England v SA, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 5th day

'We can take 20 wickets' - Strauss

David Hopps

July 23, 2012

Comments: 275 | Text size: A | A

England's bowlers took only two South Africa wickets in the first Test at The Oval but their captain, Andrew Strauss, backed them to take ten times as many in each of the final two Tests at Headingley and Lord's to win the series and retain their No. 1 Test ranking.

England's place as the top-ranked Test team in the world could not look more precarious after South Africa pulled off victory by an innings and 12 runs in an extended afternoon session to go 1-0 up in the series - a win described by former England captain, Nasser Hussain, on Sky TV as "an annihilation".

England were bowled out a second time for 240, with fast bowler Dale Steyn finishing with 5 for 56 and the legspinner Imran Tahir 3 for 63. It was England's first defeat by an innings at home since they lost to Australia at Headingley in 2009 - and Leeds is next up.

But Strauss said: "We have an outstanding bowling attack. You have to give South Africa credit for how they batted but I still back our bowling attack's ability to take 20 wickets on most Test match surfaces.

"Our bowling attack has huge reserves of confidence. They have taken 20 wickets pretty much every time they have played for the last two years and this game doesn't change that for me."

England were kept in the field for nearly thirteen-and-a-half hours and two key members of the attack had needed injections before the game to ensure their fitness, but Strauss suggested their gruelling experience had left no long-term side-effects.

"They are all fine," he said. "They are a bit weary having spent two days in the field, but there are no causes for alarm at this stage."

England's bowlers went straight from a five-match one-day series against Australia to the Test series, but Strauss refused to accept that as an excuse for a defeat that has caused reverberations around the cricketing world.

"Our preparation was fine," he said. "No excuses. We have to win the next two games. I believe we can do that. I didn't think our bowlers bowled that badly, but we didn't get the ball swinging conventionally or reverse.

"You have to give credit to the South African batsmen. They got in and they went big. South Africa played some outstanding cricket and deserved to get on top of us. The concentration they showed with the bat was outstanding. There is a lot of frustration but there are lessons to be learned and we will learn them."

Strauss conceded that England, having lost four wickets on the fourth evening, were up against it on the final morning as a large fifth-day crowd packed into The Oval hoping to witness a great escape.

"The odds were always against us having lost four wickets last night," he said. "The wicket was still pretty flat and we are frustrated that we didn't make it harder for them in those conditions. I suppose South Africa had a bit of a psychological advantage with us having been in the field for a period of time. We did not react well enough to that and that leaves a sour taste in the mouth."

England now have some difficult decisions ahead of the second Test. Ravi Bopara, whose Test batting place has never been secure, will again come under scrutiny after a double failure at The Oval and there will be calls for Steven Finn to add some aggression to the pace attack. The approach of this England set-up would make it a major surprise if they made more than one change.

Strauss also had an answer for those wondering just how highly this defeat ranked on the scale of England disasters. "I don't sit there ranking defeats," he said.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 26, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (July 26 2012, 12:45 PM GMT) re " But an Eng bowler is never labeled as a Green Top Bully if he doesn't do well in Indian Conditions" . We get loads of comms to that effect. As for Jimmy is it just India which counts re alien conditions? Just that he did pretty well in UAE and SL?

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 26, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

I don't recall any England fans saying we are the greatest team ever, and that our bowlers are better than McGrath, Warne, Steyn... The media tends to do that for us, and EVERY country is the same. I seem to recall Kahn and Sharma being tooted as the greatest opening bowler combo of all time, after only one or two successful series at home. Almost immediately after that, Zaheer Kahn was injured more often than not, and Sharma didn't pick up any wickets and was dropped/injured since.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 26, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

@Meety: Looks like you have forgotten Harbhajan Singh. Ofc he has not been in good form of late but not for nothing did he take 300 wickets in Tests. There is still plenty of time for him to get back in top groove. And in India teams tend to lose wickets in heaps against spinners. Your whole theory of Eng's UAE debacle is not quite stretchable to India's case. In India teams have had a good opening and yet have collapsed against the spinners. The other spinners may not be as good or famous as Harbhajan but I guess it is good that you have not heard of them. The reason why Eng bowlers can't rip through Indian batsmen is the Oval test. Your bowlers are toothless on a wicket that was labeled sub-continental by Saker and there will be more of those here. Add to it Eng's record in India. 0-5 the latest and failure to beat India since 1984. SRT and VVS may not be in their prime now but they can still prove to be more than enough for Eng though I doubt if VVS will be playing anymore.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 26, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

@JG2704: And neither am I saying that Eng have a poor attack - just that they too will struggle when they bowl outside their comfort zone. That is a correct statement anyways. What irks me the most is that Indian batsmen are quickly labeled as FTB the moment they fail to score away. But an Eng bowler is never labeled as a Green Top Bully if he doesn't do well in Indian Conditions. JA is the prime example. He struggles a lot in these conditions yet he is hailed as one of the best bowlers in the world. The yardstick should measure the same for both sides but it doesn't look like. Also, I don't see much in Eng being 103/4 in 2nd innings. It happens in the pressure of Tests. Once Eng scored only 385 it was diff for Eng bowlers to bring their team back and so their fate was sealed though I did not think the victory gap would be so huge. You would find my 1st comment was along these lines. SA/Eng def have a better attack than Ind but not yet close to WI or Oz.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 26, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

@JG2704: You are more than welcome to post on any article. No one is questioning that right, certainly not me. I have never said that Eng do not deserve to be #1, have I? All I have said is why is the Eng team being catapulted to Himalayan Heights when it has barely started to jump 3 feet? Why label Eng bowlers as comparable to McGrath and Warne's rank? I don't doubt the class of some of the players and I have said that in the past too that IMO Bell is the most accomplished of all the Eng batsmen. He looks graceful, is fluent, plays spin and swing well and has a good technique. I doubt of any other Eng batsman has all these attributes. This must be the nth time I have praised Bell here. But when I hear Anderson>Steyn and Swann~Warne and Eng~WI/OZ then I got to say something. Yes, stats are useful at times but easy to twist but even on stats Eng hardly come close to WI/Oz. Finally, post anywhere at your will, I never objected. I love Cricket more than I disagree with a Pom.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

I don't know how Strauss' men are going to fulfill their captain's wish of taking 20 wickets in a single match...against this formidable crusher team SA...even though they will surely get a green top to play on...still when ENG played SA on that flat track in this first match, while they were able to capture ONLY 2 of SA wickets, SA sent all 20 Englishmen back to the pavilion. I mean...SA beat ENG by 18 wickets and 12 runs! That was an annihilation! And on the green top at Leeds...Steyn, Morkel and Philander would simply massacre the English, the match should end WITHIN four days...and there would go down the drains that much hyped ENG's Numeo-Uno ranking! As an SA fan, can't really wait for the match to start next week.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 25, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

@SirViv1973 on (July 23 2012, 21:31 PM GMT) Why do England need a number 6 for god sake? I've not done the stats but as far as I can see in recent years our number 6 has made no difference to any of the test results. I challenge you to give me an example of where our number 6 in the last 2 years has played an inns in which Eng's number 6 has made a difference to the result. As long as we had 11 fielders we would still have won the games we won , lost the game we lost if we totally scrubbed our number 6s contribution

Posted by JG2704 on (July 25, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

@maddy20 on (July 23 2012, 16:53 PM GMT) They've not actually lost the number 1 spot yet although the likelihood is that they won't retain it after this series

Posted by JG2704 on (July 25, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

@Harmony111- As for you comms re Eng fans/Indian fans - I can only speak for myself here but I only ever mention India in response to Ind fans on these threads and rarely go on Indian threads. If I do I'll put constructive points across as I did during the Aus series where believe it or not I felt sympathy for India. Obviously there would be nothing to stop me from going on the Indian threads every time they lose and posting similar stuff and we can all give different stats to make our teams look good or bad but what's the point? Life's too short surely?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 25, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

@Harmony111 -Very mature as always there . As you mentioned me and my opinions. Yes I have always said that I believed we have the best bowling attack in the world or at least on a level with SA and it's not a boast. I said on other posts , helpful batting conditions aided by superb batsmanship from SA and before you say anything about helpful conditions and our batting , I have not tried to defend our poor batting and this is one bad test for our bowlers so does that suddenly make them bad? And yes I thought we did have the side which could (notice the word COULD) dominate for years but obviously we've gone off the rails and that now looks unrealistic

Posted by indiarox4ever on (July 25, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

I sincerely hope that Mr. Strauss can achieve that ( take 20 wickets) before he retires

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 25, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

The problem for Eng fans like JG2704 and 5Wombats and other even more caustic posters like MattyOhMatty and SirFreddiFlintoff is that having proclaimed Eng as a genuine#1 team slated to rule the world for the next X years and having boasted that they have the world's best and most all-round bowling attack capable of doing anywhere in the world, they now find it impossible to devise an explanation they can offer with the least loss of face. Result is Poms being snobbish. They are going to get it from Ind fans cos it is public knowledge how the Eng were ridiculing Indians. The ex Eng players and the Eng fans alike. Indian fans and others knew it was just a case of Nouveau Riche with the Poms but the Poms were too busy gloating over their trifle achievements. An example: Eng are yet to beat India since 1984 and were beaten 3-0 in 1993 while India had beaten Eng in 2007. Eng lost to WI in 2009 while India have won 2 test series in WI. 1 Ashes + 1 win over India and Poms were on 70th sky.

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 25, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Some English fans are talking about India's 138 all out against SL yesterday. Really?? Taking a reference from an inconsequential ODI match ? India vs Sri Lanka is the most boring cricket contest of all time. I would rather follow Brazil Vs USA in cricket. The happenings of this current ODI series have zero bearing on world cricket and are the most meaningless ever. Sincerely advise English fans to focus on the appalling show of their #1 test team. Enjoy the #1 rank while it lasts.

Posted by zenboomerang on (July 25, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

@yorkshirematt :- "@zenboomerang WRONG!!!!!"... lol... Sure... ok, they will be on the same points if SA only win by 1 game, but percentages are fractional... Is that all you have got?... You still haven't answered my many questions about "the oval" & "population"... Do the facts get in the way of your comments or is exaggeration just normal to you?...

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 25, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Like I said before, this #1 team is no good outside home. Home track bullies is what they are against mediocre teams.

Posted by indiarox4ever on (July 25, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

@Meety:- Don't worry this side that limped to 138 is good enough to knock the stuffing out of the soon to be 'Ex No.1 test team' if they dare to play outside their breached fortress.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (July 25, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@zenboomerang WRONG!!!!! (unfortunately). They only need to win the series. Doesn't matter what score.

Posted by indiarox4ever on (July 25, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

Chris_P : why the Indians /others are writing because of very "Un-English" behaviour of the media and this team. This team can best be described as competitive.The incessant gloating over the now famous "Fortress" and talks about legacy etc. were nauseating to say the least. The team comprises of "soon to be retired' Strauss, The spoilt brat (also always coming back to form)-Petersen, The highly over rated Swann, Spent force (vaseline sniffer)- Broad, " I surprise myself every time I score runs"- Bell, Bowling 'spearhead' with test average of 30- Anderson. Barring Cook and Trott, all are struggling with form too. Beating an under strength ( due to injuries) Indian and Australian team was good enough for this team to proclaim that they are the greatest. The media started comparing them to great teams from the past and although they were stopped dead in their tracks by Pakistan, the arrogance, not seen in the past, very much remained with the team. Andy Flower effect maybe

Posted by AKS286 on (July 25, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Hello JG2704 can i say something about "AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE". i think i also justified my comments any pitch, anywhere. day 1 deadly barrage needs adjustment then after 395 all out as i mention in my day 1 comment (near 400).

Posted by JG2704 on (July 25, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

@Marcio on (July 24 2012, 10:52 AM GMT) You have said alot of things all along. There's bound to be some wheat in amongst that much chaff OH AND re LAND47 giving the "Aussie bashing a rest"? - Take a look in the mirror

Posted by zenboomerang on (July 25, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

@JG2704 :- "Much chaff , very little wheat here"... Though lack of pride & jealousy comes to mind amongst the chaff... The 2nd Test should be more interesting (weather permitting) & hopefully a better pitch... Don't see much change likely, possibly 1 bowler being swapped but doubt the selectors would pick 5 bowlers as the follow their usual conservative approach... Notice many want Bresnan sacked, yet he got more runs than Strauss & stood up to the new ball & finished not out - if Prior or Bell had held up the other end, maybe we would be talking about a dramatic draw instead of a loss - not taking anything away from SA's victory, which turned out to be emphatic...

Posted by zenboomerang on (July 25, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK ... I'm hoping that the weather doesn't interfere, but your summer has been the wettest on record - so not holding my breath... SA have to win 2-0 or better to take the no.1 spot, so much depends on how you bounce back from a poor start... Interesting that SA quite often haven't managed back to back wins, but this series is unusual in that SA get to play a County game inbetween each Test, which may turn out to be the buffer that they need?...

Posted by Meety on (July 25, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

@Chris_P - not to mention - their ODI side just got smashed by 9 wickets & 180+ deliveries. They limped to 138 thanks to their tail & Ghambir's 60 odd! SLs only wicket fell when there was about 20 runs to get. LOL!

Posted by Meety on (July 25, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

@landl47 - you do realise you could be accused of hypocrisy by using the results of an ODI series as being influential in a Test series. The ODI series being an event we both felt was meaningless. What you did touch upon indirectly was the fact that coming into the Test series, all the talk in the media (even after the 1st day), was that the Saffas were under cooked. Yet the reality is, that England had very little substantial cricket after the 2nd test v the WIndies. So England were probably every bit unprepared as the Saffas were, difference being England's batsmen were batting, their bowlers were bowling - unfortunately not in suitable formats. What has happenned to the England side is exactly what I fear could happen during an Oz summer, where at some point during the summer we may need to boost our test side with re-enforcements, only to find, that they are all playing the BBL & have no "sea-legs" so to speak. Much easier to make changes in May than July for Eng me thinks!

Posted by JG2704 on (July 24, 2012, 21:22 GMT)

Much chaff , very little wheat here - as expected. Personally I still have faith in our bowlers. It's rare that we have failed to take wickets. It was a very flat wicket and I'd prefer to give credit to Amla,Kallis and Smith. And yes I know that on day 1 and day 4/5 we batted in similar conditions but again I'd give credit to SA's bowlers and lambast our batsmen. I know we're always getting the "can only bowl in home conditions etc" but we took 20 wickets in 4 of our 5 tests in UAE and SL. I'd still prefer Finn as an addition as we need to win now and 5 bowlers are more likely to take 20 wickets than 4 and would we really be missing that much runwise (potential) by dropping Bopara) or for that matter anyone bar Trott and Cook right now?

Posted by tests_the_best on (July 24, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

I thought strauss' stroke in the 2nd innings lobbing a simple catch was atrocious. One would have thought after playing quite a bit in uae/asia, eng would have atleast learnt some lessons about playing spin bowling, being patient and not trying to hit their way out of trouble if they get bogged down, but alas not. As it is, they have enough trouble against sa's pace battery, losing the plot to the spinner only makes things worse for them.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 24, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

I am not quite sure why so many Indian fans have gotten into England so much. Have you forgotten what has happened to your team in the past year with more to come after the impending retirements.The South African fans can justifiably pump their chests, but the rest of us? As I have stated elsewhere, a team's character is truly measured by how they can back from something like this. Every team loses, some very badly, but the overall result is what counts.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 24, 2012, 19:55 GMT)

It's amazing how many new posters come out of the woodworks when England lose anything. And you know there's something really wrong when the most consistent person is RandyOZ... The weather should return to normal after this week, i.e. bad. 3-0 is not going to be possible.

Posted by Big_CricInfo_fan on (July 24, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

@ proteaboytjie: to be honest, I would love to see Steyn firing it up on the grassy pitches, if possible, by being present at the ground. The effort he puts in every ball he bowls is infectious. :). Everytime he runs up, it feels like "this ball is going to be a wicket ball."

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

i guess strauss meant taking 20 wickets in the series

Posted by Major_Hammad on (July 24, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Congrates to South Africa on huge victory. Also Congrates to Legend Amla and Steyn specially, Kallis, Smith, Morkel and Imran Tahir also performed very well. England poor bowlers exposed again against quality batsmen and Eng poor batting line exposed again Quality bowlers.

Posted by Shafaet_001 on (July 24, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@Sanjay Bishan: Well said,love your comment :D.

Posted by voma on (July 24, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Obviously England played very poorly , but South Africa i thought were brilliant in every department . Pure class , Randy Ozz and Maddy20 . Seriously guys you just make yourselfs look silly writing things like that .

Posted by letsgoproteas on (July 24, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

thirdmanboundary - any englishman who is forced to stand in the sun for 3 days watching the same 2 batsmen will look worn down :D

Drop Bopara.. Always overrated - always useless. Finn back.

Posted by CCricFFan on (July 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

england prepared this flat track because they were scared of steyn and co. and they were delusion that their overrated bowling attack could bowl out SA twice yet they took just 2 wickets and SA bowling attack bowled them out twice. Now i'm expecting green tops for the next two games only way england can fight with SA but by looking at the first match i dont thing england is match to this SA lineup .Writing is on the wall 3-0 to SA anything less than a 3-0 would be an UPSET!!!

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

2 Wickets of SA taken Vs 20 wickets of England. On the same pitch, with the same conditions! Does it indicate the inferiority of England's batsmen or bowlers? Think it over. Many seem to be pointing their fingers at the batsmen!

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (July 24, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

One thing that missing hear, with all this talk of changes and who is to come in is that despite the media and unlearned fans going on about 'such great depth in English cricket'..that's actually so not the case at all! One telling point is that a week before the game, a cricketer integral to their set-up retires after a serious eye injury and their able ODI replacement steps in without a blip in there performance. Imagine what would happen if Prior (yawn....yet another south african) in it? And imagine the upheaval! Fellow english fans would be reaching (even more so) for the excuse book before a ball is bowled! Now imagine if the captain goes after losing this series...my fear is that the downward slide has already started and there is nothing to stop it!

Posted by Samdanh on (July 24, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

Euphoria over ODI series win over Aus dies down, and a shocking defeat has brought down England to its knees. I expected Eng to do better. It was not surprising to see such a flat track. Wonder if it would have been the same had opposition been any of the sub continent teams. England could not have made a turner as they did in Oval in 2009 seris against Aus, as SA had a decent spinner. The sub continental practice of preparing wickets has caught up with England. I would rather expect them to resume playing tough cricket to make this series interesting before it becomes too late

Posted by ihaq1 on (July 24, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

well england have to realize that south africa has a long list of accomplished batsmen and flat pitches wont help...one would have thought that swann would succeed but even he didnt...so the wicket should either turn,bounce or seam...otherwise it is just not england...one would point teh finger at pieterson as an error in selection and probably have Finn in the side...and play at least a few more top ranked batsmen in tests...ravi bopara i think has utility in teh shorter versions of teh game...england do have raw talent like taylor and others but they donot have a seasoned batsman waiting in teh wings...might be play prior up the order because he has been a consistent test match batsman...bring in a real batsman for bopara and even consider replacing Bresnan with Finn and pieterson with someone...south africa should not be taken lightly...

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 24, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

@5wombats: I can clearly see you are enraged to see your team losing so badly. Please tell me, how does it feel to be #1 in tests and then to receive THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE TEST THRASHING EVER ...and...and...and...THAT TOO AT HOME. What happened the to #1 team that was supposed to do well all the time against all the team in all conditions? Please share your thoughts about this. I further need to remind you that 2011 is gone, it is over. In 2012, Eng have been a horrible team, 0-3 whip in UAE vs Pak (not even at their home lol), a 1-1 draw against poor unpaid Sri Lankans and now a sound smacking at home. Lest you forget, India had beaten Eng in 2007, when was the last time Eng defeated Ind in a test series in India - I don't know. Even at your peak in 2011, you were toyed by India in the ODIs 0-5 keep that in mind too. Don't talk of 2011 now - it is all over. See what is being done to the so called #1 team in 2012, losing in UAE and now at home too.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

'We can take 20 wickets IN THE SERIES' - Strauss

Posted by Marcio on (July 24, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

@landl47, can you give the Aussie bashing a rest? Just for once? This has nothing to do with Australia? Win, lose or draw you cut and paste the same stuff over and over again... And Austtralia beat SA four games out of seven in SA just a few months back. SA couldn't win any of the three series - T20, ODI or tests. So maybe there's a reason why Australia performed so bad in a two week lightning tour out of season to England for an inconsequential series. Looking forward to some real cricket next season.

Posted by proteaboytjie on (July 24, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

@selassie-I i dont think that we(SA) have the attitude like you, we lose with pride but when ENG gets a hiding they stay down, ur comments are really cheap for a team that can count on their fingers winning the ashes. Atleast we can win in every country/continent. U brag about inventing cricket...well mate we(SA) have perfected it and that included countries like AUS nad INDIA. the latter is building new side and I agree with @landl47 that ENG really thought that they are better then they actually are by beating a lackluster AUS and Indian side, sad but true.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (July 24, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

Bob Willis is indeed laying into England, and especially Pietersen. I like him because he thinks like me, sceptically when England play well, and extremely pessimistic and critical when they lose. He must have some yorkshire ancestry because he thinks like one.

Posted by kunderanengineer on (July 24, 2012, 15:27 GMT)

On livelier pitches for the next 2 Tests I think the England bowlers will perform a lot better but the problem is so will Steyn and co. which I think makes for some very intriguing cricket coming up. Patient and sensible batting might make the difference. No matter what happens next I think Test cricket will be the winner. Even as an Indian fan I was so engrossed in this match that I didn't watch a single minute of the India-Sri Lanka game which was going on at the same time on Day 3. However I would like to and expect to see closer contests for the next 2 Tests.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 24, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

I shall incur the wrath of jackiethepen (among others) with this comment! The coach at school, a county pro who once bowled the Don, used to say: 'Gettin out for a duck. Everyone's done it. It happens now & again. Those who really should be criticised are those who get out for when they've got 20!' I'd guess that 20 converts into a 40 in a test match. There were too many of England's top order who got in - well in, in Bell's case - and then threw their wicket away. and it is nowhere near good enough. At the beginning of the last day, I had my hopes pinned on IRB - here was a chance for him to prove his mettle, his fighting qualities, his self-discipline to save a test match. In short, could he do an Atherton? Techically accomplished he may be, but has he really got enough of the bulldog spirit that, on good days, Cook & Trott have in abundance. With his wicket, the rest was a formality. Perhaps he'll take the lesson to heart; I'm sure that he wants to.

Posted by cricjaffa on (July 24, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

England should have included Steven Finn, wonder where Chris Tremlett is ??. They both have the ability to extract bounce and move the ball both ways. England batting too was ordinary to say the least. Bopara, Strauss and Pieterson should stand up and be counted in the upcoming matches. England also need to look at including Adil Rashid or get a leg spinner in their side.

Posted by thirdmanboundary on (July 24, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

At the outset, I thought this series could be influenced by English fatigue vs. SAfrican rustiness. On day one I thought SA were too rusty to win. But coming off a long period without cricket, they now just look very, very hungry. England have played so much more cricket and some of them (Broad, Anderson, Swan) look tired, a bit worn down. I say this as a Saffer supporter: England don't look fresh. Also, congrats to Smith and Kirsten for the competitive, aggressive declaration. In the past, SAffer declarations have often been too conservative. This one kept the game alive and, in the end, proved pitch perfect.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 24, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Of course SA are pumped right up. They played transcendantly well.But let us look down the road a bit. Series against SA involving whoever seem to be see-saw affairs. Hell even SL took them to the cleaners in Durban in the winter. Really they are no better than England,seriously. We go introspective at the first sign of trouble but Strauss is right. After all he has been there with the team. Willis goes completely mental at KP but really players die as they live, whether they are Beefy, Gower-oh god, he never moves his feet!! they'd exclaim- or Gooch. Bob has never minced a single word or found a fence which would not ever so politely move away if he tried to sit on it. Bob is always on his long run!! Everyone wanrs Finn but v WI was he so good?? Maybe he for Bresnan, maybe!! Bopara-vitim or villain? Poor old Ravi back in the headlights. Taylor for Ravi?? Taylor has big match temperament. Otherwise get fit very soon Tremlett!!! That would be the best move!

Posted by proteaboytjie on (July 24, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

At the moment the poms are the no.1 team for now...@ChrisSun, why would you laugh if the proteas lose the ranking to AUS? they have infact set the tone in test cricket for many years and now that the poms are ranked no.1 you make like they've been for years...Just remember our south africans are much better than your "south africans" as we've proved and what it also proves is that international quality batters are hard to find in ENG if you have 3 ex-SA citizens batting in the top 4,LOL! @hareesh why would the contest be even if the wicket was prepared by ENG and not the groundsman? i thought these were the two best bowling attacks in test cricket? actually I'd love for them to prepare a green top all they will do is fire up steyn and co even more :)

Posted by Selassie-I on (July 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

I'm really glad to see the Saffer's attitude to winning, well played and a job well done. Not like some fans on here who can't wait to jump on Englands backs for anything. SA fans - I hope the indians and the Aussies don't turn on you like they have us when you're top of the rankings. @ RandyOZ - really mate, South africa B lost this test beacus 'all our players are south african' Cook and Bell played pretty well for their parts, if only we had another 4 english batsmen in the side ay?

Posted by kunderanengineer on (July 24, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

When Strauss says at the post-match press conference that "we could have escaped with a draw" he might have added "... if I had batted more sensibly at the end of Day 4" What a reckless shot to have played under the circumstances just when the ship needed to be steadied. Poor example set by the captain I thought.

Posted by kunderanengineer on (July 24, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

To my fellow Indian fans who take vicarious pleasure in seeing England being humiliated by SA I would make a gentle suggestion that we focus instead on the sorry state of Indian cricket at the present. Not only have we been pathetic in test matches outside of India but as I type these words we are being annihilated by Sri Lanka in the 2nd ODI where we've managed a grand total of 138 runs in 33.3 overs. At the dinner break SL are almost half way there with 41 overs remaining. Pretty dismal.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

Yes Strauss we all know you can take 2 wickets but did you? and will you that's the question. England were out classed in every department you can imagine in the last test match. Looking at the SA batting and bowling attack, England will find it very difficult even in their own BACK YARD! Common likes of AB didn't even get a chance. I am looking forward to this contest. SA are the only team in the World who can win anywhere in the world. I support India but just love SA play.

Posted by landl47 on (July 24, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

One of the problems England undoubtedly had, and didn't deal with, is that their previous two series of the Summer were against very weak opposition. The West Indies didn't ever seriously threaten England, hard though they tried, and 5 wins in the 5 completed games came pretty easily. The Australians were, if anything, worse, especially as they came in as the #1 rated ODI side and therefore more was expected of them. They only took 14 England wickets in 4 games and all England's bowlers had to do was put the ball in the right areas to be too good for the feeble Australian batting. That left England with the feeling that they were better than they actually are and they didn't raise their game to the level necessary to take on a very good SA side. Too much success can lead to a false sense of security when it comes against sub-standard opposition.

Posted by Theredbaron on (July 24, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

Give England a break for Heavens sake, they are playing propably the best South African outfit since re-admission if not ever. I think SA are by far the strongest side in the world at the moment, as they have all the bases covered with their batting & bowling.

Posted by scritty on (July 24, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

sillymidwicketcz - Agree completely. Wickets win game, and 7 defensive fielders for most of the SA innings. Finn for next test, short leg, 3 slips or 2 and a gully the whole time., @ Chrissun. that would be funny, but we see that sort of thing time and again. Team prepares for specific opposition. Really intense, plays well and wins, then relaxes too much and loses against weaker opposition a few months later. Happens all the time.

Posted by richardror on (July 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

England bowled poorly, batted average, and the South Africa top order batted incredibly. It's still obvious that no one is close to these two countries in any format, especially Australia who are lagging, far, far behind and their number 2 ranking is laughable. The top side is the side who will come out top after this series, 2nd is the side who comes 2nd in this series and 3rd is a long long way behind. The same can be said of t20 and ODI, with England and South Africa far far ahead in both those formats, however I think that ODI would be more even and England would win the t20.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (July 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

@Chris Sun, Last time SA were in aus, aus lost the series. Remember Smith comming out to bat with that broken hand? Or Duminy's 164? Short memory? Also when Aus rolled SA for 99 they promptly folded for 47. nother example of bad memory? England will have to play at their abolute peak and S.A. have to drop thier standards by half to give Eng a sniff. The way Amla,Kallis and Smith applied themselves was fantastic. And theres no way a guy of Steyns calibre will suddenly go wayward, especially when he HAS to be at his best or else he wont have any wickets to take due to Vern, Morne and Imran. Its becomming a bunfight to get wickets.

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 24, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

@Meety: Ind defeated WI in WI but Poms were all out for 51 there. If beating WI in WI is not such an achievement then we need to find a new adjective for what the Poms did there.

Posted by Selassie-I on (July 24, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

What's happened... have australia left their bowling attack in england after the odi series and have we borrowed it? a return to the usual jimmy, broad and bres please, with maybe an inclusion of finn. But in all seriousness, that was some fantastic batting by smith, kallis and amla, they showed us how to value our wicket, which we should have done, we have one batsman who likes to dominate the bowling, few are good enough in the world, the other should play real test cricket not try to emulate.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 24, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

@harshtaker, I think you will find that the South African cricket team is known as the Proetas, the Springboks are the rugby team!

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

Hey Strauss Dude, Dont talk big. First Try to Grab Amla's Wicket...then talk about rest of all... :)

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

@5Wobmbats : We haven't forgot the India's last tour of England. Hope you have not forgot the last tour of India of your team ( the 5-0 drubbing in ODIs). For the tests we are in your debt and shall pay back with interest coming December.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (July 24, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

England will come out swinging in round 2....If you dont recognize then your a fool.

Posted by Min2_cric on (July 24, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

both teams played well..d difference was dat- eng bowlers lacked swing,pace,spin bounce...anything u can add..lol..n SA batters played all dat swingleess bounceless ....watever added deliveries well...rofl

Posted by jb633 on (July 24, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

@Niles Boxer Seales, so you are basing dominance on one victory. How are SA dominant, they drew at home with an average Aus side, drew with India at home and away. If this is dominance then I dread to think of what the Aus side of 90's was called. SA still have the chance to choke in the coming games. If they sweep all aside them in the next two years then maybe we can talk of dominance.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Englands bowling needs a review, Finn should be in the team he is the best bowler england has at forcing a wicket, tho he does leak extra runs at times he makes up for it with key wickets, Anderson and Finn are the ideal new ball pair, Broad should come on 1st change and bresnan unfortunetely should miss out even tho he has done well in his career i feel Finn has more potential as a pure bowler. After seeing 2-642, england need to realise that their batsman need to get the runs and not rely on bowling allrounders down the order to lift the score. England needs the BEST BOWLERS possible and this could leave bresnan on the bench even tho he's a genuine allrounder and a class player. Other option would be to bat Bresnan at number 6 instead of Bopara and play the extra bowler in Finn or Monty panesar

Posted by SuperSharky on (July 24, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

@Posted by Chris Sun on (July 24 2012, 10:11 AM GMT) I don't think that Strauss sounds like a dreamer. He is seeing this situation realistic and clearly. Also the best way to get out of this situation and progress. You are right in saying that Strauss won't go down without a fight. According to this article, he is already seeing new solutions and he is the type of guy that will learn from a lesson. He also doesn't wants to become Graeme Smith's 3rd victim. Word has it that Graeme Smith feels extremely proud for being the opposition captain to see 2 previous English captains got relieved of their duty. If Strauss wants to resign, then please, not during this series or after this series.

Posted by sillymidwicketcz on (July 24, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Strauss says he backs his bowling attack's ability to take 20 wickets, but unfortunately he doesn't back that ability with positive field settings. Against the W. Indies he could get away with having edges fly through a vacant 3rd slip area, knowing another chance wouldn't be too long in coming, but against S.Africa he needs to back his bowlers with attacking fields - it must be frustrating running in with a ball barely a dozen overs old and seeing only a couple of slips at most; pressure needs to be put on the batsmen, they need to know that if they get an edge there's a third slip or gully waiting. He's far too quick to go on the defensive and take any pressure off the opposition - Anderson and colleagues need backing with more than just words!

Posted by Marcio on (July 24, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

As I have been saying all along, England's bowlers rely heavily on conditions. Seems I might have been right about that one. But this is England, and the drizzle will be back. Unfortunately SA also have the bowlers to take advantage of that. Great work by SA - the biggest win ever in test history in terms of runs/wicket! But one great win - or one great loss (for ENG) - doth not a summer make. Remember though, this is only one game, and England can bounce back, and have the players to do so. Even one series is not necessarily indicative of longer term trends. I'd be surprised if they didn't win at least one game. The only thing I'd hope for is that the English fans (some) and their merciless bashing of everything Australian might be tempered for five minutes while they soak up a dose of humility!

Posted by ashes61 on (July 24, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Again & again we see here the claim that ENG prepared a pitch at the Oval because this or that would favour them. Or that they didn't prepare it in this or that way and got it wrong. Or that the Headingley pitch will be a greentop to help ENG's bowlers.Well, firstly, let's just agree that whatever the merits or otherwise of the Oval track, SA played much better on it than ENG did - obviously! But the ENG camp does NOT prepare the pitch, NOR does it have any say in it. The groundsman prepares the best Test wicket he can. A typical Oval pitch is hard & fast, good for batting & good for spinners on days 4 & 5. This year the only difference was that it was slow instead of fast. It's been impossible to get the speed into the pitch after the summer we've had so far. Headingley's usually a result pitch. It's in the north, gets more rain & this year has had oceans of rain! Generally, it should help the bowlers of both sides, Philander & Anderson/Onions especially. Overhead? Who knows yet?

Posted by Meety on (July 24, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@IronCobra - LOL! "India atleast got to #1 by beating ...., NZ in NZ, the WI in WI" - man you say that like that was an achievement! LOL! Oz did all that & a damn sight more convincingly than your mob EVER could! @AdrianVanDenStael - LOL! Yep, 2006, that was probably half his/her life ago!

Posted by Aaryabhatta on (July 24, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

The Poms have been living in a 'comfort zone' in their backyard for a while...it was delightfully shaken up by Smith & co... 5wombats we remember our defeat in england,as clearly as thrasing england in next odi series in our home[like u do] please publish

Posted by Front_Foot_Lunge on (July 24, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

Try holding on to a simple catch first Mr Strauss. It's easy to back your bowlers on the field, how about backing your players on the field like any good captain should.

Posted by Big_CricInfo_fan on (July 24, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@Bob Young: For you and me, it may not matter. For the teams, definitely. They would be looking for a payback, India or Aussies. India have already started it with a 5-0 ODI thumping. Regarding England tour of India coming December, win or loss, I can say that Indians will be fired up. At least you'll enjoy a better contest between bat and ball. @Jack_Tka (rgding preparing pitches): My point exactly. A team tours other countries to master the conditions there. The host must have all the liberty to prepare the pitch. I would strongly support England preparing a grassy pitch at Headingly and that unique pitch at the Lords. It would be an exciting match as we'll get to see a more balanced contest, if I may say.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

I think England and Strauss are dreaming here. A lot of people like to see Strauss resign and replaced. Well he isn't going down without a fight. If SA does take the no.1 ranking, I'll laugh if they lose against Australia, as well as their no.1 ranking. If you put in all that hard work to win against ENG only to lose it against AUS. Don't choke down under.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

@jb633 ". No side in world cricket is absolutley dominant at present " are u serious SA showed just how far ahead of the pack they are. England beat the WI earlier this year only because the boys were freezing play us later in the summer and they would have been beaten by WI as well. WAy over-rated Eng bowling attack they only hope is overcast conditions. no bite.

Posted by tonobwoy on (July 24, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

a thorough beating...and more of the same for the rest of the series..England have been made to look like the team that they really are. they were tested in spurts by the lowly west indians and cracks were exposed. against the formidable South Africans those cracks have become chasms...

Posted by SuperSharky on (July 24, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

Maybe the reason for the start of the series at The Oval on a dry pitch, was that the England cricket team didn't want Steyn to take 5 wickets and they had the perception that South Africa can't play spinners like Swann. And that South Africa is maybe not so strong in the spin-bowling-department. That is now proven all wrong. It could have also been interesting if they've started on a lively green mamba pitch and the Saffas was put in to bat and try to be creative with setting up a target against a lethal J. Anderson, who started off on the right rhythm. It took the visitors more than one day to find their rhythm.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

People are saying here that England lost because pitch was flat and slow & low, but on similar wicket in SA which is Durban where SA lost to IND & SL in 2011, England beat SA quite easily in 2009 with Swann picking up the wickets. However, I think in this test SA batted well which made sure that English batsmen play under pressure & in the end pressure got to them. SA played Swann very well & hurt his morale which meant that ENG never got past Amla & Smith, it was the end there. Now, people who are saying SA are No.1 , then I must tell them that SA have not won a series ever in SL & at home against Aus since,1970. ENG drew in SL and SA drew 1-1 with IND whom ENG beat 4-0. ENG did draw in India in 06 1-1,won ODIS in UAE 4-0, they won ODIs in SL 3-2 in 07, so they can win in SC,If conditions were so important then ENG would not have won series in Pak & SL in 2001. Series is still going on, wait for the result, after Day1 many people bashed SA bowling, but all had to eat their words.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 24, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@IronCobra (July 24 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) - like a lot of your friends on here you are big on talk but short on spine. Got memory loss have you? What happened to you during last years india tour of England? Hiding behind the sofa? Funny how you come out only when England loses. Enjoy hiding behind Pakistan did you? Enjoying hiding behind South Africa now are you? What a pity you didn't come out last Summer. please publish.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (July 24, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

No offence to Straus but - England managed 2 wickets in the whole game and are talking about taking 20! ha... Not bringing the debate of Number 1 Ranking but with hype the English Ex players brought when England became Number 1 Ranked team after ONE good series was ENGLAND WAS GOING TO STAY THERE FOR A DECADE. Since then England lost all the series when they travelled and managed to cling on to that Ranking. Now their so called most potent Weapon - Bowling - has taken some good beating. Really would love to hear some of the ex-english players speak now - that is if they choose to speak. When India was Number 1 Ranked at least they were winning series. How many England have won since beating India to claim the top spot?

Posted by raj_24 on (July 24, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@paddy999 Siddle Harris /Hilfenhaus and cummins are better than tremlett onions. second if u say Aus bowlers are injured most times then so is tremlett onions etc.

Finn is way above all of them and also above bresnan and even broad on current form.

True no one in india can even come close to the second string attack you mentioned.

But there is now some hope from Yadav and Aaron .

Finn needs to be picked in all tests eng play but their foolish fixation with bresnan/broad or some no.6 bat who never delivers is dooming them .

Posted by thruthecovers on (July 24, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Gary Kirsten is a genuis. I was very worried about the team dynamics when Vernon burst on the Test scene in such a spectacular fashion. And I remembered the noises that did the rounds when Vern got into the ODI team in '07. Let's just say he seemed to rub people the wrong way. The Kiwi media, always quick to pick up on such things and try and score pshychological points for their team, peppered Dale with questions about his own wicket taking form. Fed up, Dale spat back that there was only 10 wickets going round. What does Gary do? He reckons spending a week in the Swiss mountains, building team spirit is worth more than playing 10 meaningless warm-up County games. End result...I never knew we had a team of huggers. A simple handshake or fist punch is not enough anymore, after spending by their own admission some of the hardest days of their lives up on those mountains. They realy care about each other. They are a close-knit team now. It is very clear to see. Gary, where have you been?

Posted by stormy16 on (July 24, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

Sure Eng can get 20 wickets - only if the conditions suit their seamers! Sure they got 20 wickets in their past but got hammered by Pak and couldnt beat SL who were on the floor with a new coach, captain and with no pay! Lets not also forget Eng still are #1 and none of thees events change that and didnt get there by accident. The issues for Eng is their bowling inability to do anything on a wicket that their star studded line up was bowled out twice. What has happened to Swan - totally ineffective on a useful track for spinners. Didnt see many go straight or loop. The batting was indisciplined with too many inside edges and playing at deliveries that should have been left. On the 4th evening both KP and Strauss played irresposible shots. Granted SA were brilliant and wait for it - are they the new Aussies? There will never be a match for Warne but this SA side is looking mighty scairy.

Posted by neo-galactico on (July 24, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

A fantastic performance by the Proteas, and a fully deserved victory, but complacency has been our scourge many times times and hopefully the boys will retain their intensity and win again, and only then will I celebrate just not yet though. On flat decks there is very little chance for England to beat us, and so I expect a Green mamba for the next test and it should made our seam attack more potent, especially Vernon who thrives in such conditions. Steyn proved again that he is the best in the world at what he does, and an ever improving Morkel is a scary prospect for any opposition. Spelele as a Saffer myself I'd like you to cool it on the gloating at least until the series is won. England are a good unit and in helpful conditions will pose more questions to our batsmen. But SA will be bouyed by the conditions too, so the series is still very much on. A battle might be won but the WAR rages on.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (July 24, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

@cricketfannik: "SA has never been whitewashed by any team in test". South Africa lost 3-test series 3-0 to Australia at home (2006) and away (2001). Perhaps you are not counting these because they were a few years ago.

Posted by guyfawkes43 on (July 24, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

well said IronCobra,let the english come to sub-continent they will understand what we are talking about then.even SAF is not a great team because they are not ruthless as other teams in home conditions,nonetheless SAF is best choice for NO1.

Posted by satish619chandar on (July 24, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

@paddy999 : I do agree England attack is not as bad as some says.. But, Not playing bowlers isn't a excuse.. Actually, Onions and Finn are better bowlers than Bresnan(If u consider bowling alone) but for team balance, they preferred Bresnan.. You can't call them second string.. Panesar won't get into a Indian team for sure.. Murali Kartik, Better spinner than Monty by far is playing in county..

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

English bowlers won't take 20 SA wickets on a flat track. And they are probably quite relieved De Villiers didn't get to bat on that track! Only way for them is to prepare lively wickets. And the last thing you want is to face Philander on a seeming track. Ask the Aussies how much they enjoyed that.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (July 24, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

why are my posts not being posted cricinfo???? please post!

RandyOz,throughly enjoying your posts, brilliant predictions all coming true.

England's media has built up this average England team into the one of the greatest team ever. I almost split my sides when they started comparing englands pop-gun attack to the Warne/McGrath ozzie bowling attack. ROFL!!!

Posted by thruthecovers on (July 24, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

I reckon Dale Steyn must have taken it real personal reading the comments about him and the rest of SA attack after Day 1. English fans and media considering Anderson the better bowler might also have 'hurt'. I have never seen him carry on like that after taking 5 wickets. To me, it seemed he wanted everyone in ENG to know he just got 5 wickets in an innings on a pitch the SA batsmen (those who got a bat) made look like batsman's paradise. No one picked up on this. No mention of this in the commentary or the media afterwards. It's a fairly significant gesture, imo and shows he is fired up for this! Their Queen seems save enough. I think its time the English pray to God to save their cricket team

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 24, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Not surprising. Team that beats India and West Indies at home and celebrates is bound to fail miserably when conditions are even slightly "non-English". The English really need to respect all types of cricket pitches and conditions. They are the creators of the game after all. You can't just sit back at home and win against weak teams and accumulate points. Not a single batsman knows how to play spin on dry turning wickets. No footwork no wrist work! Forget spin, these guys are susceptible to quality seam and swing bowling too. India had a pathetic bowling attack that was no good but remember England were 111-8 at Edgbaston when the conditions helped seam and swing. I can only imagine what Steyn and Philander will do in more favourable conditions. India atleast got to #1 by beating England in England, NZ in NZ, the WI in WI and drawing SA in SA. Then they threw it away. Can you say that for England? When was the last time they won a series in Asian conditions?

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

It's a known fact that English batsman have a history of struggle against quality opposition bowling line ups. Most recently, Pakistan severely tested and exposed English batting lineup in their own conditions. Mind you, conditions which were more suited to English play style. Perhaps in the series against the South Africans the pitch is dead. Yet, the South Africans have succeeded in moving the ball around and troubling the English batsman. Meanwhile, the South Africans have managed to pillage century after century. To me, this is enough testimony that England isn't a genuine and worthy #1 test side in the world at the moment. That's the bitter truth.

Posted by jb633 on (July 24, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

Taking 20 wickets has not been the problem for a long time, but this summer it has really crept into the game. If the ball is not swinging big then bowling 80 mph is not good enough. Everyone seems to be having a go at Bres but Broad's bowling this summer has been the biggest worry. I am not sure if he is 100 % fit or just changed his style of bowling, but atm this is not good enough. You can't bowl 79 mph half volleys and expect players like Kallis and Amla to snick off. @Gupta.Ankar- one of the best batting line ups of all time. Are you literally having a laugh. If this England side is garbage based on one sound drubbing, then this makes India ... after 8-0 pasting. I would have thought that the Indian fans would have learnt their lesson following recent results about keeping their mouths shut. No side in world cricket is absolutley dominant at present and fans of all countries should be careful when dishing out cricticism. It could easily happen to any side.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

ya .. so what if we took only 2 !! in this match ... lol

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (July 24, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

How does strauss say that they bowled well while himself admitting that they could not swing both new and old ball. Then does bowling well mean bowling gun barrel straight

Posted by paddy999 on (July 24, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

I have one question for everyone saying Englands attack is over rated and try and answer this honestly especially Australian and Indian supporters. Onions, Finn, Tremlett and Panesar (Englands second string attack) Would or would not they walk straight into your test 1st XI team ??? and if they wouldn't tell me who is better in Australian and Indian cricket. Just for the record the South African attack is excellent.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 24, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

How can a team that has not won any test series(barring the 1 against WI) not be the worst no.1 ever? The were pummeled by PAK, barely managed to draw against SL and are on the verge of receiving a sound thrashing in their own backyard. On the contrary india has not lost any series at home or away the whole time they were number 1(thats 2 years 4 months) until the England debacle last year. They have also won the worldcup . In their buildup to no1, tgey have beaten ENGLAND and PAK in their own backyard. Whos the worst number 1 is there for every one to see despite of all the drumming up of their fans. My prediction for this series 2-0 or 3-0 to SOUTH AFRICA. the fact that this is the highest average/ wicket difference since 1924 shows that this is the most dismal perfomance by any side in a long time!

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

well done SAF you deserved the victory, number 1 here we come...

Posted by ktic on (July 24, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

20 wickets?!?! It has taken 780 runs for the English bowlers to take last 3 wickets including the last match against WI....

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Eng - they failed against pak, they failed against SL, they fail against any side when they tour....come Nov, they will face humiliation - its pay back time....a team that cannot win a single test outside their home country...is no 1.....crazy ranking.....SA should be no:1

Posted by ROLAYH on (July 24, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

In how many matches, at the rate of 2 wickets per match it will take 4 more test matches to do it... :p

Posted by MansoorKoondhar on (July 24, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Sure you can Strause, but lets 1st take 3 :-)

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 24, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Strauss' side will struggle to take 20 wickets the entire series. so far they are on target for a whopping 6. Swann on target to bowl 208 overs for nothing. those are bopara stats.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Monty Panesar should be played in place of Swann

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Yes Mr Strauss... you can take 20 wkts.. hahaha... 18 more to gooooo !!!! you have already taken 2 ;)

Posted by WGWG on (July 24, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

I have no doubt that England can take 20 wickets. Just as soon as the ICC re-instates Timeless Tests.............

Posted by kingcobra85 on (July 24, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

@Bob Young hope you will tune in in November. Its going to be payback time

Posted by cric_fan_ on (July 24, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

strauss misplaced the zero, it was supposed to be "We can take 02 wickets" wasn't it?

Posted by Jack_Tka on (July 24, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

Preparing a pitch which suits the home team is not a sin. In this case, GREEN and seaming conditions for England. But the irony is that opposition camp has better players this time around than the home team, that too in all departments(except WicketKeeper). Its a vicious circle. I am waiting for the second test to begin.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (July 24, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

How long will England's #1 test status remain? certainly much less than 2 years :))

Posted by RahulPatil89 on (July 24, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

Finally Steyn gun fire for SA and with the courtesy of two top class cricketers Amla and Kallis!!!!!Love to watch their game..

Posted by HeatMissile on (July 24, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

'We can take 20 wickets' - Strauss Sure England can take 20 wickets for the entire series, that should be easy

Posted by harshthakor on (July 24, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

To win this series England will possibly have to make their greatest comeback in a test series in the last 3 decades.South Africa defeated them most comprehensively like a world champion team playing a lower ranked team.I back the Springboks to capture the unofficial world test champion title,with their match-winning talent.Their bowling attack is the most lethal to have toured England in recent years.

Posted by sanmaha on (July 24, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

England will lose this series 2-0 and also lose their number one ranking position soon they will lose number one ranking in odis also .England is under performing team they can win only in their home soil. when tour abroad they fails miserably

Posted by indiarox4ever on (July 24, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

It is strange that people are blaming individuals, Bopara in particular when clearly it is a case of collective team failure. The defence of the (English) bowlers is even more hilarious as SA cleaned up England for 240 immediately after 'the best attack in the world' failed to create any impression on SA.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

You Got a zero more on the 2 Mr. Strauss.

Posted by DINESHCC on (July 24, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

'We can take 20 wickets' - Strauss' - After the 2nd test it may be 'We can take 2 wickets' - Strauss

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Ha Ha Ha... We lose the first game in a three match series and already the knockers are out...most of them from the supporters of teams we have recently smashed...ie India and Australia.. Whatever happens in the rest of this series won't change those results guys..

Posted by Wefinishthis on (July 24, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

I would also like to add my congrats to SA from an Aussie supporter, the SA supporters are always respectful despite their team being ranked lower than they deserve. Since Australia's loss of McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Hayden due to retirement, SA have been the no.1 team in my eyes and I can't believe the scheduling has meant that I've had to wait this long to see them finally get a chance to prove me right. England will come back stronger in the next two matches so here's hoping that the (real) two best bowlers in the world (Steyn and Philander) can take down two of the best batsmen in the world (Cook and Trott) again. Perfect declaration from Smith as well.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

LOL.....just taken 2 wks....

Posted by paddy999 on (July 24, 2012, 6:11 GMT)

I do not think England should over react.. admittedly they have been slaughtered but they have alot of bowling depth and can make changes. Steve Finn is a absolute superstar and will come into the side. Its the batting that is more worrying. Bopara looks to be mentally weak and its going to be a tricky decision for the selectors. I love the Aussie guy blaming El Nino for losing the ashes. funniest thing I've heard in ages. Did you not watch the series, Australia were completely dominated rain or shine. The drier El Nino which you claim will save you will just aid Swann (more spin) Anderson, Broad,Onions, Tremlett, Finn and Bresnan (reverse). Its the lack of bounce (not evident in Australia) and dry pitches where England really struggle... but which bowling attacks do not struggle in these conditions ? unless you have a mystery spinner any side will struggle. I'm backing England to respond at Headlingley and show why they are number 1 in the world.

Posted by CricketFundas on (July 24, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

'We can take 20 wickets' - Strauss Yes most definitely, but across 10 test matches (@ 2 per match). ROTFL

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (July 24, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

Yes England can take 20 wickets but when a) the pitch is green and b)when there is overhead cloud cover.

Thats exactly how they whitewashed India and got one of the best batting line-ups of all time to its knees.

You take the two pts i made above out and you know why Eng have lost 5 out of 9 this year.

Posted by kevinpp24 on (July 24, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

Brilliant performance by SA, outperformed us in all departments batting, bowling and fielding. Absolutely 0% determination while batting and 0% intention while bowling from England they tried the same wicket-to-wicket bowling tactics which they usually do against all oppositions but didn't worked against strong opposition SA, I couldn't see any backup plans tried either,  hopefully this embarrassing defeat will make way for Finn, he may not come good but he's definitely second to Jimmy in skill and potential and deserves a spot. With all the backup bowlers England lack a left-arm pacer in the ranks, expecting somebody like Reece Topley to be developed by the ECB as they did to Finn. We expected their lower middle order to succumb but as expected their top order was too good to dismantle, looking forward to a strong comeback to tackle their top 4 with a bit more tactics in the next game.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (July 24, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

@RandyOz - so far all of your predicitions about this test/series have come true. im really enjoying your predicitions haha can you tell me what you think of andrew strauss shot to get out in the second innings? lol

Posted by CSKftw on (July 24, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

Just to add to what I said earlier, at least India had the excuse of having just won a world cup when they toured England last year and lost their ranking and also India were at least a dominant side at home and didn't lose so cheaply at home.

Posted by CSKftw on (July 24, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

To say this England team is overrated would be an understatement, they lost to Pak 3-0 in the UAE and now this. If England lose their no.1 rank now as seems imminent, they'll have held this rank for a significantly shorter period than India did, with a lower peak rating than India had, so if India was a weak number 1 side then England have been worse, what goes around comes around. God help them when they tour India at the end of this year. Go Proteas!

Posted by Patchmaster on (July 24, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Steyn can bowl well in any conditions, Anderson needs it to swing. Bopara has had enough chances now, he just doesn't seem to have the big match mentality, I'd like to see a real young up and coming star to have a good crack, like Compton or someone from the Lions squad. I think Finn now needs a chance, he's earned it. Perhaps at the expense of Broad, who bowled with so little pace, he was so easy to negate and score from - what happened to him ? He also used to be able to bat, and that seems to have gone out of the window as well.

Posted by Jack_Tka on (July 24, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Yes, the England bowlers can take 20 wkts, but not on a flat wkt. For the remaining of the matches, FINN needs to be brought in place of the guy named: BROAD. The way he was bowling in the first test was pathetic and also demoralising for others who bowl around him. England needs aggressive bowling and FINN could give them that advantage. Looking forward to the second match.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

yes. you can take 20 wickts in the whole series.

Posted by dthegarty on (July 24, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

If I were Andrew Strauss - I'd worry about taking 3 wickets for starters, then a 4th, then a 5th etc etc.

Rome wasn't built in a day after all.

Based on their wicket taking rate at the Oval (2 wickets in 189 overs) it would take England 3 weeks to take 20 wickets.

Posted by maddinson on (July 24, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

worst no. 1 test team ever, award should go to golden generation of India without much of debate.

Posted by Ulcer on (July 24, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

I wonder why RandyOZ is after Swann's autobiography.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

"and two key members of the attack had needed injections before the game to ensure their fitness"

Don't they ever learn?

Posted by Ulcer on (July 24, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

Congratulations to SA for a crushing victory. i am not too critical of English bowlers. they bowled quite well. For most part of the african innings their run rate was below 3. thats a pretty good performane for me given the pitch was a batting paradise. English batsmen have let their team down and are responsible for the loss. trott, bopara, pietersen, bresnan threw their wickets in the first innings. Trott in particular has a habit of gifting his wickets after starting well. Bopara never looked like a test player and the way he gets out is a good indication of his temperament.As someone correctly mentioned under some other thread that England currently are a ten man team with Bopara in the side.I am still not convinced about Strauss getting in form after disastrous UAE tour.However, i still think that England will bounce back in the second test. Bring a proper batsman in place of Bopara.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

england is by far the worst team to be ranked No.1 in tests. hope that south africa wont go england,s way after this series is over. may england should look for some more recruits from south africa!!

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 24, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

Difference between Steyn and Anderson: Steyn does not depend on conditions (pitch weather etc.) to take wickets. Anderson is completely dependent on conditions. And basically that is the difference between South Africa and England.

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (July 24, 2012, 3:36 GMT)


Posted by Meety on (July 24, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

@5wombats on (July 23 2012, 15:54 PM GMT) - HEY! I resemble that! Don't leave JG2704 to man the pumps by himself! @LeftBrain - mate, I'm an Ozzy, but Siddle in a World XI????? @maximum6 - very good point. All the talk was about the Saffas being undercooked, however, with the Friends T20, the Oz ODI series, combined with the weather in June/July - England were off the boil in Test criteria. @ashes61 - LOL - re AB deVilliers. To think I was worried about his average when keeping too!

Posted by Gizza on (July 24, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

@Marcio, you are spot on about England's success in wet weather. They won the Ashes in Australia and the next one is predicted to be during El Nino (the dry drought period) so they should be slaughtered. Their tour of India is also going to be played in 30+ degree temps so the English half of their team will tire out in about two days and India should likewise whitewash the Poms even without Dravid and any consistent bowlers.

Posted by Hammond on (July 24, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

We shouldn't lose faith. England are number one in two forms of the game, and equal second in odi's for a reason. They will bounce back hard. South Africa shouldn't get complacent. An injured lion is a very dangerous animal, especially when defending it's home territory.

Posted by Hodra99 on (July 24, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

'Best bowling attack in the world'.......yeah right! SA proved they are 10 times more effective. Enough said.

Posted by Just_love_it on (July 24, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

Defeat of THE SO CALLED #1 TEST SIDE with so called BEST Bowling attack WHO CAN take 20 wickets on ANY track against any side by say 40 runs or by few wickets on their HOME turf n condition can be understand and forgiven but just 2 wickets vs 20 wickets and 637 vs 625(2 innings) runs !!! COME ON give me a break that's not remotely consider #1 in any sports.Seriously in some sports team with this big difference in performance won't even qualify to play at bigger stage forget about being ranked !! I thought pitch was SO FLAT as claimed by English fans/writer otherwise SA could have wrap this test within 3 days. Anyway THANK GOD this undeserving SO called #1 side will soon be push down the table by much more deserving team soon.I seriously think something wrong with ICC ranking system.

Posted by cricketfannik on (July 24, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

SA Deserve to win this series as they are beating every body away from since 08 draw series with Ind though away and @ home. But Eng this yr only lost to Pak 3-0 which gave them a set back but SA has never been whitewashed by any team in test. Gary Kirsten is the best coach ever. First he took Ind to top now he said he will take away the tag of chokers from SA. He is best and has played with some of SA player. Every team needs a younger coach who himself can practise with them. I remember when Ind pace attack was struggling. He said leave bowling to batsman and ask amit mishra and Ishant sharma hey mate come bowl at me let me see if u can get me out. and obviously they couldnt get him out. Like Langer is with Aus, Andy Flower with Eng, every team needs a young coach who can hang around with guys. Ind is in bad poisition and so is WI and NZ

Posted by johnnycash on (July 24, 2012, 1:08 GMT)

Thank-you to South Africa for a beaming smile here from Australia :) 5 one-dayers against our underprepared Aussies obviously is not the warm-up needed for a test match. I'm sure England will fight back from here, but it gives us Aussies a lot of hope for the future ashes, especially after having to play the might of SA this summer down under.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 1:08 GMT)

SA just won on a flat track. English players are good at bouncy and swinging pitches. England has been losing on flat tracks since a few years so no surprize there. England bowlers will not let Amla score another tripple and will get the SA's 20 wickets on bouncy and swinging wickets. so relax. But wait.... SA has steyn gun who will fire more on bouncey wickets. Shoot... England is in trouble this seriese....

Posted by noplay on (July 24, 2012, 1:06 GMT)

I really feel for Strauss, and I really feel happy for South Africa. Just one West Indian feeling for teams that will grind us into he dust.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 24, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

South Africa played great cricket. It will be interesting to see if England can bounce back. Expect to see some aggression by the English in the next test.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (July 24, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

I agree Eng can take 20 SA wkts...the question is can they take them at a cheaper price than SA's super attack led by an all time great fast bowler like Steyn?

Posted by drice on (July 23, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

All this talk of Finn & Onions. Weren't they in that bowling attack that was dismantled by those batting giants, Dinesh Ramdin & Tino Best.Lol

Posted by BravoBravo on (July 23, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

'We can take 20 wickets' - Strauss. Then why didn't you? After being white-washed by PAK, a reminder for you Mr. Strauss, that this is SA not IND.

Posted by hoko7354 on (July 23, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

It is probably not the poor England bowling, but great batting from the SA. You have to give credit to Amla, Kallis and Smith for their tremendous batting display.

Posted by ashes61 on (July 23, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

And finally ...

A very bold pre-Test prediction by a Pom which proved to be prescient. I suggested last week that AB de Villiers, if burdened with the wicket-keeping duties in this Test, would not score a single run with the bat.

I rest my case ...

Posted by AussieGreek on (July 23, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

England need to bring in Finn for Bresnan, they bat deep enough without him.

Posted by Lermy on (July 23, 2012, 23:03 GMT)

England couldn't beat an egg at the moment... ... let alone South Africa with Moses scoring triple hundreds and leading them to the promised land.

Posted by ashes61 on (July 23, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

So much to say, so little space! But firstly, many congratulations to S Africa for their magnificent victory - a wonderful performance with both bat & ball. Such a huge margin (& with 8 spare wkts!) in their opponent's backyard is testament to a superb display.And yet, despite the eventual one-sidedness of the result, it was still a very good Test, with several individual performances a great credit to Test cricket itself. Every single ENG-SA series since SA's re-admission (plus the 1965 series, which I remember well) has been a real belter, with no winning series margin higher than a single Test. Am disappointed by ENG (especially lack of concentration by batsmen - they dig in for a while but eventually are always tempted) but am not overly worried. Strauss has proved a VERY good leader of men & Flower are GREAT coach & leader, as also are Smith & Kirsten. What a series beckons! Remember that ENG have come back well after all recent disasters. Addressing our IND friends in next post!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

greep top for the next test match lolz ?? ..styen would be licking his lips ;) ...

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 23, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

As I predicted, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were completely ineffective. Swann send down 52 overs of pies, despite the poms bashing the far superior stats of Nathan Lyon. Tahir has now proven to be a class above Swann, with the journeyman being at least the 5th ranked spinner in the world now. How cringeworthy does that book release feel now, Graeme?

Posted by yorkshirematt on (July 23, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

@rock.rockyin In answer to your second question, probably not. The weather is forecast to return to an all to familiar pattern after this week. Which is good news for England as they should avoid the whitewash.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (July 23, 2012, 22:38 GMT)

@sonicattack: "I'm certainly not one who thinks that by reaching No. 1 England are as good as the great WI and Aus teams of previous decades - neither of whom seemed to have had such a drubbing as this". Spot on, Australia and the West Indies have both never lost a test while taking as few opposition wickets as this. Only four previous teams indeed have ever lost a test match while only taking two opposition wickets, and none fewer than two, and all of those previous four occasions came away from home. As drubbings go, this is about as absolute as it gets.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 23, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

I think Eng will need to make a change ahead of Leeds. As well as Bresnan has done and he does offer plenty with a bat I would say it is time Finn was given a chance. As for the batting I don't see the selectors making any changes to the top7 during the whole series, but there might just be a feeling that KP's place in the side may becoming in to question. He is still Engs most talented batsman but he just seems to keep giving his wicket away, which is something we just cannot afford. Could it also be possible that Smith could slay a 3rd Eng captain in as many tours ? If we loose this series convincingly and Strauss has a lean run then the question will again be asked. Our biggest problem seems to be that although we have strength in depth bowling wise we don't batting wise. We had a look at Bairstow against WI and he simply isn't ready, Taylor is the other leading light and probably next in line but would he do better than any of the other guys in there ? personally I doubt it.

Posted by Meety on (July 23, 2012, 22:27 GMT)

Regarding the heading, I have no doubt England can take 20 Saffa wickets, however the comment looks hollow after struggling to take 2 for the match.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 23, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

@Capt Meanster, If your going to have a go at anyone have a go at the batsman. As during the winter in UAE they falied to deal with the pressure & most were architects of their own downfall by making poor shot selections and getting themselves out. The bowling is this match was poor to say the least but this was just one performance and this attack has proved it can bowl teams out on all surfaces they did a fantastic job in tough conditions in UAE & SRL just a few months ago. As for the attack not being good enough for no1 did you forget how poor Ind's attack was when they were on top ? No genuine Eng fan has been comparing this team to the great Aus team of yesteryear, even if we win the nxt 2 matches and take the series we would still have a very long way to get to those heights. SAF tend to have 1 poor performance in each series, if that dosen't happen in this series and they go on to win it then they will be deserving of their no1 spot.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (July 23, 2012, 22:18 GMT)

I still think England are a good side, but when they are bad they are terrible. At times this summer the likes of Mark Nicholas have been suggesting England looked like they simply didn't know how to lose at home; true, but they do know how to get humiliated, as we have seen many times before. 3-0 in UAE, 5-0 ODI series in India, thrashings by Australia at Leeds and Perth, by South Africa in the fourth test in 2010, 51 all out in Kingston, defeat by Ireland in the world cup ... they don't do it by halves. @Yorkshire-86 how can you pin all the blame for this defeat on Bopara? Are you really suggesting the other ten players in the side did well? No, they managed to take two wickets between the lot of them. Perhaps you believe if England had stuck with Bairstow he would have got the other eighteen for them in run outs, but if so, dream on my Yorkshire-supporting friend

Posted by mahjut on (July 23, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

sk1 ... where you are not as right is in the ommision of the most recent pattern and that is that the third test is usually then won by SA - both home and away...making it a relatively big deal. 2 tests to go still ...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Well Strauss is adding a 0 with 2. Yes 2 Wickets they took instead of 20.

Posted by danmcb on (July 23, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

"there are lessons to be learned and we will learn them" : well we hope so. But proof will, most certainly, be in the pudding.

Posted by mahjut on (July 23, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

sk12 ... up to a point you're right. SA are quick to get ahead of themselves but your reference to India really points to the only awful result they've experienced (and that was a draw at home vs the #1 side in test cricket). They should've been a complete team vs the Indians and they faltered badly but this performance was in a different class to the one where they beat India convincingly. I am very interested to see how it pans out - England, like the Indians did at home after Steyn annihilated them in Nagpur (?), will - and should - prepare a pitch that suits them perfectly. however, unlike in India, SA should be able to match them at their own game ... they should!!! there was a lot of talk of this series being one-sided (mostly media hype), and quite a lot of lip aimed at India aftr their last tour ... so of course there will be a backlash. There are still problems with SA; Peterson maybe, Rudolph almost certainly and what they eventually do about Bouch - hope they stick with AB.

Posted by rock.rockyin on (July 23, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

Now this an interesting series. Two things to look out for. will the chokers choke again by not winning the seires to gain No 1 spot. the wettest summer in decades ,will english weather allow any more match to be played for 5 days? Good luck both teams.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 23, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

@ Andrew Fitch-Holland - If the comments from sub-continent are so dull to read, then how about not reading them? :)

Posted by Peterincanada on (July 23, 2012, 21:44 GMT)

@SICHO I was the one who criticised KP's innings. At the point he came in England had just lost two cheap wickets. They desperately needed someone to play a long innings and steady the ship in order to salvage the match. Morkel began bowling short stuff and KP's ego compelled him to take Morkel on and play some very risky shots which may have been alright if he had been in for a long time and the bowlers had been tired. But that wasn't the case. They did not need quick runs at that time but I believe his ego overcame his committment to the team.

Posted by sonicattack on (July 23, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

@Jabulani Strauss finding some runs soon? He did get two centuries against WI this year, that's not so long ago! Strauss has a lot of goodwill amongst English cricket fans, two Ashes wins for starters, he can go when he likes and that won't be now!

Posted by ste13 on (July 23, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Disastrous bowling - changes have to be made - Finn, Panesar? And unfortunately Pietersen was absent minded in the second innings, here is even more difficult to find replacement - batting resourcs are not that deep.

Posted by warnerbasher on (July 23, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

I feel sorry for Duminy, de Villiers and Rudoplh who will hardly get a bat in this test series and lose the chance for some average building against the pop gun English attack, I'm sure the Saffers are shivering at the prospect of Onions coming into the team. I can't see the Poms winning a test for the rest of 2012 and with the Aussies coming to england next year there will be slim pickings in 2013 as well.

Posted by premclement on (July 23, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

@woodhaven24 "Still england would whitewash india even without broad, bresnan, anderson and swann. They have awsome reserve like panesar, finn, tremlett, dernbach, woakes, onions," really? we will see that in Dec 2012. I think one can expect a complete whitewash on England.

Posted by premclement on (July 23, 2012, 21:21 GMT)

Some english fans suggest that Eng should prepare green pitches, so that their bolwers can perform well and beat SA. If steyn, philander, morkel and kallis can decimate Eng on a flat wicket, imagine the plight of England batsmen when they face these guys on a green wicket. I feel sorry for the English batsmen. They are going to loose #1 rank soon. can't wait. By the way, I wonder where is Naseer Hussain :-)

Posted by yorkshirematt on (July 23, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

England will find it difficult to take 20 wickets in the whole series. Headingley is a lot flatter these days and then there's Lords. I don't think they could bowl this south african side out on the worst of batting wickets. And even if they were to find a "green top" waiting for them at Headingley or Lords, they would be pilverised even more by the south african bowlers. In short, I'm clinging to the hope that we might get at least one rain affected draw to avoid the whitewash, and the humiliation of going below the aussies, until the annahilation in India that is.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

Just think about it, only a few weeks ago the West Indies were "blown-away" by England who is the number team in the world . Now South Africa put a hurting to England with an embarrassing 2to1 defeat in the first Test match. Cricket , it the best game in the world and we love it . Play on you great warriors .

Posted by ChevChelios on (July 23, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

Being a professional sportsman, the comments made by Strauss are simply disappointing. He mentioned the conditions were not favorable for England bowlers; While SA bowlers chugged in and bowled with energy and purpose, extracting swing and bounce and got 20 England wickets, English seamers simply struggled aptly proving that they played like 'donkeys', and when the conditions are not favoring them they are the most disheveled bowling unit ever. Strauss should admit and take it like a man that SA were a far superior bowling and batting unit than England in the conditions and iron out the issues concerned.

Posted by applethief on (July 23, 2012, 21:06 GMT)

@Spelele Likewise, I haven't forgotten @landl47's grand "promises" that he's conveniently choosing to forget about now re: Tahir & SA. Such a fine humbling they've dished out, excellent all round

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

But on this occasion you only managed two. Hahahaha lol

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Who else thinks that Strauss is sounding awfully similar to how Dhoni did after India's first defeat on the English/Australian tour? The #1 crown will be gone before you know it, Mr Strauss. Kudos to the Proteas

Posted by jb633 on (July 23, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

This may seem an over reaction, but Strauss must be under pressure now. It is not the lack of runs in the game that has worried me but the way Tahir worked him over again in the second innings. I said it throughout the WI series that against seam, no problem. Against spin the guy simply has no options. With a tour to India on the horizon I wonder if the manner he was dismissed in that second innings will be running through their minds. I think Strauss has been a great servant of English cricket, but if I was him I would hand over the captaincy to Cook before the Indian tour. The guy can work and work, but his technique will never allow him to play spin well. I felt it throughout the winter and yesterday highlighted it. Even if he makes runs on a seamer at Headingley I still feel he should retire before India, because any weakness against spin will be exposed there.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

hahahha in ur dreams mate

Posted by krnataraj on (July 23, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

england like india is a team whose performance has been overhyped by the respective media in their own countries. only difference is that probably india would have retained the number one spot for compartively more time than the english. i am sure the proteas will give a 3-0 drubbing to the pommies.

Posted by whoster on (July 23, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Superb performance from SA with bat and ball, and England were comprehensively outplayed. I've had no quibbles with England's conservative selection policy, but this is the time to bring in Finn for Bopara. It'd be tough on Bopara, but England's no.1 status is at stake, and England need to attack. Besides, all the no.6's that've been tried in recent times - Morgan, Bairstow and Bopara, have all struggled. If we play an extra bowler, it should give the message to our batsmen to put a higher price on their wicket. Smith, Amla and Kallis showed exactly how to build big scores. They all started slowly, and put survival above runs. As the English bowlers tired, they all cashed in. England's batsmen have to show more application and patience, because several dismissals were a result of poor judgement. Anyway, Finn has been banging on the door a while now, and his height and genuine pace could add a much needed dimension to a sterile looking attack. Congrats to Amla - a truly great knock.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

It is so dull reading the predictable sub-continent fan drivel about how England are a flawed and over-rated side...they've been outplayed by a fantastic performance in game 1 of a 3 match series..let's all pause for breath and see where we are when this particular party is over shall we?

Posted by Distibiju on (July 23, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

The problems for England are legion and they will unravel as this series goes on. A certain "Vernon Philander" is feeling robbed in this test and will return more bloodthirsty in Leeds.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (July 23, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

As soon as I saw they had given the dreadful Bopara yet another life at this level there was only one favourite to win...

Posted by sk12 on (July 23, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

No big deal.. Last few years SA has this habit of crushing the opponents in the 1st match, only to falter in the 2nd. Both home and away. SA couldnt even win the series against India after pulverising us in the 1st test. Cheer up Eng.

Posted by jb633 on (July 23, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

Many nonsense and knee jerk comments flooding in after this game. I agree this was a dismal performance by England and even as an English fan I think this SA side is the best test team going atm. I think it's fair to say that there is plenty of class in their ranks and with the introduction of Tahir, they have all bases covered. However, England have had this result coming all summer. It disconcerted me against the WI, how lacklustre the attack looked during various parts of that series and it has come as little shock to me, that they looked less than threatning. The reason for this= lack of pace. Excluding Finn, they have all looked pedestrian this summer. England won the series against the WI due to their lack of competence. But the fact is a line up missing all the star names still racked up big scores. The ECB did not heed this warning and continued to leave out Finn, to strengthen the batting. Our no 6 has never scored runs under pressure, regardless of who it is.

Posted by disco_bob on (July 23, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

@ruchanu93 "we have seen teams come back from worse positions...". Er, no we haven't, what could possibly be a worse position than being 1-0 down in a three match test having lost by the biggest losing margin in terms of runs per wicket since ...ever.

Posted by Marcio on (July 23, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

"We can take 18 wickets!" Yeah, only 18 more to go. But sure, drixzzling rain and 95% humidity, England will come back. Oe thing is very noticable. Rain = England rule. Dry = England grovel. The last ashes - wettest summer in 100 years in Australia. i got sick of the sight of England bowling in drizzle. This is why the next Ashes series in AUS will be worth the wait. There's no way there will be a repeat of the freakish weather conditions at the beginning of the summer; more like the last bit of the tour, where Englund lost 7 out of 9 short format games. Of course those games were meaningless. Only the recent whirlwind ODI series in cyclonic weather conditions was truly meaningful. 4-0 at home or 1-6 away? Only one result is real according to some on this site. So, karma bites one's bottom. Thanks for coming, Englund!

Posted by popcorn on (July 23, 2012, 20:16 GMT)

Foolish of Andrew Staruss to sound so defiant. He should learn humility.So it all came tumbling down.

Posted by Jabulani on (July 23, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

Smith is hunting his third England captain, and judging from the public's reactions it looks like he may get him! Smith has lead his team to England's shores twice before with both sorties forcing the incumbent captain to fall on his sword. If Strauss doesn't find some runs soon he will join Hussain and Vaughan on Smith's trophy wall.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

India drew their last two cricket test series (home and away) against South Africa. England are much better than India, and will bounce back in the next test.

Posted by jackthelad on (July 23, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

And I think we should get this straight once and for all, Pietersen is not and never will be a team player. His undoubted talent shouldn't blind anyone to the fact that - unless he wants it - he will never perform for England. I base this on his own words - 'i want to play Test cricket for England because it increases my value in the IPL'. 'Nuff said?

Posted by SICHO on (July 23, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

I've seen comments here about KP being disgraceful, well it doesn't seem like that to me. KP was simply worked over by Morkel. Kept him on the back foot with short stuff, which actually produced 4 boundries on the process(although one was a top edge and was also dropped along the way) next thing you know the middle stump is tattered and cartwheeling, that was just Test cricket at its best. Poor Strauss couldn't handle Tahir and the pressure just built up to a point where he thought he had it and brought the sweep that lead to his downfall. I just love Test cricket, especially when my team is winning.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

English Bowlers can take 20 Wickets, probably in the series, not in a match. Strauss has been spoiled by taking 20 Wickets of Indian and West Indian Teams in England, not South Africans.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (July 23, 2012, 19:58 GMT)

South Africa completely destroyed England in this test. Credit to them, after looking a little jaded against the counties and on the first day they stepped it up a gear. Amla/Kallis/Smith were superb and the bowlers outclassed Englands. Jimmy, Broad and Bresnan were bowling below their average speeds and didn't seem to have a clue how to get the saffers out. On the other hand (barring a few wickets given away cheaply) the south africans got more out of the pitch. I'll still maintain that Anderson is better than everyone except Steyn, by my god it didn't look that way in this match. And before people say Anderson can only take wickets on green tops, who are you kidding? He did have a poor game though.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

buddy come out, this is cricket not business ....

Posted by jackthelad on (July 23, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

It was a very sound performance by South Africa, and the old story of fragility from England when under pressure. I had hoped they'd worked their way out of that, but it seems not ... SA have been (ICC rankings to one side) the top international Test side for a couple of years, and this game showed why. They have a ruthlessness England can only dream about. Well, now to Headingley, and another installment... I hope for (but hardly dare to expect) an England resurgence ...

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

"We can take 20 wickets." But u'all took 2 wickets in this match. :-P

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 23, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

Despite the shambolic bowling by our attack in this match our bowlers should not be written off for 1 horrendous performance. There seems to be a lot of posts saying our attack can only take wickets on green tops, and plenty saying we didn't manage it in the UAE/SRL. Well of the those 5 tests we only failed to bowl the opposition out twice on 1 occasion, that was during the first test in Dubai when Pak were only set 15 to win. Its way too early to write this attack off the batsman remain the big problem, they should still have been able to bat out 4 sessions for a draw, the same way they should have been able to post more than 300 on more than 2 occasions during the winter.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 23, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Once again Andrew Strauss is living in self denial. When will he admit that his bowlers are incapable in flat conditions ? You cannot expect swing and seaming conditions everywhere in the world. The English bowling is over hyped, first by some of its fans, secondly by its press. This bowling is not of no.1 quality. If you look at the WI and Australians of yesteryear, they were a dominant bowling attack capable of crushing any opponent in any condition. England looked clueless and were bowling without creativity. So much for criticizing India who at least play brilliantly at home. This England team first needs to learn humility. Now everything is back to bite them. It's one thing to get to no.1, and another thing to hold it for long. SA looking good to take the top rank. Congratulations !!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 23, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

Well im totally stunned about how the last 5 days have unfolded. We were in a wonderful position at the end of the first day and it was SAF who needed to answer all the questions and how they did. Their bowlers rested back the initive on fri morning and we didn't win a single session for the rest of the match which is quite astounding. Yes we suffered 4 defeats during the winter but we we weren't battered in any of them. Whenever the batsman failed the bowlers were able to keep us in it on this occasion as great as Smith, Amla & Kallis were, our bowling was worse than ordinary and it is shambolic to think we only managed 1 wicket in 2 days! but even after that on such a flat pitch our batters should have been able to bat out 4 session to earn a draw and much like the winter they couldn't do it. Im sure our bowlers will have their day at some point in this series but our batsmans ability to cope under pressure has now reached an alarming status.

Posted by MrPontingToYou on (July 23, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

wonder if the selectors are finally satisfied that boopara is'nt test material, doubt it, they probably need another 25 tests to be convinced. otherwise they should bring in onions/finn for him, and panesar for swann.

Posted by Spelele on (July 23, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Well, Tahir has comprehensively out-bowled Swann so far this series, contrary to pre-series talk. So much for England being 'miles ahead in the spin department'! Where is landl47 who predicted that if SA won this series, it would have little to do with Tahir's performances? Well, he got critical breakthroughs at critical times in the match, and was amongst the best bowlers in the whole match. He repeatedly troubled the much vaunted English line-up, and was unlucky not to have come away with more wickets. I guess the English wrongly underestimated him! And I won't even touch on landl47's other prediction that Smith will not make too many runs because he will struggle against Jimmy's deliveries going across him. This is why it is never advisable to count one's chickens too early! The best chance England has is a green top where their military medium pacers will thrive. On a good pitch, they will always not be a match for SA's firepower (unless they include Finn!).

Posted by yorkslanka on (July 23, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

Well done to SA on a crching victory..As a neutral, it was an enthralling match to watch..I have said before that England, whilst being a decent team, have had the fortune to play against teams who are in decline and this series would be a real test...not many "we are unbeatable and always will be"England fans around at the moment??that's a good thing as those that are left should be more balanced and can accept defeat sincerely...

Posted by ansram on (July 23, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

The pitch was reported to be flat. And it was so, since SA had two 250 partnerships in the same innings. But SA bowlers decimated the English line up on unfriendly pitch. English bowlers looked clueless when they were bowling.

England need to play on more bowling friendly pitches in order to win. But then the monster Steyn and co may knock off the English for half the score they managed at the Oval. Either way, England seems finished and likely to loose their top spot.

Posted by Nampally on (July 23, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

I always felt that Finn was the best England bowler - accurate in length & direction- always "likely to take wickets". Without Finn England bowling lost most of its venom. England need to add some variety to their bowling which is one dimensional - All pace + one off spinner.Swann is a good & accurate off spinner. But he cannot get the same assistance from the pitch as Tahir. On this wicket Panesar or Patel would have done well. On the other hand, SA had 3 genuinely good pace bowlers in Steyn, Morkel & Philander+Tahir an excellent wrist spinner who could turn the ball on this dusty wicket. SA batting was great on a flat pitch which was closer to Indian ones.SA batted brilliantly & were determined not to give their wicket.Even Smith's dismissal was a stroke of luck. The same determination was absent in England batsmen. England has a long way to climb both in bowling & batting. Kirsten brought the will to be #1 Test Nation to SA after raising India to that level & SA will do it easily.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (July 23, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

I watched all of the first test live on my computer here in sunny Arizona, setting my alarm for 3am very excited at the prospect of a classic contest between 2 world class sides. Unfortunately only half of the equation showed up & only one team produced the goods and not the home team! England's weakness is & has been for the past 3 or so years in the batting department. The bowling performed OK but the batting was abysmal? England having won the toss should have posted 550-650 and kept SA in the field for nearly 3 days. Ironically though I would suggest changes in the bowling with Finn coming in for Bresnan who looked very ordinary against this high class opposition. Bopara deserves an extended run and at times he looked like the England bowler most likely to get a wickket! Strauss & Prior should be chastised over their stupid shot selection at vital times in the last innings. KP needs some coaching from Gooch about playing straight. Broad needs motivating. Sad.Well done S. Arica!!!

Posted by InnocentGuy on (July 23, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Oh man, as with India or any other team that held the top rank, it's a pleasure to watch the #1 team thrashed. This was so much sweeter though because I was getting tired of how the talk was that India can only win in their own backyard and didn't deserve the #1 position. Well looks like England can't even do that consistently. I know it's too early to say all this, but then I doubt England can win this from here. At best they will level the series. I am predicting 2-0 or 1-0 for SA.

Posted by chrisu on (July 23, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

I have been a huge England cricket fan for about 40 years now and have enjoyed their ups and downs. I always sort of expect England to lose the first test in a series and fight their way back, it is what we do best. This weekend however taught me an important lesson; sporting domination is not about how well you can knock a ball around a field, it is about how well you can ride a bicycle around France.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 23, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

I was expecting SA win this series 3-0. And now it is 1-0. 1st test completed and i was right. Only 2 test matches to check myself how correct i am.

Posted by anuradha_d on (July 23, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

we can take 20 wkts......yes Mr.Strauss.......at this rate it will take you 10 test matches :)

Posted by bigwonder on (July 23, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Great Great win by SA. Congratulations. It was amazing to watch Steyn bowl and take wickets while England's so called "best" bowlers went wicket-less. Cursorily, it is interesting to observe that the England pitch curators are always trying their best to negate any advantage the visitors have. Take India for example, the curator prepared green and bouncy pitch essentially blunting the strong Indian batting. With SA though, the curator's attempt to create a flat pitch (in the middle of one of most wet summer) to negate SA's bowling back-fired. I just can't wait for the 2nd test.

Posted by dropzone on (July 23, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Try taking 3, Andrew. That'd be a start. :P

Posted by sonicattack on (July 23, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

....and I should also have added very many congratulations to SA for a great win.

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (July 23, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

Strauss must be joking, 20 wkts is not an easy task for them on a flat track. But it is possible on green-top. But again, they can't give green-top to the likes of Stayn, Morkel or Philander.

Posted by cric-maestro on (July 23, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

Always knew that outside England ,their bowling was a pop gun attack... but man this is some thrashing.. Saffers deserve to be No. 1..and Eng never did .. Wait for december .. Journey from No.1 to No.5 begins now..

Posted by duncanmoo on (July 23, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

I am a South African, and I love it when they do well, so I am not trying to undermine anything they did here, but the English changeroom does not seem like a happy place, I think Pietersen's shenanigans have (again) affected the team. SA eventually dropped their brilliant batsman who was a problem child (Gibbs), I think England should drop Pietersen from all formats!

Posted by landl47 on (July 23, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

There are certainly some changes England needs to make if this series is to be more competitive than this match. To start with, they need to select their best 4 bowlers and that would include Finn. I said that before this test started, so I'm not changing my tune. Then they need to be more adaptable. Anderson, Bresnan and (especially) Broad have cut back their pace in order to pitch the ball up and give it time to move. However, when it doesn't, they need a plan B. Broad can bowl 90mph and if the ball is doing nothing he needs to get cranked up and fire it in, with a shorter length and more concentration on lift than movement. Swann, without a doosra, should be bowling round the wicket to right-handers unless there's a strong wind from leg to off. That way he might get slip catches and the batsmen are forced to play against the spin instead of paddling it away on the leg side. Eng would still have lost this game, but with Finn and these changes, they have a better chance in the next.

Posted by woodhaven on (July 23, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

Still england would whitewash india even without broad, bresnan, anderson and swann. They have awsome reserve like panesar, finn, tremlett, dernbach, woakes, onions,

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 23, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

I am frankly lost for words here. Why was such a flat wicket provided? As an Indian I chuckle to see the Poms suffer this defeat but I love Cricket way more than I dislike Poms (a few of them for their attitude). I think that although SA played well to win this but were helped a lot by a less than adequate total by Eng in the 1st innings. The SA RR was by no means a canter and had Eng scored about 80-90 more runs then the whole equation would have been diff. Eng at least could have drawn the test. I think most would agree here that this test's most crucial point was Eng ao for 385 after being 262/2. I don't see much in the 2nd innings batting of Eng. It often happens in tests that even a great batting team collapses when under pressure even on a flat wicket. Good to see SA winning but this wasn't really a beautiful test. I would love to see a grassy wicket next where teams score only 250s or 300s and the win margin is 15-20 runs only on Day 5 1st session. My money is on Bell 2 do well

Posted by keecha on (July 23, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Actually, I can also take 20 wickets..

Posted by sonicattack on (July 23, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

@fr0nt-foot_lunge - Goodness, your cup really is half empty, isn't it? England have been walloped,but it isn't the end of the world! They really have had a few bad days at the office, but this has happened previously in their rise over the last few years and the team have managed to bounce back, no reason why they can't do it again, I'm certainly not one who thinks that by reaching No. 1 England are as good as the great WI and Aus teams of previous decades - neither of whom seemed to have had such a drubbing as this, and that is why they were great. England are not great, but I think that they can come back, as they have already shown they can under Strauss.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 23, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

@FoursandSixes The answer is yes. England were no.1 for barely a year where as India held it for about 2 years 4 months. Well thats just about a correct reflection coz India has not lost a series on home soil when they were number No.1. In fact they haven't lost one in 9 years. This December England are in for a treat! @5wombats A tongue in cheek comment as expected. I could find you and alot of English fans trolling on Ind vs Aus matches. We are just returning the favor in kind!

Posted by Pratchett on (July 23, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

A great, great test match! As a Saffer I'm over the moon obviously, but England will NOT just roll over. Wounded pride is a scary prospect... They are a superb outfit and deserve (for now) to be number 1! Let's not get ahead of ourselves South Africa! Underestimate this Pom-attack at your peril. As much as it pains me to say it - this series has 1-1 written all over it...

Posted by ruchanu93 on (July 23, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

oh com'n guys its still the first match and we have seen teams come back from worse positions so lets not write off england jus yet, they didnt become the no 1 team by loosing, but saffers played some wonderfull alround cricket so hats off to them. But to be frank it was a match between South Africa and a combined england n south Africa XI :P 2 more tests to go may the best team win; wich at the momment loks like the saffers

Posted by Harmony111 on (July 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

I am frankly lost for words here. Why was such a flat wicket provided? As an Indian I chuckle to see the Poms suffer this defeat but I love Cricket way more than I dislike Poms (a few of them for their attitude). I think that although SA played well to win this but were helped a lot by a less than adequate total by Eng in the 1st innings. The SA RR was by no means a canter and had Eng scored about 80-90 more runs then the whole equation would have been diff. Eng at least could have drawn the test. I think most would agree here that this test's most crucial point was Eng ao for 385 after being 262/2. I don't see much in the 2nd innings batting of Eng. It often happens in tests that even a great batting team collapses when under pressure even on a flat wicket. Good to see SA winning but this wasn't really a beautiful test. I would love to see a grassy wicket next where teams score only 250s or 300s and the win margin is 15-20 runs only on Day 5 1st session. My money is on Bell 2 do well

Posted by teo. on (July 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

English quick bowlers are overated... they perform poorly on lifeless wikckets. UAE, and now the Oval. Steyn and co are equally as potent on lifeless or lively wickets.

Posted by samincolumbia on (July 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

We can take 20 wickets as long as it rains just before our bowling starts and it's overcast in our own backyard!! England got thrashed by Pakistan outside the comfort of home conditions first and now gotten thrashed by SA in their own backyard. Atleast, India wins matches in their own backyard!

Posted by kitten on (July 23, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

'posted by irfans1 on (July 23 2012, 16:18 PM GMT) still 2 to go, prepare green top and let your bowlers do the job for which they are known.'

If this happens, don't forget that SA have equally if not better bowlers to exploit these conditions, and it may backfire badly, and England will lose another Test, and that will be the end. England have to learn from this test and try and regroup, in all departments, and hopefully, we will see a more competitive test at Headingly.

Posted by Hazeyrocks on (July 23, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Illusion of truth: when you hear something often enough your brain ends up believing its truth. English media to English team. Lol. SA1 Eng0. Love it! Bring on the second test

Posted by Peterincanada on (July 23, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

@jackiethe pen I agree about Bell but definitely disagree about Prior. The new ball was almost due and it was imperative that Bell and Prior be there to face it. Prior, instead played a risky sweep at Tahir. The tail was exposed to the new ball with predictable results. While his innings was not as shameful as KP's, which was a disgrace, in the context of the match it was pretty bad.

Posted by cloudmess on (July 23, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

SA's top order batsmen have this terrifying way of looking almost invincible at the start of an England tour. In the first 2 tests of 2003 they made 594/5 and 682/6 respectively (the latter score in response to England's 173). In the first 2 tests of 2008 it was 393/3 and then 522 (in response to England's 203). The latter matches were much more competitive, and England will need to re-find that edge more quickly this time. You sensed in their 1st innings, England's batsmen got in and got out (especially Cook, Trott and Pieterson), leaving the job half-done, whereas SA's top 4 batted as if they never had enough runs. To think that AB de Villiers wasn't even needed! I would bring in Finn for Bopara for the next test, and Panesar for Bresnan. Broad and Swann can bat 7 and 8. Having a strong tail didn't really help this time - we still have an excellent top 6. We should just pick the strongest, and most varied bowling attack.

Posted by Riderstorm on (July 23, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

England and flat-tops just don't go together, do they? I guess, andy flower has his work cut out for him and his team. To not be able to learn a thing or two about picking wickets on dry pitches even with a world class spinner in the side is inexplicable.

Posted by Jabulani on (July 23, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

I find it funny how everyone thinks that the South African bowling on day 1 was atrocious yet they still got more wickets that day than England got in the whole match. So were they really that abysmal or are they just held to a higher standard? If they are then why do some commentators consider their attack inferior to England's?

Posted by keecha on (July 23, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

Oh Boy Oh Boy what has happened to this magnificent English team that whitewashed India last year? what about the super hero Broad? Come on guys, it is your own back yard and the game you invented. Go fight next game..

Posted by Brenton1 on (July 23, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

I agree with Strauss. England can take 20 wickets. All they need are 9 more tests.

Posted by cric698 on (July 23, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

Very well played to S Africa, gave England a lesson in Test match cricket. Havent seen batting so composed and focused for many a year, and the bowling was excellent, always at the batsmen (apart from the first day when they were wide)

England have lots of problems now, but I feel the biggest is there tactics. They like to keep things tight if they arent getting wickets.....this is all well and good against batsmen of Australia who are full of ego and love to play like millionaires.....against this top 4 tho, who will leave all day long outside offstump, they need a major rethink.

Id bring in Finn to add some pace into the attack ....Cant have Bresnan AND Broad bowling at half rat power (Broad looked out of sorts for months to me) Then have to attack the batsmen, look for wickets...may concede more runs than normal but they MUST win at Headingly.

As for the batting, god help us. Pietersen was worked over like a novice, Strauss played a horror shot and the rest werent much better.

Posted by YashMaster on (July 23, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Ha! So called "great English bowling attack". Lame and full of excuses. SA did a great demolition job! Go SA!

Posted by kunderanengineer on (July 23, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

No consolation for England fans but they lost by an innings and 12 runs, not 22 as the report states.

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 23, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Congratulations to SA for an outstanding win. The game was won due to superior batting by SA. I am not giving up on England yet, so I will wait for England to get back in the series. Playing at home, loss of series for England would be a disaster. England scoring 240 in 4th and 5th days is not that bad. If SA wins the series then it will be well deserved win. No doubt about that.

Posted by irfans1 on (July 23, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

still 2 to go, prepare green top and let your bowlers do the job for which they are known.

Posted by maars on (July 23, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

There seems to be confusion on record. The last time England lost by innings was in Jan 2010 against South Africa 4th test at johansberge. Last two consecutive test England lost by innings tobSA. I think English bowlers are over rated.

Posted by Dashgar on (July 23, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

They've taken 2 so far, if it was a 5 test series I think they'd have a chance to take 20 by the end of it. 20 in one match? No chance without a 10,000% improvement on that effort.

Posted by WJ77 on (July 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Well done boys!! Glad we could defeat England so comprehensively at home on a flat pitch. Bode well for the rest of the series. England took 2 wickets SA took 20, suddenly that english attack looks pretty toothless. Crush em SA!!!!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 23, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

SA did bat brilliantly but it seemed like our guys had lost all their spark and character. Are Swann and Bresnan bowling fit? A slow pitch poor tactics and just a total lack of oomph characterised that effort. it was interesting that Anderson had not played a 1st class game since June 10th.That says it all about our godforsaken fixture list. Bowlers mostly like to bowl- that is the key.The rotation policy is I suspect a batsman's phantasy about bowlers. I would not rest the bowlers who have a county game in between this time. Maybe that would allow for a return to bowing with extra zip. Finn could certainly come into contention as he will bowl a lot faster. Broad at 79.5 is not good bowler but a joke. But this elan lineup was the best in the world before the game so one has to allow that natural ability will reassert itself. Anyway SA won that fair and square...

Posted by jackiethepen on (July 23, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

England seemed to have no plans for a fight back in the second innings. The way the top four played - although Cook barely started - showed that they were happy to play their natural game. Had they been told to express themselves? - advice always short of being smart enough. Only Bell showed real intent about occupying the crease - where was the equivalent of his former partner Brigadier Block? Bopara certainly just went after a few runs. Matt Prior tried hard to build an impressive partnership with Bell, but he bats at 7. When your 7 is better than your 6 you are in trouble. We needed a Colly or a Hussey with Bell and the game could have been saved. The top order needs to consider how they failed to dig in. The lower order need to practice a few defensive shots as well as swipes at the ball. A batting unit should be able to respond to the needs of the game. Only Bell and Prior showed any inkling.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (July 23, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

What a sorry state of affairs, and one I hope fellow England fans will take note! After all the hubris accompanying the "no1 in the world" moniker, then the 'number 1 in all 3 formats". Nothing could be further from the truth! I would have thought the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Pakistan, and the series draw to S.L. would have chastened my fellow little englander tongues, but not so. As I said, it seemed that after a few wins against teams on the slide, as soon as we come across anything above average, our bowlers turn into county trundlers and our batsmen struggle like uncoordinated chimps. I fear what Australia will do to us next year as their seamer come on, the same seamers who drew a series 1-1, against S.A. at home! We will have slid to no3 in the world then and probably be thankful the top ranked teams still want to play us. The in-fighting about contracts has begun, thanks for KP so expect to see further upheaval. Sad days ahead for fellow england fans indeed!

Posted by maddy20 on (July 23, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Yes Strauss we believe you, but only if you remove the 0 from the 20. I am expecting the Poms to prepare a green-top for the next game, which is only gonna make things worse for them. Before the series when I said the Saffas are the real No.1, the poms made all kind of silly remarks that they have not won at home and what not. But its worth noting that they have not lost an away series in a long time. Looking forward to seeing SA sweep the series against SA 'A' err.. England! @5wombats Looking forward to your perspective on the World's No.1 test team now! Can't win in UAE, Can't win in SL and about to be hammered at home. Come December its gonna be more misery for England!

Posted by Sports4Youth on (July 23, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

As a captain Strauss is bound to say that they can take 20 wickets and they they can bounce back and win the remaining to test matches to retain their no.1 ranking. But in reality it looks like England has been demoralised in all departments. English batsmen and English bowlers looked completely lost on the same pitch while Amla, Smith & Kallis enjoyed the batting and the SA bowlers enjoyed their bowling. England appeared to be in control only on day one,thereafter it was SA all the way. Personally I think it will be very difficult for England to save this series.

Posted by applethief on (July 23, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

No, really, in all seriousness, I want to hear from landl47 and more about the "promises" how it wouldn't be a cakewalk for SA, and the "promise" that Tahir wouldn't have anything to do with it. 4/124 in 2 innings, vs Swann's 0/151 in one - what's left to say? Please publish

Posted by Selassie-I on (July 23, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

We were well and truly outplayed here, SA batted and bowled much better. I'm not one to call for wholesale, if any changes usually but I think, against this opposition we may benefit from 5 bowlers. Our part timers are not good enough and we've not had any runs at 6 for a year or so anyway so I can't see it making much difference to the batting.

Posted by LeftBrain on (July 23, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

It would be better if England can play in the middle and show results rather than talking about how good they are or how good they can be. Words doesnt replace results. Having said that, with all due respect to English cricketers and their recent success (It happens first time in almost half century that English Cricket and Success can be used in one sentence!!) their bowling attack is still can be described as decent on suitable conditions. Even after reaching no. 1 ranking in tests, no English bowler is a guarantee in a world eleven at this moment. If we pick a world eleven today, its bowling attack would be Siddle, Steyn, Morkel, Zaheer and Saeed Ajmal. Only Cook can be termed as a World Eleven material on his current form. Enland is still far from a "very good" side, their weaknesses have been papered over by success against weak sides in conditions that suit them. Any team posing solid questions during their "prime" period, like Pak in UAE and now SA, exposed them ruthlessley.

Posted by Ross_Co on (July 23, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

----over the course of the series.

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (July 23, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Eng will bounce back and easily win this series 2-1 !!.... This Test Result was just an anomaly because of the uncharacteristically flat pitch they had prepared for this Test. On the Swinging & Seaming Pitches of Headingley & Leeds, Eng bowlers will rip through this SA batting line-up and win both matches easily!! (From a shell-shocked Indian fan)

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2012, 16:56 GMT)


Posted by premclement on (July 23, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

I would not be surprised if a green pitch was prepared for the next match. If that is the case, I bet England will loose in 3 days! A green pitch would aid England bowlers because they are pathetic on a flat wicket like at Oval.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 23, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

@England fans. Brace yourself for the worst assault ever seen on these pages. And it won't come from South Africa or England fans.....

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 23, 2012, 16:52 GMT)


Posted by klempie on (July 23, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Pommie runs/wicket = 31.25. Saffer runs/wicket = 318.5. Biggest difference between those two figures EVER with a result. *chuckles* Great weekend for South African sport.

Posted by krvij on (July 23, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Now all sorts of excuses will come out...Eng were comprehensively beaten all ends up....well done South Africa! Hope Eng understands every team will go through bad times. Its not the end of it though. If Eng are to be called in Ian Botham's words "the kings of the world" they need to come back and win this series and do well in India. Otherwise just shut up and stay grounded. Good luck!

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 23, 2012, 16:51 GMT)

Drop Tim Bresnan. Bring in Graeme Onions. Onions is a fabolous bowler to both left and right handers. No need for any other change from England.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 23, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Sure. England can take 20 SA wickets on a green top. But the problem is Steyn and o will bowl out england for half of SA's runs! On the other hand, if the pitch is not grassy, then the England bowling 'attack' becomes a pop-gun attack bowling in mid 120s. If these bowlers cannot bowl in conditions which are a little different to what they are used to in their own backyard, wait till you get to India.

Posted by thruthecovers on (July 23, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

How about also giving credit to the SA bowling attack while you're at it, Andrew. For doing what the ENG attack couldn't.

Posted by Divinetouch on (July 23, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Hello 5 wombats, JG274, Yorkshire Pudding.

The # 1 team beaten at home by an innings.

The review by Anderson makes a mockery of the DRS.

Broad knew he was out and so did Prior.

Posted by foursandsixes on (July 23, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Assuming Eng lose their #1 rank, will they have been in that position for a lesser time than India?

Posted by spiritwithin on (July 23, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

to take 20wickets the english bowlers needs favourable condition and i doubt whether englishmen will prepare green seaming pitches bcoz the way their batsman played in the oval pitch it will backfire them badly..so there is two option for ECB,prepare green tracks which will help the SA bowlers even more and ruthlessly expose english batting lineup or prepare an oval like pitch where ball does'nt deviate much and hope for a draw,in either case i dont see England winning any tests in the series

Posted by Narbavi on (July 23, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Gosh english fans, your team has lost their 5th test in 2012 now, this is a good team i like them but the way you guys make fun of india not being able to win matches overseas is just ridiculous, look at your no.1 team, losing matches in the subcontinent in heaps and now losing at home too, can pick 20 wickets?? Someone pls remind him they barely managed to pick two!! This was on the cards, SA are the best team in the world, they have won matches consistently everywhere they go including the subcontinent!!

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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