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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 17:35 UK

South Africa target England pair

England v South Africa, First npower Test
Dates: 10-14 July Start time 1100 BST Venue: Lord's
Coverage: Radio Four, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBCi and BBC Sport website

Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell
Collingwood and Bell have not had much to smile about with the bat

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has admitted his side will be targeting England's vulnerable middle order when the Test series begins on Thursday.

Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood have made 77 runs between them in six innings this summer and Arthur said: "It's obvious those two are under pressure.

"If we can get into five and six when the ball is new, that will be good.

"Also, there will be a cloud over a bowler knowing that Andrew Flintoff is likely to be fit for the second Test."

Flintoff was not deemed ready to take part in the first encounter of the four-match series when England named their squad last week.

The influential all-rounder, who is continuing his recovery from a fourth ankle operation, struck 62 not out and bowled with good pace as Lancashire beat Sussex in their last Championship game, prompting many to suggest he will be back in contention come the Headingley Test.

Those personal issues between Kevin and Graeme are water under the bridge

Arthur on the row between Pietersen and Smith
That would mean England changing their team for the first time in six Tests, with one of Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and James Anderson likely to miss out, unless the selectors opt for a five-man bowling attack.

"The 'Freddie' Flintoff factor lingers over England - because he's too good a player not to be picked," Arthur said.

"If you've got a class performer, a fantastic cricketer like him available to you, I think you'd be silly not to select him. He's got to come back - and he's got to come back for somebody. Somebody will be unlucky.

"Within the whole pressure cooker of Test cricket, there might be one or two little personal contests going on in the England side."

I don't think we need to meet their pace and bounce at all - we need to stick to what we've done well in the past four or five Test matches

Stuart Broad

Meanwhile, Arthur says his team will not be getting involved in any unsavoury behaviour with Kevin Pietersen, who was born and raised in South Africa but has now represented England in 39 Tests.

Pietersen famously labelled South Africa skipper Graeme Smith "a muppet" in his autobiography and the pair have rarely seen eye to eye.

But Arthur said: "We have had a huge discussion on that - and we don't want to be fighting with the opposition and therefore ultimately fighting with ourselves.

"We want to do everything well and with aggression - but that does not mean fighting and getting involved in any sideshows.

"Graeme is pretty adamant he's not going to get involved, and I don't think any of our players will either.

"In fact, there is a lot of respect for Kevin in our dressing room. Those personal issues between Kevin and Graeme, certainly for Graeme, are water under the bridge.

"It's finished and done and dusted."

England seamer Stuart Broad revealed that the home side would concentrate on the traditional arts of line and length rather than getting pulled into a pace battle.

"I don't think we need to meet their pace and bounce at all - we need to stick to what we've done well in the past four or five Tests," said the 21-year-old.

"We've got two world-class swing bowlers with the new ball so obviously we'll be hoping it swings and we just need to stick to the game plans we've used throughout the last Test match series.

"You need to adapt to different surfaces and different players but we're not going to charge in and try and bowl at 95mph because that would send our techniques and radar awry."

England (from): Michael Vaughan (capt), Tim Ambrose (wkt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Ryan Sidebottom, Andrew Strauss, Chris Tremlett.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (capt), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wkt), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki.

see also
Behind the Dale Steyn fairytale
08 Jul 08 |  South Africa
Cricket's craziest man
07 Jul 08 |  England
Jones 'close to England recall'
27 Jun 08 |  Worcestershire
SA's Smith set to make first Test
27 Jun 08 |  South Africa
SA recall Nel for England series
23 May 08 |  South Africa
Vaughan focuses on tougher tests
08 Jun 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket

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