|Smith...a great skipper|
To be fair, we have been outplayed by a bloody good side. Not only a good side, but well led by Graeme Smith, and superbly coached by Gary Kirsten. The England batting line up have had their techniques dissected like an albino rat in a school laboratory, with Morne Morkel going around the wicket at our left handed openers, and mixing up the chin music with the toe crushers. I don't particularly like Smith, but he is a fine skipper and when you consider the political side he has to carry with the South African job, he has led from the front for many a year. Good captains don't necessarily have to be liked, just respected and Smith is certainly respected.
The decline has started though to be honest with England right back in Dubai earlier in the year. The top four who played in this match are all averaging in the thirties in 2012, whilst the fifth man in the side hasn't played in this Test due to being a pork chop, as Steve James would say!
Bresnan is a shadow of his former self and was rightly dropped for Steven Finn. With the bowling, again Kirsten was meticulous in his planning and negated Swann. Anderson bowled ok with not much luck, whilst Broad seems to have lost more speed than Jenson Button this year!
As for the catching, I have seen less drops in the jawline of a Bell's Palsy victim, and ironically it was Ian Bell who started the malaise at Edgbaston against the Windies. They looked more like they were fielding under the influence of Bell's whisky! Anderson is normally our best fielder, but his drop at short mid wicket off AB De Villiers, was one a club player would be disappointed with. The positives for England came from Finn, Prior and Bairstow, and whilst KP may not be everyones cup o' tea at present, his knock at Headingley was one of the finest.
|Bairstow plays the game with a smile on his face|
Meanwhile for South Africa, Hashim Amla was awesome. Smith had his usual decent series against us, and Petersen came of age. They have plenty to be pleased with, and with these three, De Villiers becoming a fine keeper/batsman and their pace bowling, they fully deserved their win. They will need a decent spinner for the sub continent, but they definitely deserve to be the number one side in the world.
England meanwhile have plenty to think about, although I would hate to see this side dismantled, just maybe tweaked in one or two areas. Me, I'm off to watch inane rubbish come out of Tulisa's mouth as opposed to going into it!