Skipper's blog

England cricket one up; look set to make it two

Disaster in Durban, turns calamitous in Cape Town as Steyn is out and Anderson is back.

England won the first Test in Durban by 241 runs. A victory equally comprehensive in its margin and its style. Everyone in the England team contributed runs or wickets, with the exception of Hales and will go into the Second Test full of confidence. South Africa on the other hand were nothing short of shambolic. A long way from their World Number One ranking.

England won the Ashes in the summer and were unlucky to lose 2-0 to Pakistan in the UAE. After winning in Durban their good fortune has been further compounded by the return of their greatest bowler of all time, James Anderson. The Lancastrian seam bowler will replace Woakes as England go to Cape Town as strong favourites.

Dale Steyn is the best bowler in South Africa, if not the world. His absence will hurt South Africa more than Anderson's absence hurt England in Durban as South Africa do not possess a Broad. De Villiers may well be a more potent batting force if shed of the wicketkeeping gloves, but it is difficult to see South Africa bowling England out twice sufficiently easily to force a win.

The one man who could turn things around for South Africa is the one who looked most at sea in the First Test, Hashim Amla. His captaincy and batting were awful in Durban, with his teammates seemingly losing belief. Only an Amla century can restore his and subsequently South Africa's fortunes as they seek someone or something to rally around.

Can South Africa fight back against England?



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