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05 Nov 2009 09:11
England must improve their consistency to have a realistic chance of beating South Africa in their five match one-day international (ODI) series, all-rounder Luke Wright said.
“I think consistency has been the problem with our one-day cricket for a while now. We have the ability to beat anyone on any given day but we have not always backed that up,” Wright told reporters in Bloemfontein this week.
“It’s something that [coach] Andy Flower and [captain] Andrew Strauss have spoken about and addressed, in the way we prepare, to try and get the consistency right.
Hopefully this squad can start to do that.”
England lost six out of seven one-day internationals to Australia following the Ashes Test series but Wright said England could take heart from their performances in the Champions Trophy in South Africa during September and October.
England beat Sri Lanka and then South Africa in the group stage to knock the hosts out of the tournament, before losing their semifinal against eventual champions Australia.
“The challenge of playing South Africa is certainly up there.
“They haven’t got too many weaknesses but as we showed during the Champions Trophy, if we play to our strengths, then we can compete with them. As a team there were a lot of positive things we could take away from the tournament but there is still a lot of work for us to do.”
Wright said the unity in the England squad was one of the touring side’s major strengths.
“We are a very close unit as a team and everyone is working very hard. If we prepare right I am sure we have got a fantastic chance of doing well in the series.”
England’s tour gets underway proper on Friday in Bloemfontein when they take on local franchise side the Eagles in a one-day warm-up match.
England will face the host nation for the first time on the tour, in a Twenty20 international, on November 13 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg with the first ODI set for November 20 at the same venue.—Reuters
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