England look to Pounce back at Ruthless Proteas!
After being thrashed by the Proteas at the Oval in the first test, a pride-damaged English squad will be keen on bouncing back after what spin bowler Graeme Swann described as a “public humiliation” when they face South Africa in the second test starting at Headingley on Thursday.
The No. 1 ranked test side (England) were demolished by an innings and 12 runs in the first match-up and another loss could see them lose their lead on the world ranks.
However, judging by South Africa’s dominance in the first test, this will not be easy feat, as the Proteas who hit their straps with an all-round standout contribution from the entire squad seem to be keen on reclaiming that prestigious No.1 slot they last held less than three years ago.
The English were simply outmuscled and noosed into submitting to the Prowess of the Proteas and Swann revealed that the England players spent two hours analysing their defeat immediately after the first test trying to resolve what went wrong and revealed that the home side are much better prepared and will not allow a repeat of the last match.
“We’re much better prepared in comparison to the last test, we let SA control every facet of the match and this was not acceptable. This will be a much more competitive English side and you can expect a big one this time round.” he said.
With conditions likely to be more bowler-friendly at the Yorkshire ground than they were at the Oval, England will seek to exploit the potential weakness of South Africa’s batting from No 6 down.
Specialist batsmen Jacques Rudolph and JP Duminy did not bat at the Oval and failed to strike form in four innings apiece in warm-up games against county teams, while the South African tail does not have the batting credentials of the England lower order.
However, Rudolph, who spent five years playing for Yorkshire, brushed aside any concerns when he spoke to journalists on Tuesday.
“The way we play the game we are not too results orientated,” he said. “Going into Thursday we just have to make sure we stick to the same processes which I thought we did brilliantly in batting and bowling down at the Oval.”
South Africa will almost certainly stay with the team that triumphed at the Oval, while England will make at least one change following the withdrawal for personal reasons of batsman Ravi Bopara.
Uncapped James Taylor was called into the squad and will make his debut unless England decides to go in with an extra bowler.