Kallis confident of South Africa revival
South Africa are trying to convince everyone that they aren't feeling sorry for themselves as they enter the final Test against England needing a win to level the series despite having dominated two of the three matches. However, it is clear that the home side feel they haven't had the rub of the green over the last month.
Missing out on winning a Test by a single wicket once could be classed as unfortunate, but doing it twice is bordering on the careless. Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, was very careful not to belittle England's success when he said the series should probably be 1-1, but the hosts clearly don't think the current scoreline reflects the cricket played.
"We'd like to believe so," Jacques Kallis said when asked if South Africa were still the better team. "England probably think differently, but we have to believe that. I think at times we have played some really good cricket. Hopefully the luck will go our way in this Test since we feel it has gone England's way for a little while."
It will be very dangerous for South Africa to enter the final Test at the Wanderers with lingering frustrations over how the series is panning out. "It's something we have discussed," Kallis said. "Going into this Test the feeling could easily be that we've dominated two Tests and are still somehow behind in the series.
"Obviously that is all in the past and we have to look forward and know that going into this Test there won't be any favours given our way. We've have to go out and win this and put all those feelings behind us. We know we have to move on."
For all their dominant sessions at Centurion and Cape Town, South Africa haven't been able to break down England's new-found resilience with Graham Onions being the unlikeliest of thorns in their side at No. 11. Meanwhile, the hosts are paying a heavy price for their second innings collapse for 133 at Durban as Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann scythed through them.
"They haven't given up," Kallis said of England's determination. "They have been in tough situations in two games where they have been totally out of it, but have still managed to get out of it. We were in England's situation in Durban and crumbled, so as much as we can say we've been unlucky we have been in the same situation and failed. We've only got ourselves to blame."
However, Kallis believes South Africa are better equipped for the challenges of this final Test where the pitch is expected to be lively and encourage the quick bowlers. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel impressed at Newlands, while Kallis hopes home advantage will mean their batsmen are better placed to handle the conditions.
"I've had a look at the wicket and it's not as green as some I've seen here, but it will do a bit, no doubt, and you'll need some skill to get through," he said. "Our guys are used to playing on pitches that bounce and go through probably a little more than the English guys so hopefully that plays into our favour. Our wickets probably do the most in the world and our guys are well equipped for this challenge."
Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo