Ian Bell: Win the first hour and we'll be back in the series
View From the Middle: Immediately after the loss in The Oval dressing room we talked about where we had gone wrong and how we could avoid such errors again
Thursday 02 August 2012
We know we can win this Test series. We believe it, we have got to believe it or South Africa will beat us. We are desperate to win the first hour of this match after what happened at The Oval.
But if and when we do that, as in all Test cricket, it is vital not to look too far ahead. Do that and the game will bite you on the bottom.
I am not sure that was the reason for our heavy defeat in the first Test but after the first day it is true that South Africa won the key moments. Of course, we knew what a good side they were, a mature group of cricketers, most of whom have been together a long time.
They know how to respond in a match as they showed after the first day at The Oval when we reached 273 for 3 and were in a strong position. On the second morning in favourable conditions they bowled a bit straighter.
We had been allowed to leave a lot of balls on the opening day but that changed and the result was they made inroads. It was the mark of how good they are that they never let us back in after that.
Immediately after the loss in The Oval dressing room we talked about where we had gone wrong and how we could avoid such errors again.
An outstanding feature of this England team and why we have managed to be successful for two years or so is our honesty, both in victory and defeat. So in that team talk we were honest with each other. It is what makes Andy Flower such an exceptional coach – he wants players to look at themselves, to take responsibility, always to look how they can improve.
Despite our recent record here I am very happy to be returning to Headingley. It is one of those vibrant grounds where the support is always loud and constant, a bit like Edgbaston. I'm not sure there will be much Olympic effect because the place is always vibrant.
It is time we won here after losing the last two Tests, but equally we won the three before that. There was a tinge of grass on the pitch yesterday so, as in the rest of this season, batsmen can expect to find it hard work. But we don't mind that, it's what we do.
We welcome a new player into the side in James Taylor, who will be endeavouring to nail down the No 6 position. He's bound to be nervous but he looks a solid player, one who knows his game and, if I'm batting with him, I'll try to help him through that first half-hour.
It's sad that Ravi Bopara had to make himself unavailable for personal reasons and we can only wish him all the best.
Ben Stokes and the strangest injuries in sport
Daniel Sturridge reveals Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is 'very demanding'
Michael Schumacher: Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to F1 legend with special helmet for Australian Grand Prix
Manchester United v Liverpool: How will rivals handle European role reversal?
Nicholas Anelka sacked by West Bromwich Albion: Parting is such tweet sorrow for French striker
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Sailor who kissed a nurse in famous WWII photograph dies aged 86
- 3 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'