven in Johannesburg with the game finely poised.

An unbroken 42-run stand between Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada restored an element of balance after England had nudged in front with four wickets in the evening session, and all eyes are now on the final total.

The Wanderers is a traditionally low-scoring venue and bowling coach Gibson expects his charges to make short work the South African tail after a night’s recovery.

“We would expect the first half-hour to be full of energy,” he said.

“The guys will be well rested and the medics will have got to work on some sore bodies, so we will come out very aggressive to get the three wickets we need.

“In the first session (on day one) 350 looked possible. The way we bowled and they played well… I thought we could be in for some hard work here.

“But where we are now as a team, we’d be disappointed with 350 from here.”

Central to England’s prospects will be Steven Finn, the stand-out bowler on tour to date and the pick of the attack on the first day.

His figures of two for 50 scarcely do justice to the searching spells he sent down, though his dismissal of Hashim Amla was a perfect example of his craft.

And for Gibson, the 26-year-old more than deserves to be talked about alongside James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s long-serving pace spearheads.

Finn is just six months into the Test comeback that began against Australia last summer, but the signs are increasingly good that he will be around for the long haul.

“I’m very impressed with Finn, since he came back in the team in the Ashes he has certainly proven himself to be an outstanding fast bowler,” Gibson said.

“Often a lot is said about Broad and Anderson, and they’re quality bowlers with 700-odd wicket between them, but when Finn has the ball in his hand he looks a quality bowler as well.

“He’s someone you can see playing a huge part for England in the coming years.”

South Africa will be hoping for a calmer morning after their Test preparation was thrown in turmoil by an unlikely injury to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

He twisted a knee on the eve of the match while exercising his dogs, meaning an early-morning flight from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg for Dane Vilas.

“Quinny said he was walking his dogs, slipped somehow and twisted his knee. That’s something new in his life… it’s a very freak injury,” batsman Dean Elgar said.

“I found out at breakfast that Dane was flying into Johannesburg. His day was pretty much turned upside down at 7am this morning, but when you get that phone call you do anything to get here.”

Published: Friday 15th January 2016 by The News Editor

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