Proteas in England
Headingley record favours SA
Cape Town - Proteas batsman Jacques Rudolph believes South Africa will take confidence from their good record at Headingley Carnegie, ahead of the second Investec Test match starting in Leeds on Thursday. The ground has been one of the Proteas’ most successful in England since 1994, with two wins and a draw in four matches.
“The last time we played here AB (de Villiers) and Ashwell (Prince) did really well,” said Rudolph. “So from a team point of view we can take quite a lot of confidence from the way we have played here in the past.” AB de Villiers (149) and man-of-the-match Ashwell Prince (174) shared a 212-run fifth-wicket partnership to give the Proteas a commanding first innings score, after bowling England out for 203.
Records count for nothing once the Test match is underway, and nothing but a strong England comeback is expected by the players.
“They are the No 1 team in the world and we expect quite a strong fight back from them. They have done really well in their own conditions over the last couple of years and last couple series they have played over here, we are prepared about what we are going to face on Thursday.”
The series took a week-long break with the Proteas playing a two-day warm-up match against Worcestershire County Cricket Club, and spending some “downtime” away from the game.
“You have to find ways to keep yourself fresh in-between Test matches,” added Rudolph. “ Gary (Kirsten) is quite strong about being aware of your own space, if you feel that you want to get away from cricket and that will work for you that is what you do.”
Rudolph is also making a return to the former home ground where he spent five years playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
‘I had five very good years here,” he said about his stint with Yorkshire as a Kolpak player. “I have fond memories of playing cricket with some really good people and I have made great friendships, it’s great to be back.”