England in SA

Smith: England lost focus

2010-01-18 07:46
Graeme Smith (File)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg – England lost the fourth and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers because of spending too much time and energy on getting caught up in the controversial referral system.

That was the view of Proteas captain Graeme Smith following his side’s victory by an innings and 74 runs.

“They lost focus during the Test and did not concentrate on what they needed to do,” said Smith.

England captain Andrew Strauss disagreed.

“It was not the reason that we lost. We lost the Test on the first morning when we lost four wickets in the first hour. We were on the back foot from the first delivery of the Test when I was dismissed,” he said.

“This wicket was also made for (Dale) Steyn and (Morné) Morkel to bowl on.”

The two South African opening bowlers were jointly named man of the match.

“We did not meet expectations at all in this Test and it was three-and-a-half very frustrating days,” said Strauss.

He also concedes that South Africa played superbly and did not give them a look-in.

Smith said that his team could just as well have won the series 3-1, referring to the Tests at Centurion and Newlands where the Proteas needed only one more wicket in each case to win the Test.

“The reality is that we could not land the knockout punch on two occasions. But I don’t feel it was a miscarriage of justice that we did not win the series,” said Smith.

“It was a great series that was very competitive and that is the terrific thing about sport – to be able to have a duel like this with England.”

He is also delighted with the way in which the bowlers performed in the fourth test.

“We bowled aggressively and with a lot of determination. The newcomers, Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren, also slotted in well and the future looks bright,” said Smith.
In Steyn and Morkel, South Africa also now have a combination with the new ball that can take them far.

Smith praised the Test wicket that had been prepared by groundsman Chris Scott.

“It was nice to play on a wicket that offered something for everyone,” he said.

Read more on:    graeme smith  |  england in sa

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