Cricket

SA vs ENG Tests: Silverwood promises no complacency from favourites England

England coach Chris Silverwood with captain Joe Root during a training session in Benoni on December 15, 2019.

England coach Chris Silverwood with captain Joe Root during a training session in Benoni on December 15, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Stu Forster

Silverwood believes that despite their troubles, South Africa will present a big challenge to his side on home soil.

South African cricket may be in the doldrums with challenges on and off the pitch, but England coach Chris Silverwood says there will be no complacency from his side ahead of the first test in Pretoria on December 26.

South Africa have lost their last five tests, including two shock losses at home to Sri Lanka in February and a 3-0 whitewash in India in October. Meanwhile, boardroom upheaval has sponsors threatening to quit the sport and a strike mooted by the country’s player union.

But Silverwood believes that despite their troubles, South Africa will present a big challenge to his side on home soil.

“Complacency is one thing we don’t have and I expect South Africa to come out hard they are a proud nation,” Silverwood told reporters after a training session at their Potchefstroom base on Monday.

“We expect them to come back hard in all departments and they will be hungry.

“But it’s more about concentrating on ourselves getting our things in order and making sure we’re in the best possible position when the first test arrives.”

England lost a two-match test series in New Zealand at the start of this month and having claimed the 50-over World Cup earlier in the year, Silverwood says they want to concentrate more on five-day cricket for the time being.

“The one thing we really want to drive forward is the test team and we’ll put things in place that will help us do that,” he said.

“The New Zealand tour was part and parcel of that and we switched up the batting line-up and looked at new ways of doing things.

“It’s not reinventing the wheel by a long shot but New Zealand was a great learning curve for us and we’ll look to keep pushing on from there.

“The challenge is getting those first innings runs and as soon as we do that we’ll be very hard to beat.”

England might have battled with overseas success on a consistent basis of late, but they do appear to enjoy touring South Africa, where they have won two series and drawn the other on their last three visits.

South Africa’s last series success on home soil against the English was in 1999.

In the 13 tests played since, England have won five, South Africa three and there have been five draws.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:32:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/england-tour-of-south-africa-south-africa-vs-england-world-test-championship/article30322095.ece

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