The third test match between England and South Africa will be played
at Cape Town in the New year. The tourists lead the series 1-0 after their convincing
innings win at Kingsmead in Durban over South Africa.
The hosts will be hurting over their previous loss. They had been dominant
over the English counterparts in the first test match at the Centurion, and
even after their first innings in Kingsmead, it did not look like the game would
be gone so easily. As it turned out, the English side were buoyed by the return
to form of two of their old, but out of form warhorses, Alastair Cook
and Ian Bell. Both smashed centuries and batted South Africa out of the game.
Click for Live Score Card of South Africa vs England
The actual problem has been in their face for some time now. It has been the
South African bowling which has disrupted the opposition batting in the past
that is struggling to regain control of the proceedings. While their record
at Cape Town will inspire a lot of awe, having five of their last six games
with the other match drawn, they will also need to factor for their average
bowling attack. Dale Steyn had been nursing an injury in the first test
match and his return to the side was understandably cautious. However, apart
from him, Makhaya Ntini was as listless as they come and Morne Morkel did not
add too many feathers to his cap either.
This will mean that there is a decent chance that Fredel de Wet will make a
comeback to the side after a brilliant debut performance. In all probabilities,
Graeme Smith words that the right selections will be made for the third
test will ring true in the ears of Ntini, who could just have played his last
test match in some time.
In contrast, the English bowling attack bears the look of the future. Graeme Swann won his second successive man of the match award, and on the Cape
Town wicket which does take some turn towards the end, could prove to be quite
handful. The quick bowlers have been penetrative enough as well, and for now,
there shouldn't be any changes to the team.
The side will, however, do well to remember that they had a similar lead against
Australia in the Ashes, but a couple of games later had the momentum totally
turned against them. Both their departments need to continue with similar kinds
of discipline that had won them the match.