Simon Jones: It's a great feeling to be back, but my heart goes out to Jimmy

We've done it again, Jimmy Anderson and me. We can't seem to stop doing it and if it can't keep going on like this, it is showing no sign of stopping. Exchanging places in the side, that is.

We've done it again, Jimmy Anderson and me. We can't seem to stop doing it and if it can't keep going on like this, it is showing no sign of stopping. Exchanging places in the side, that is.

It seems that while we might be different types of fast bowler we are going for one place in the England team. What makes it so hard is that he is my best friend in the side. Last winter and for the early part of last summer, I had it, but then Jimmy took over.

At the start of this tour, when I did not truly expect to start the series, Jimmy was left out and I played. Then, for the Test at the Wanderers - and what a memorable, stupendous match it turned out to be - Jimmy came in. My back spasm made me exceedingly doubtful, but I suspect that it merely made the decision of the selectors easier.

Now, it has changed again. Jimmy was left out of the team for the final Test and I was back. When play started at last yesterday our star performer was, of course, the utterly magnificent Freddie Flintoff. If I was the second fiddle, I was pleased with my three wickets. I feel that I am getting better by the match, and it was important for me to take first-innings wickets.

It is a great feeling to be back in the side, but my heart goes out to Jimmy. As it did in the last Test, when he just could not get into any sort of bowling rhythm and the ball was not coming out consistently. That showed how difficult it is to come back after not bowling in a match for so long - and to try to do it in a Test at that. At Lord's last year, I hadn't bowled for long enough and it showed. The ball wouldn't go where I wanted it to. Jimmy had been going great guns in the nets, finding sustained away-swing, but there are so many more things that can go wrong out in the middle.

He has still got the one-day series to look forward to, and I hope he doesn't go into it with his confidence low. Jimmy and I always support each other and as he's only 22 I can confidently predict that he will have a successful international career. He has it in him to be a great bowler for England.

When he is having his good times, he will be able to reflect on the match at the Wanderers last week as no more than a blip. He will also be able to reflect that he took part in one of the great games of cricket. I watched one of the great games of cricket.

It was a magnificent effort to win that Test and Matthew Hoggard, taker of 12 wickets, deserves all the praise that has come his way. With Jimmy out of sorts, with Stephen Harmison suffering from a calf strain, with Freddie Flintoff suffering from a sore side, he stepped up to the plate - and how.

The match fluctuated but there were only two likely outcomes on the last day: a draw or a South African win. The Wanderers has a reputation for being one of the most intimidating stadiums in the world for visiting teams and it lived up to it. On Sunday evening when we came off for bad light, one chap in the crowd started squawking and calling England yellow. As Ashley Giles pointed out, he was 38 going on five. There were other instances of rank bad behaviour. Cartons were thrown in the direction of fielders near the boundary and the odd coin came on as well. The South Africans want to win.

Most of the team had two days off after the great victory. I spent most of the time bowling. I went back to the nets at the Wanderers and then up to Centurion. I think that I am better if I am bowling all the time rather than resting. It also gave me a chance to work on a slight amendment to my action. I am loading up a little lower, by my ribcage rather than by my right ear, and I am certain this will help to improve my accuracy. This is my natural style, and I think I had maybe got a little bit lazy with it.

Simon Jones was talking to Stephen Brenkley

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal
football
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own