England in SA

Smith, Strauss both determined

2009-11-26 22:29
Andrew Strauss and Graeme Smith. (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town - What statistics would you use to motivate your respective national team?

For English supporters there's the opportunity of their team beating South Africa for the sixth time in a row.

If your blood is green, then you can counter with the fact that South Africa have never lost to England in an ODI at Newlands since their return to international cricket in 1991. Or the fact that the Proteas have won 24 of their 27 limited overs matches in Cape Town.

However, those statistics will not help Graeme Smith and company much in Friday's third ODI encounter at Newlands.

The South African captain stressed that his team will have to play better to compete with England.

"They have played outstanding cricket so far and they also handled the important moments better than us during our encounter at Centurion.

"I was delighted with our players' honesty and intensity in this week's practices."

Smith said that people need not read much into his team's bowling performance at Centurion.

"When the other team posts a partnership of more than 150 against you, then it looks as if your bowlers lacked firepower.

"We are all motivated to do better," said Smith.

England captain, Andrew Strauss, looked more at ease and was full of confidence after his team's victory at Centurion.

England need a single victory in the remaining three matches to ensure they do not lose the series.

However, Strauss does not believe there is more pressure on his team.

"Oh no, we know what we have to do to win the series.

"You can take confidence out of the performance at Centurion, but South Africa are a very good one-day team and will not simply lie down after one poor performance," said Strauss.

Strauss said that they want to put pressure on themselves to put in another good performance on Friday.

"We showed last week that we can improve our form and fight back after our defeat (in the second Pro20).

"What we have struggled with more, is to maintain our form after a good performance.

"That is one of those things we want to set straight on Friday," added Strauss.

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