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England seek to bounce back


HEADINGLEY — England will seek to bounce back after what spin bowler Graeme Swann described as a “public humiliation” when they face South Africa in the second cricket Test starting at Headingley today.

England’s ranking as the No 1 Test team is under threat after they were beaten by an innings and 12 runs in the first Test at the Oval last week, with the hosts taking only two wickets while South Africa piled up 637 runs in their only innings.

Swann revealed that the England players spent two hours analysing their defeat immediately after the first Test and England coach Andy Flower insisted that confidence remains high and that the team could come back strongly.

“We get ourselves into the right frame of mind by doing the things that we have been doing very well for the last couple of years,” said Flower.
“I have every confidence in our players that we can come back and play good cricket.”

England will lose their No 1 ranking if the tourists win what is only a three-match series and so they need to bounce back quickly.

However, they can draw some comfort from recent South African defeats which have followed innings wins. The Proteas beat India by an innings in the first test in an away series in 2009-2010 and a home series in 2010-2011 only to lose the second test each time, and that dubious feat was repeated at home against Sri Lanka in 2011-2012.

They also won the first Test against Australia last summer, albeit not by an innings, only to lose the second clash. With conditions likely to be more bowler-friendly at the Yorkshire ground than they were at the Oval, England will seek to exploit the potential weakness of South Africa’s batting from No 6 down.

Specialist batsmen Jacques Rudolph and JP Duminy did not bat at the Oval and failed to strike form in four innings apiece in warm-up games against county teams, while the South African tail does not have the batting credentials of the England lower order.

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