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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 13:10 GMT
Vaughan hopes England can improve
Michael Vaughan
Vaughan's own form with the bat is one of the most worrying aspects
Michael Vaughan promised England's performance would go up a gear as the players take some time off before the last two Tests against South Africa.

South Africa won the third Test to level the series 1-1 on Thursday, but England captain Vaughan stayed upbeat.

He said: "South Africa fully deserved their victory. They played the better cricket over the five days and put us under a lot of pressure.

"But there are two big games to go and we expect our performance to improve."

Vaughan's main concern is the batting. England were bowled out for 139 in the drawn Test in Durban before succumbing for 163 in the Cape Town defeat.

He said: "We were bowled out cheaply in Durban and again here - it's an area we have to work on.

"But it's not the be-all and end-all. We will go to Johannesburg looking to win the series."

Vaughan played down worries about his own form.

He has only managed scores of 10, 15, 18, 10, 11 and 20 in the series so far.

"It's disappointing because I don't feel like I'm in badtouch at the moment," he said.

"I've been in this position before and I will keep working hard and I will certainly come back from it."

Chairman of selectors David Graveney told BBC Radio Five Live he believed England had suffered a knock-on effect from their efforts to try and force a win in the second Test at Durban.

That match ended in a draw when the South African batsmen accepted an offer of bad light with just two wickets remaining.

"They put everything into winning at Durban.

"Nobody's disputing the decision to bring the players off, and then to lose the toss in Cape Town and spend a long period in the field, I think mentally and physically they were just worn out after that Durban game.

"Regardless of [the games] being back to back, I think it was a very emotional match for them to play in.

"I'm sure this few days off will revive them and they'll come back fighting in Johannesburg," he said.

Report: BBC Radio Five Live's Jonathan Agnew

Interview: England captain Michael Vaughan

Interview: South Africa captain Graeme Smith

Interview: South Africa's Jacques Kallis

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