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England batsmen let themselves down - Collingwood

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Low score disappoints Collingwood

Paul Collingwood conceded England had not performed adequately with the bat after being skittled for 180 on day one of the final Test against South Africa.

Collingwood, who top-scored for England with 47, said: "It was difficult to deal with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

"They have different attributes and you had to really be on your mettle. Today we probably weren't good enough.

"I don't know yet what a par score is on that wicket, but it certainly has a lot in it and good carry."

Collingwood remained optimistic about his team's chances, however, and said: "The ball seems to be swinging all the time - and it's certainly seaming a bit."

"There were some good balls out there that got batsmen out, some good catches - but also some guys who will be disappointed with their shots.

"But that's the kind of thing wickets like this bring around. It can be tough to play on them.

"We're disappointed but I think we've got enough armoury in our ranks that we can cause problems for them."

South Africa's opening batsmen survived some fine swinging deliveries from James Anderson and surprise call-up Ryan Sidebottom to finish on 29-0.

And Collingwood concurred that it was vital England began strongly on the second morning with the ball still reasonably hard and humid conditions expected to continue in Johannesburg.

"We could have taken a couple of wickets at the end there and the bowlers were a touch unlucky," he said.

"Test matches are long games and a lot can happen but we have to be right on the money in the morning."

606: DEBATE
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Kevin Pietersen has endured a tough series and his innings on Thursday was no different as the Hampshire batsman hit an easy catch to mid-on to fall for seven to leave England reeling.

"I'm sure he disappointed but he's been a rock in the dressing room," insisted Collingwood.

"We've always said he's one innings away (from a big score) and that could be the second innings."

Collingwood's knock included two sixes and his aggressive approach, in contrast to his defiant defensive innings in the drawn match in Cape Town, paid off.

"On a pitch like that it comes onto the bat really nice so, no matter what the situation, I think you have to back yourself to score runs. We've said from the start, we didn't come here to play for a draw," he said.

England changed their line-up for the first time in the series, with Sidebottom coming in to replace Graham Onions.

"Graham's disappointed but the captain and coach said we needed fresh legs," added Collingwood.

"Siddy's shown his accuracy and swing is going to be tough to play in these conditions."

Steyn, however, admitted he was surprised by the omission of Onions, who has taken eight wickets in the series.

Steyn swings South Africa into control

"He would have been a handful on this wicket - he gets very tight into the stumps and could have been very dangerous," said the South African paceman, who took 5-51 to complete his set of five-wicket hauls against major Test playing opponents.

"I'm not taking anything away from Ryan Sidebottom - he's also a very good bowler. But obviously Onions has troubled a lot of our batsmen throughout the series, and it's surprising to see he wasn't playing. It was a bit if a relief in a way."

Steyn also revealed he was aided by advice from former England spinner Jeremy Snape, who played 10 one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match between 2001-2007 and is now part of the South African backroom staff.

"Jeremy said at lunch I should take the ball away, away - then hold one across the seam and see if it goes straight.

"He said 'you should never under-estimate the straight ball'. So I said 'what about the inswinger?' - and he said 'if you can get it to go, fantastic' - so when I got the wicket I celebrated towards the dressing room."



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see also
England in tatters after collapse
14 Jan 10 |  England
South Africa v England day one photos
14 Jan 10 |  England
ECB ponders qualification change
10 Jan 10 |  Cricket
England escape in thrilling draw
07 Jan 10 |  England
Michael Vaughan Q&A
31 Dec 09 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


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