James Anderson surprised to see Stuart Broad drop down England attack pecking order

James Anderson thought Stuart Broad took his new role as first change bowler in his stride as England dislodged South Africa for 151 at Old Trafford.

While Anderson retained his usual new-ball duties, Broad was forced to wait after seeing Ollie Robinson deployed first at the Brian Statham End.

It was a rare slip down the pecking order for Broad and one that caught his long-time partner unaware.

"We went out for a bowl literally five minutes before the start and I said 'are you happy with that end?'. He said 'I'm not taking the new ball' and it was the first I knew about it," said Anderson.

"He bought into it really well though, came on and bowled brilliantly. Robbo bowled great too and could have easily had three or four wickets in that first spell. It just didn't go for him."

As well as adapting to his role as first-change seamer, Broad was also on hand to assist Anderson at mid-on.

Having just suggested a field change that helped him sucker Harmer in lbw, he followed up with some words of wisdom after Anderson took two wickets in two balls.

"Stuart came over and said 'when I took my two international Test hat-tricks I just went full and straight'," Anderson explained with a smile.

"So I was trying to go full and straight but I got my line horribly wrong. I got a bit giddy and probably tried to bowl a bit too quick."

Proteas skipper Dean Elgar opted to bat first, despite gloomy conditions, in a bid to set up the match for his slow bowlers.

But the gambit backfired as Anderson and Broad helped themselves to three wickets.

England finished on 111 for three in reply, Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow sharing an unbeaten stand of 68 to make sure the seamers' good work did not go to waste.

Anderson, who knows better than most how to get the best out of conditions on his home ground, welcomed Elgar's decision to bat first.

"I didn't mind it, actually. Pitches here are normally good to bowl on with a new ball, especially early on," he said.

"The lights were on, it was cloudy…it felt like not the worst toss to lose. As a bowler, when you see it moving around like that, it's always great.

"We know the weather has been pretty average here this last week so it's been under cover quite a bit and, although it felt hard on top, there was definitely going to be some moisture in there somewhere.

"But you still have to bowl well. We just thought of trying to bash away good areas for as long as possible. I thought we were just relentless with our areas after lunch and everyone who bowled, bowled superbly."

Jonny Bairstow may have done the lion's share of the scoring in the fourth-wicket stand that cemented England's position, but it was Crawley's hard-work and self-denial during a cautious innings worth 17 in 77 balls that stood out.

"The way he played allowed Johnny to play his natural game, I thought it was a brilliantly intelligent innings from him so far," Anderson added.

"His output has not been as good as he'd want it to be but today he read the situation brilliantly and played exactly how we needed him to play."

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