Jennings may have kick-started a good trot, says Anderson


James Anderson believes Keaton Jennings may have turned a corner after the England opener battled his way to 34 not out on day three of the third Test against South Africa.

After making a century on Test debut against India last December, Jennings has struggled to convince at the highest level.

The left-hander has endured particular misery against Vernon Philander in the ongoing series against the Proteas, losing his wicket to the seamer three times.

Yet after surviving a number of early scares at The Oval on Saturday, most notably when a thick edge off Philander evaded Dean Elgar at third slip, Jennings was able to hold firm and help England to 74-1 in their second innings and a lead of 252 when rain forced a premature close.

Anderson was quoted by the Guardian as saying: "Sometimes you do see it in people that, when they go through a bad trot, they are physically struggling in and around the group.

"But he [Jennings] has been really good, he's dealt with it very well. It's frustrating, but seeing how he got through that tricky period today, that might be what he needs to kick-start a good trot."

England's record wicket-taker in Tests also had praise for debutant Toby Roland-Jones, after the 29-year-old seamer took four wickets in a stunning burst on Friday and completed a five-wicket haul on the third morning as South Africa were dismissed for 175.

"I have been very impressed," added Anderson. "It's not often you see a debutant settle so quickly - he looked very comfortable and very confident."

Asked whether Roland-Jones could earn a spot in England's Ashes squad later this year, Anderson replied: "He's got bounce, swing and seam, so he's got all the attributes there to do well in Australia. But he's only one game in, so let's take things one step at a time."