England’s Jimmy Anderson claims AB de Villiers was ‘bit on the backside’

This article is more than 5 years old
South Africa’s captain paid price for rash quotes on England attack, says bowler
Anderson confident England can pull off another great escape
The full scorecard from Centurion
England’s Jimmy Anderson, right, celebrates dismissing the South Africa captain AB de Villiers for his third successive duck. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
England’s Jimmy Anderson, right, celebrates dismissing the South Africa captain AB de Villiers for his third successive duck. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
at Centurion

Last modified on Wed 21 Feb 2018 13.41 EST

Jimmy Anderson believes AB de Villiers has seen his pre-match comments “bite him on the backside” after inflicting the South Africa captain’s third successive duck in Test cricket.

Trapping the right-hander lbw second ball with an inswinger was a moment of satisfaction for the 33-year-old on a tough fourth day that has left England staring at defeat, with De Villiers having suggested before the match that “some guys” in Alastair Cook’s attack were down on speed.

Anderson, who claimed three wickets for 47, said: “We don’t need any extra motivation but it was mentioned when he got a pair today. It is one of those things. You have to be careful what you say in the media because it can bite you on the backside.”

Asked if he had lost his nip, Anderson said: “I don’t see the speeds come up, I’ll have to check but I feel like the balls coming out all right.

“It’s nice to get the captain but it’s frustrating we couldn’t capitalise on those early breakthroughs. I don’t think he’s lost the ability to bat in that time. It’s one of those things.”

Temba Bavuma, who made an unbeaten 78 in South Africa’s second innings of 248 for five declared, said: “I never thought three ducks for AB was possible but then he is human, he makes mistakes. He will bounce back in the one-day series coming up.”

Despite being three wickets down with 98 overs to survive, Anderson said England will once again look to pull off another great escape even if the deteriorating pitch at Centurion means that rain remains their greatest hope of securing a draw in the fourth Test.

Anderson, who has featured in four famous England fifth-day rearguard actions in the past seven years including one on this ground in 2010, conceded the surface that has led to deliveries both shooting up or staying low means some luck will be required.

“We will be giving it a good go,” said Anderson. “It will be tough especially on that pitch. We’ve seen plenty of deterioration but the batsmen left are naturally positive so will give it a good go and see where we get to.”

Asked the key to such defiance, he replied: “It’s the attitude and the character. We have those players, not just how they score their runs but people who can bat the whole day. They have the skill. You’ll need luck on that pitch. We’ve seen variable bounce but we have to be positive.”

On the match situation Bavuma said: “We believe the score we’ve set England is more than enough on that wicket. We’ll try to exploit that variable bounce as much as possible.

“They were big wickets we got late on, especially a guy like Alastair Cook who leads from the front. We would have loved Joe Root, too, but we will come with heads held high tomorrow, firing on all cylinders and looking to finish the game as soon as possible.”

Kagiso Rabada, aged 20 years and 246 days, is one wicket away from becoming the youngest South Africa player to take 10 in a Test following his late strikes to remove Alex Hales and Nick Compton. Bavuma sees himself and the fast bowler as being key to inspiring future black cricketers in the country.

He added: “We understand the climate here in South Africa in terms of cricket and transformation and getting a better representation in terms of our country and its demographics. It can only have a positive effect. Hopefully it can spark some fire in other people.”