'The series is there for us to win. I have huge confidence in the team'

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The Independent Online

Michael Vaughan yesterday insisted England can bounce back from a crushing first Test defeat in more than a year to win the series in South Africa.

The captain Vaughan believes his side have shown enough mettle during their record-breaking exploits of late to overcome the 196-run loss here which levelled things going into the final two Tests of the tour.

Despite conceding that Graeme Smith's Proteas were superior over five days in Cape Town, during which an England team failed to notch a solitary half-century for the first time in a Test since 2000, Vaughan believes the inner resolve in the touring party will come to the fore by next Thursday's fourth match in Johannesburg.

"We are 1-1 in the series with two matches to go, and it is a series there for us to win," Vaughan said. "I have a huge amount of faith and confidence in the characters in our team to get the best out of themselves over the next week or so.

"We have a great chance; we have a team that can play some great cricket; we are playing against a team with a lot of confidence from this win but one which is very wary of England."

The players are due for a couple of days off before moving on at the weekend, but a large percentage of them may now be heading for voluntary practice sessions rather than sightseeing spots.

With no match scheduled before the next Test, tinkering with techniques will be in the nets - and Vaughan admits he will be putting in as many hours as anyone after his poor sequence continued.

"I am probably head of the lot; I haven't scored runs in the first three games. I don't feel in too bad touch - I just keep getting to 10 or 20 and getting out," said Vaughan, who overcame a similar lean spell last summer with twin hundreds against the West Indies at Lord's. "To keep getting rolled so cheaply you will lose a few games, and that is something we have to put right in the next week.

"If we continue to keep getting low scores in the first innings, it is going to put us under a hell of a lot of pressure.

"At this kind of level you can't afford to do that; you have to make sure you get in, as Jacques Kallis does for them, and get big scores."

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