South Africa target No.1 Test ranking
South Africa will dethrone England as the top-ranked Test side if they beat the hosts at Headingley in the second Test starting on Thursday and the tourists’ bowling coach Allan Donald says his side will try to land a knockout blow.
“There’s no way we are going to sit back and wait for things to happen,” Donald said. “We know what’s coming our way and we know England will throw everything at us. We take nothing for granted. We’ve won a Test match but we haven’t won the series.”
England spinner Graeme Swann acknowledged his side’s poor recent form in the wake of the Proteas’ innings and 12 runs win in the first Test at The Oval last week to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“I can’t deny the fact that since we’ve been No.1 we’ve got a dismal record,” he said. “Whether that goes hand in hand with being No.1 I don’t really know, you need someone more qualified with the workings of the human mind.
“We’re not doing anything differently,” Swann added. “Perhaps that’s it, perhaps we’re not evolving quickly enough. Perhaps teams are hunting us down more, seeing us as a real threat now rather than maybe underestimating us before, I don’t know.”
Given the epic scale of the tourists’ win, South Africa’s ascension might look like a foregone conclusion.
South Africa ground England into the turf, amassing a mammoth 2(dec)-637, with captain Graeme Smith making 131, Hashim Amla a colossal 311 not out and Jacques Kallis 182 not out.
Donald said it was a performance “you may never see again” and perhaps South Africa’s only real concern is the lack of practice for some of its batsmen.
“To be honest I didn’t even have my pads on,” JP Duminy said of the win at The Oval. “I didn’t even have my whites on. That’s the first time for me that’s ever happened.”© AP 2013
The Ashes journey begins
The Australian cricket team have left Australia to begin their tour of England, with a mission to reclaim the Ashes.
Australian captain Michael Clarke and his teammates were optimistic about their chances before jetting off.
Click here to hear the thoughts of our Australian cricket team as they left for England.
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.