James Anderson says Saqib Mahmood can be key to England ODI success
Watch the first T20I between South Africa and England, in East London, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.30pm on Wednesday
Last Updated: 11/02/20 7:47am
James Anderson has backed Saqib Mahmood to make his mark for England following his Lancashire team-mate's ODI debut against South Africa.
Mahmood was restricted to just a five-over stint in Johannesburg, taking 1-17 as England overcame the Proteas by two wickets to square the three-match series.
Despite the brevity of his spell, the 22-year-old seamer claimed the opening wicket of the game, producing a lethal delivery that nipped back in to Reeza Hendricks and clipped the off bail.
England veteran Anderson is convinced Mahmood possesses the range of skills required to be a long-term success in international 50-over cricket.
"He did everything that was asked of him," Anderson told Sky Sports. "With the new ball in one-day cricket, you've got to bowl accurately and aggressively and I thought he did that.
"He deserved the wicket he got. With the pitch as it was, the way the spinners bowled and with Joe Root bowling as well, there wasn't an opportunity for him to come back later in the innings and get some more overs in.
"The five overs he bowled, I thought he did really well. He can move the white ball off the straight at good pace.
"He's equally as strong at the top of the innings - we saw that - and he's got skills at the end if needed. He's definitely got the all-round game to be a key player for England in 50-over cricket."
Another Lancashire player, leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, also gained his initial taste of ODI cricket during the series, taking 0-48 during England's defeat in the first game at Cape Town.
He sent down just two overs in the next game, which was eventually called off due to rain, and was then left out of the side in favour of the experienced Adil Rashid - who took 3-51 at Johannesburg.
But former England captain Sir Alastair Cook feels Parkinson, who featured in England's T20I side against New Zealand earlier in the winter, has shown signs that he could eventually develop into a bowler of Rashid's ability.
"I think we're seeing the difference in class at the moment between Rashid and Parkinson but the potential and attitude Parkinson's got, he can definitely get to that level - there's no doubt about it," said Cook.
"Parkinson landed it really well. I don't think he needs to get too much quicker - he probably just needs a couple more variations.
"Rashid's great strength is his variations, he's got a very hard googly to pick, he's got the slider as well and a big leg-spinner. I haven't quite seen that yet with Parkinson.
"But we're talking about people at very different stages of their careers and Parkinson's been identified as a very talented lad who's got all the assets to be a good international cricketer."
Watch the first T20I between South Africa and England, in East London, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.30pm on Wednesday.