South Africa in England 2012 August 22, 2012

South Africa deserved to win - Flower

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Just as few recall the somewhat controversial catch that sealed the 2005 Ashes Test at Edgbaston and turned the series England's way, so history may not record the key moments that allowed South Africa to take control of the 2012 Test series against England.

Few dispute that they deserved to win the series and few dispute that England, with six losses in 11 Test in 2012 and one series win in four, have no place on top of the Test rankings. As England coach, Andy Flower, put it: "We have been beaten by a slightly better side in this series. I think that's fair to say."

The disappointment from an England perspective was that they failed to do themselves justice. They dropped nine catches, gave wickets away cheaply and failed to trouble South Africa's batsmen with medium-paced fare.

The failure of England's bowling attack is most worrying. The bowlers have impressed in all conditions in Tests since the Ashes of 2009 - even in the UAE last winter, they performed well only to be let down by poor batting from their colleagues. The series against South Africa - and the drubbing at The Oval in particular - was an abrupt departure from the norm.

While South Africa batted with impressive skill and dedication, England also failed to take chances that might have altered the series. Hashim Amla was dropped before he reached 50 on the way to his triple-hundred at The Oval and before he had reached 10 at Lord's; Alviro Petersen was dropped before he had reached 30 in his 182 at Leeds. Had such chances been taken, England's ugly bowling averages may be a good deal prettier.

"We had our chances," Flower said. "At Lord's we dropped two crucial catches. They've caught well in the slip area but I think their bowling attack was a little bit more incisive than ours. I don't think that's unfair on our bowlers to say that.

"Their batsmen cashed in and got the big, match-turning innings. Yes, with the assistance of a dropped catch here and there from us. But in the main they deserved to win. We haven't grasped the opportunities that came our way. And, against a good, hardened, experienced side like South Africa, you'll suffer the consequences of that."

England are taking steps to improve the bowling. Stuart Broad has been omitted from the ODI series against South Africa not just for rest but to undergo some strength and conditioning work, which England hope will enable him to recover his nip. "We don't often get windows with the guys that play all three forms of the game to do conditioning work," Flower said. "Broad, we believe, needs a rest; or a combination of rest and strength work."

Tim Bresnan, James Anderson and, at Leeds anyway, Steven Finn also appeared somewhat jaded. In the longer term, it may be that England need to accept that the burden they have placed on their players - an international schedule that offers little time for mental or physical recovery - is the biggest obstacle to consistently performing at their best.

Flower also suggested a decision on Andrew Strauss' future as England captain will be left to the man himself.

"Andrew is a bit drained," Flower said. "It's been a hard series for him. Obviously he's been a superb leader for us, but he would have wanted to score more runs and that has a wearing effect. And then these peripheral issues have taken a lot of his energy and his enjoyment out of the last few weeks.

"I think he's done the right thing to get away for a few days with his family so he can recuperate. He's a strong bloke and he'll come back feeling very strong."

England's attempt to regain the No. 1 ranking will begin with a four-Test series in India, where their record is not promising. The team is set to be weakened not only by the absence of Kevin Pietersen but also by the departure of players at various parts of the tour on paternity leave. Flower hopes, however, that the lessons learned in the UAE and the emergence of several promising young players can help England recover lost ground.

"We will definitely be plotting our challenge," Flower said. "We want to get back there. We've got a tough outing first up in India, but that'll be exciting. It'll be exciting to see if we've actually embedded some of the lessons we've learned in the UAE, because no doubt we'll be playing on spinning pitches.

"Jonny Bairstow handled the situation well. The skill, timing and courage he showed was outstanding. James Taylor has handled himself calmly as well. We'll make our decisions based on what is best for the England side and not be scared to do so."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SaracensBob on August 24, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    OK all, here's my analysis. SA were the sharper team all round. They were smarter in the field - holding their catches (many of them tricky) and taking their run-out chances (even if some were gifted - Messers Taylor & Trott!). SA's batsmen applied themselves better, selling their wickets dear. This was important - Eng's batsmen showed a worrying lack of discipline in some of their shot selection. But the key factor for me was the bowling. Eng didn't bowl badly but SA bowled superbly. SA had FIVE bowlers on top of their game, giving Smith plenty of options. Eng only ever had FOUR; not enough when you are up against a top class batting line-up. So, time to wise up selectors and put a fifth bowler in place!

  • thruthecovers on August 23, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @yorkshire and itstheway I don't realy want to get into the semantics of it all. I just feel Flower, Strauss and the whole ENG set up haven't been honest. Not before, during and especially afte this Test seriesr.Probably the only honest person would be KP, however misguided that might have been. According to them they pride themselves on being brutaly honest with one another and all that but there seems to be a whole lot of double stds being applied. SA never looked in trouble for much of this series, and if they were they almost always dug themselves out of it. Now you can offer your if's and but's about dropped catches and all that, SA's bowling attack always looked like the better one. So did their top order. If anything, I'd say the middle and lower order was evens but only because of the last Test heroics of Prior, Bairstow, Broad and Swann. I could also if and but at this stage and say that the margin of victory could've been greater had those wickets fallen cheaply. No point.

  • Beertjie on August 23, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    Flower and Strauss ought to accept that their tactics were lazy. To think that you could defeat a team that have always in past series against England (a nd others) shown exemplary discipline in selecting the right balls to hit by bowling off-side lines is simply not good enough preparation. Moreover they knew that SA bowlers could not be worn down in the way Cook/Trott wear down less disciplined opponents whose fielding is less than excellent. So what exactly were the tactics? To wait for them to slip on their own banana skins? If behind the scenes they recognize this, England can indeed remain competitive. If they keep their heads buried in the ground (who needs KP?), they will slip and may even lose the Ashes. This will then serve as the kick up the backsides that sends them rectifying their avoidable mistakes. I like the disciplined part of their management. I find their lack of imagination comforting (as an Aus supporter).

  • serious-am-i on August 23, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    no way Eng deserved to win after all Andy Flower and Strauss should have went to the referee box and had an argument to over rule the result, like the habit these 2 have of walking into opposition team dressing rooms or referee boxes when ever they please to do so during course of the match, I haven't come across any other coach or captain visiting opposition team's dressing room or referee box during the course of the match ever before, not with Eng nor with Aus/SA/Ind/Pak/WI.. So the issues lies with the way Andy has been leading the things, its actually disgrace to the sport. @Loyd4148: You are spot on mate, KP has done well in India but those were in mostly batting friendly wickets, he didn't get to play much of square turning wickets which would be probably welcoming Eng this time around. But still he will be the most experienced to play in Ind and he is after all the best English batsmen around.@Kirsten Van Jaarsveld: well said mate.

  • akpy on August 23, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    i know there is no place for ifs and buts, BUT, the fact is that if england had simply caught amla and devilliers in SA's 2nd innings, result could have been different..i know people will point out to other ifs and buts, like kallis dismissal in 1st innings...1st test was a whacking, 2nd test was even, 3rd test was very closely fought...end result is SA were better but why is some people finding holes in flower's words? chill guys..

  • on August 23, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Gosh, I think it must be confusing to be on the England cricket team right now. They're lambasted and over-analyzed if they lose; they're hyped up ridiculously if they're winning. Not healthy. I think they're a decent side who play pretty great cricket (they certainly had me worried a few times in the second and third test), and don't deserve to be on such a competitive and emotional roller-coaster. As for Andy, he really sounds defensive - maybe because his actions are scrutinized so minutely. So best of luck to the England team. (from a SA-supporter.) Also good luck to India for the coming series, love the team (or I did when they were in SA) and hope they get over their niggles and problems... No luck to OZ however, hope we blast them to smithereens ;D

  • itsthewayuplay on August 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @thruthecovers I still dpn't understand hiow if Eng were outplayed in every dept they were able to score more than SA after the 1st innings in 2 tests albeit they not not able to apply themselves more in the 4th innings. So I reiterate my point that it was hardly a trouncing that SA gave to Eng. Flowers has called it like it was when he says that Eng failed to convert their chances which they did have which is a different point to the one you raised as to why Flowers has not come out publicly and said Eng were thrashed by SA. I agree with you re fortress England by many commentators including Botham and Mark Nicholas who got carried away after the 4-0 win against a weak and unprofessional Indian team and hardly an benchmark. That series is what I would call a trouncing for India or as Sunil Gavasker said a total demolition job by Eng.

  • sanman12 on August 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    South africa have been 2-0 up in england in the last 2 series played in England and have won 4 of the last 7 tests played in England. one loss and 2 draws included in that. Everyone doubted SA. The C word was being thrown about but on no occasion did SA choke. They were behind on day one at the oval. Enough said there. They were even sporting enough to give england a chance to level the series in the second test but England fluffed that one up. In the 3rd test they were 54/4 and 105/5 but still posted 309 and even in the second innings with england holding a slight lead they still posted a significant score, one that Eng would not overcome. As much as England tried when it came down to the wire SA always had that little extra and as for the earlier comparisons that the Eng team bowlers were the equal of SA team bowlers the stats before the matches and after says it all. The batting of SA though i feel has been the most significant improvement.

  • punter-gilly-haydos-mcgrath-warne on August 23, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    What is the problem with KP?? he should learn from Broad by playing a bit loosely and that way getting a break from ODIs to regain strength!!

  • yorkshirematt on August 23, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    @thruthecovers I dobn't know about you but I'd rather any severe criticism stayed in house, and the players would prefer that as well. I hope there was some severe criticism from Flower within the camp but it's not fair on the players to have it all out in the open. As for the Pietersen issue that is a different case altogether. I don't know where you get the idea that he was the innocent party in all this, as he was the one losing the trust of his teammates, and the ECB had no option. I also think the ECB handled it pretty well considering the circumstances. The only details we heard about what happened were from the english gutter press

  • SaracensBob on August 24, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    OK all, here's my analysis. SA were the sharper team all round. They were smarter in the field - holding their catches (many of them tricky) and taking their run-out chances (even if some were gifted - Messers Taylor & Trott!). SA's batsmen applied themselves better, selling their wickets dear. This was important - Eng's batsmen showed a worrying lack of discipline in some of their shot selection. But the key factor for me was the bowling. Eng didn't bowl badly but SA bowled superbly. SA had FIVE bowlers on top of their game, giving Smith plenty of options. Eng only ever had FOUR; not enough when you are up against a top class batting line-up. So, time to wise up selectors and put a fifth bowler in place!

  • thruthecovers on August 23, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @yorkshire and itstheway I don't realy want to get into the semantics of it all. I just feel Flower, Strauss and the whole ENG set up haven't been honest. Not before, during and especially afte this Test seriesr.Probably the only honest person would be KP, however misguided that might have been. According to them they pride themselves on being brutaly honest with one another and all that but there seems to be a whole lot of double stds being applied. SA never looked in trouble for much of this series, and if they were they almost always dug themselves out of it. Now you can offer your if's and but's about dropped catches and all that, SA's bowling attack always looked like the better one. So did their top order. If anything, I'd say the middle and lower order was evens but only because of the last Test heroics of Prior, Bairstow, Broad and Swann. I could also if and but at this stage and say that the margin of victory could've been greater had those wickets fallen cheaply. No point.

  • Beertjie on August 23, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    Flower and Strauss ought to accept that their tactics were lazy. To think that you could defeat a team that have always in past series against England (a nd others) shown exemplary discipline in selecting the right balls to hit by bowling off-side lines is simply not good enough preparation. Moreover they knew that SA bowlers could not be worn down in the way Cook/Trott wear down less disciplined opponents whose fielding is less than excellent. So what exactly were the tactics? To wait for them to slip on their own banana skins? If behind the scenes they recognize this, England can indeed remain competitive. If they keep their heads buried in the ground (who needs KP?), they will slip and may even lose the Ashes. This will then serve as the kick up the backsides that sends them rectifying their avoidable mistakes. I like the disciplined part of their management. I find their lack of imagination comforting (as an Aus supporter).

  • serious-am-i on August 23, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    no way Eng deserved to win after all Andy Flower and Strauss should have went to the referee box and had an argument to over rule the result, like the habit these 2 have of walking into opposition team dressing rooms or referee boxes when ever they please to do so during course of the match, I haven't come across any other coach or captain visiting opposition team's dressing room or referee box during the course of the match ever before, not with Eng nor with Aus/SA/Ind/Pak/WI.. So the issues lies with the way Andy has been leading the things, its actually disgrace to the sport. @Loyd4148: You are spot on mate, KP has done well in India but those were in mostly batting friendly wickets, he didn't get to play much of square turning wickets which would be probably welcoming Eng this time around. But still he will be the most experienced to play in Ind and he is after all the best English batsmen around.@Kirsten Van Jaarsveld: well said mate.

  • akpy on August 23, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    i know there is no place for ifs and buts, BUT, the fact is that if england had simply caught amla and devilliers in SA's 2nd innings, result could have been different..i know people will point out to other ifs and buts, like kallis dismissal in 1st innings...1st test was a whacking, 2nd test was even, 3rd test was very closely fought...end result is SA were better but why is some people finding holes in flower's words? chill guys..

  • on August 23, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Gosh, I think it must be confusing to be on the England cricket team right now. They're lambasted and over-analyzed if they lose; they're hyped up ridiculously if they're winning. Not healthy. I think they're a decent side who play pretty great cricket (they certainly had me worried a few times in the second and third test), and don't deserve to be on such a competitive and emotional roller-coaster. As for Andy, he really sounds defensive - maybe because his actions are scrutinized so minutely. So best of luck to the England team. (from a SA-supporter.) Also good luck to India for the coming series, love the team (or I did when they were in SA) and hope they get over their niggles and problems... No luck to OZ however, hope we blast them to smithereens ;D

  • itsthewayuplay on August 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @thruthecovers I still dpn't understand hiow if Eng were outplayed in every dept they were able to score more than SA after the 1st innings in 2 tests albeit they not not able to apply themselves more in the 4th innings. So I reiterate my point that it was hardly a trouncing that SA gave to Eng. Flowers has called it like it was when he says that Eng failed to convert their chances which they did have which is a different point to the one you raised as to why Flowers has not come out publicly and said Eng were thrashed by SA. I agree with you re fortress England by many commentators including Botham and Mark Nicholas who got carried away after the 4-0 win against a weak and unprofessional Indian team and hardly an benchmark. That series is what I would call a trouncing for India or as Sunil Gavasker said a total demolition job by Eng.

  • sanman12 on August 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    South africa have been 2-0 up in england in the last 2 series played in England and have won 4 of the last 7 tests played in England. one loss and 2 draws included in that. Everyone doubted SA. The C word was being thrown about but on no occasion did SA choke. They were behind on day one at the oval. Enough said there. They were even sporting enough to give england a chance to level the series in the second test but England fluffed that one up. In the 3rd test they were 54/4 and 105/5 but still posted 309 and even in the second innings with england holding a slight lead they still posted a significant score, one that Eng would not overcome. As much as England tried when it came down to the wire SA always had that little extra and as for the earlier comparisons that the Eng team bowlers were the equal of SA team bowlers the stats before the matches and after says it all. The batting of SA though i feel has been the most significant improvement.

  • punter-gilly-haydos-mcgrath-warne on August 23, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    What is the problem with KP?? he should learn from Broad by playing a bit loosely and that way getting a break from ODIs to regain strength!!

  • yorkshirematt on August 23, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    @thruthecovers I dobn't know about you but I'd rather any severe criticism stayed in house, and the players would prefer that as well. I hope there was some severe criticism from Flower within the camp but it's not fair on the players to have it all out in the open. As for the Pietersen issue that is a different case altogether. I don't know where you get the idea that he was the innocent party in all this, as he was the one losing the trust of his teammates, and the ECB had no option. I also think the ECB handled it pretty well considering the circumstances. The only details we heard about what happened were from the english gutter press

  • thruthecovers on August 23, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    To elaborate...if you can accept that batsmen throwing it away or capitlising on dropped chances is part of cricket, it then becomes a mark of a good cricketer being able to make it count when the chance presents itself. Wasn't that also a case with Hayden, Gilchrist and co? Or did they never offer a chance?

  • thruthecovers on August 23, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @itstheway Batsmen throwing their wickets away or making a 2nd chance count, is part of cricket. As for ENG having a 2nd innings lead...a pity then that a Test match isn't won after the 2nd innings. The fact remains, when the 4th innings came around, ENG found their backs against the wal more often than notl. Shaun Pollock and Nasser had it absolutely right in the aftermath. ENG were outplayed in every facet of the game. Batting, bowling and fielding. Eventhough ENG was good enough to create those initial chances, they were not good enough to take them. SA were. So, you can IF and BUT all you want, there is no way SA was only 'slightly' better than ENG. IF Andy Flower want to bury his head in the sand, no skin of my nose. It will have meant they have learned absolutely nothing out of this and still consider it an aberation. Fortresses and all that...

  • itsthewayuplay on August 23, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @thruthecovers Eng had a first innings lead in the 2nd and 3rd tests and effectively made them 1 innings contests - hardly a trouncing. The main differences that I saw throughout the series was that SA batsmen made Eng work for their wickets whereas the English batsmen were guilty of soft dismissals thoughout the series and that SA batsmen made Eng pay when they got 2nd lives e.g Hamla's triple at the Oval compared to Prior being called back at Lord's then playing a poor shot to get out. Only in the 1st test was there a marked difference between the bowling attacks in that SA bowled as if a new bowler friendly strip had been laid down for them. In the same way Eng had done to India last summer.

  • Loyd4148 on August 23, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    "We have been beaten by a slightly better side in this series. I think that's fair to say." Actually no Andy, an exceptional side sounds much better, worse taking into consideration that the Proteas won so convincingly away from home. I think the Proteas should make England their second home seeing that winning for them in England is becoming a norm. I sense that Kevin Peitersen is being treated unfairly by the ECB because when he wants a break in between the format it's a problem, but they turn around and give Broad a break. I think the ECB has made a grave mistake in cutting KP loose, worse with a tour to India coming up because KP has plenty of experience in India through the IPL, where he's done pretty well for himself. And in Sri Lanka as well KP rescued England from a series defeat through an attacking century. So that's indicative of the fact that KP is England's best batsman in the sub-continent pitches

  • on August 23, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    End of day 4 nobody believed England can pull it off on the last day except Englishmen,Was listning to almost all english cric experts,everybody said they have a chance,good chance to level n rest of the world said no chance in hell.. Englishmen need to be realistic..perhaps it might take another couple of series defeats to realize that..

  • thruthecovers on August 23, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    @yorkshire Why can't he say publicly they've been trounced? It wouldn't have been far off the mark. Didn't they make a big thing about the 'honesty' that exist in the ENG camp? Is it honest then to say that SA were only 'slightly' better than them? Another thing...apparently this whole KP fiasco has been festering in the side for months. The most 'honest' and honourable thing to do was to drop KP as he was detriment to team unity back then already, or sort the matter properly to stimulate unity. I can only imagine the back stabbing, giggles and snide remarks KP had to endure during this time. His retort of "tough being me" in the ENG set up makes a lot of sense seen in this way. I'm not saying what he did was right but Flower, Strauss and the ECB have alot to answer for. Where is the honesty in the KP saga? And to think, I don't even like KP.

  • maddy20 on August 23, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    Johnny Bairstow was the find of the seires for England. Seems like a quite bloke who likes to keep his head down and keep scoring amid all the skepticism about his weakness vs short pitched bowling. Apart from that it is all downspiral for England. Compton will be like a duck in a shooting range in India. His only substantial knock came when Pietersen forced SA into defensive mode.

  • MattyP1979 on August 23, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Eng are not a team on the delcine here. As it has been for a while our best players are still coming into their prime and not out of it like our Ind/Aus sounding SA supporters. We lost a few matches (it happens) but we are still a good side, and some a right there is probably a gulf between 2 and 3rd place. Aus cannot bat Ind cannot bowl, Pak/WI have too many problems off the pitch so we might get used to SA top ENg second for a while.

  • yorkshirematt on August 22, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    @the england haters. Flower has come out and said SA were better. What more do you want? He may well think privately that England were emphatically trounced but he's not going to say that in public is he?

  • herohiralal22 on August 22, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    now the tym has come fr thr demotion ...soonly v wil c england at the bottom !rofl

  • TRIN999 on August 22, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Cmn Andy what you want to say, that your so called best bowlers were unable to create another chance for your fielders ,once after they have dropped a catch ,may be one time they have failed to create an opportunity, but in the whole series that too playing in your own backyard ,what a pity ?...... you must be joking Andy.................

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 22, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    Its not that SA didn't drop catches and got wkts off of no balls and such too, the difference is the SA batsmen made Eng pay. KP dropped before he made his 1 big score was the only such instance.

  • TRIN999 on August 22, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    "They dropped nine catches, gave wickets away cheaply". It just reminds me of Mr.Nasser Hussain's famous wording "Donkey".I am wondering how came this time he dint uttered it for England team players..... sorry to say but Mr Hussain and Mr. Botham are really biased commentators

  • Wexfordwonder on August 22, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Cummon Andy, at no stage did England even look likely to win saving a miracle, from a pseudo saffer that is disappointing. "A clearly superior side" would be more apt. In the areas where a close contest was expected, batting and pace bowling, SA won hands down. Where England were expected to have an edge, spin and a long batting tail, SA were also superior. A BIG difference Andy. And at home too.

  • TRIN999 on August 22, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I have been following England team from quite a few years. The only thing I know about this team and management is that they are very good in giving excuses. What does Andy mean to say by "Slightly better team".A slightly better team never defeats you in your backward 2~0.Simply trying to avoid the media.England is nothing but an over hyped team .LOLZZZZZZZZZZ INDIA is waiting...........

  • imrn.abid on August 22, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    truely sa deserv..great bowling by steyn n classic batting by amla...and a all round perfrmnce...

  • NaniIndCri on August 22, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    This is the double standard everyone is talking about, If Pieterson was available he will be forced to play the ODI's and T20's while all others are free to take a rest.

  • on August 22, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    South Africa surely deserved to be No.1 ..Cause they are the Real No.1 and England are deserved not to be No.1 Beating unprepared India off blue in their backyard wasn't a tough job.. South Africa and Pakistan earlier.. taught them a good lesson to remember..

  • Baundele on August 22, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Flower is under huge pressure.

  • Narbavi on August 22, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Slightly better side?? lol, how about losing a test where you couldn't pick more than two wickets in an entire game on your own backyard!!

  • ashlatchem on August 22, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    "We have been beaten by a slightly better side in this series. I think that's fair to say."... Understatement of the year? Think that's fair to say.. And now Broad gets a rest? Well surely that's not fair?

  • N.Sundararajan on August 22, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Andy Flower says "....by a SLIGHTLY better side " ! It takes grace and courage to admit that they were beaten by a side clearly superior in all three parts of the game!

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  • N.Sundararajan on August 22, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Andy Flower says "....by a SLIGHTLY better side " ! It takes grace and courage to admit that they were beaten by a side clearly superior in all three parts of the game!

  • ashlatchem on August 22, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    "We have been beaten by a slightly better side in this series. I think that's fair to say."... Understatement of the year? Think that's fair to say.. And now Broad gets a rest? Well surely that's not fair?

  • Narbavi on August 22, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Slightly better side?? lol, how about losing a test where you couldn't pick more than two wickets in an entire game on your own backyard!!

  • Baundele on August 22, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Flower is under huge pressure.

  • on August 22, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    South Africa surely deserved to be No.1 ..Cause they are the Real No.1 and England are deserved not to be No.1 Beating unprepared India off blue in their backyard wasn't a tough job.. South Africa and Pakistan earlier.. taught them a good lesson to remember..

  • NaniIndCri on August 22, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    This is the double standard everyone is talking about, If Pieterson was available he will be forced to play the ODI's and T20's while all others are free to take a rest.

  • imrn.abid on August 22, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    truely sa deserv..great bowling by steyn n classic batting by amla...and a all round perfrmnce...

  • TRIN999 on August 22, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    I have been following England team from quite a few years. The only thing I know about this team and management is that they are very good in giving excuses. What does Andy mean to say by "Slightly better team".A slightly better team never defeats you in your backward 2~0.Simply trying to avoid the media.England is nothing but an over hyped team .LOLZZZZZZZZZZ INDIA is waiting...........

  • Wexfordwonder on August 22, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Cummon Andy, at no stage did England even look likely to win saving a miracle, from a pseudo saffer that is disappointing. "A clearly superior side" would be more apt. In the areas where a close contest was expected, batting and pace bowling, SA won hands down. Where England were expected to have an edge, spin and a long batting tail, SA were also superior. A BIG difference Andy. And at home too.

  • TRIN999 on August 22, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    "They dropped nine catches, gave wickets away cheaply". It just reminds me of Mr.Nasser Hussain's famous wording "Donkey".I am wondering how came this time he dint uttered it for England team players..... sorry to say but Mr Hussain and Mr. Botham are really biased commentators