x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Striving for improvement

South Africa beat England convincingly but bowling coach Vinnie Barnes feels there is scope for improvement from his bowlers.

The South African bowling coach wants to see bowlers like Mkhaya Ntini finish off the tail-enders.
The South African bowling coach wants to see bowlers like Mkhaya Ntini finish off the tail-enders.

LEEDS // England found South Africa's pace attack tough going at Headingley - but the tourists' bowling coach Vinnie Barnes hopes his charges will be even more of a handful in the third Test at Edgbaston. Barnes was encouraged by the improvement of the much-touted quartet from the first Test at Lord's to the second in Leeds, where England were bowled out for 203 and then 327 on the way to a 10-wicket defeat.

He still believes, however, there is much more to come from Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini and Jacques Kallis. "I'm not satisfied yet," Barnes said. "I have spoken to each and every one of them (since the end of the second Test) - and they were probably 50 per cent better (than at Lord's)." The South African fast bowlers clearly have a hard taskmaster - and on reflection, Barnes quickly revised his estimation of their progress. "That's probably too high," he added, of his initial 50 per cent rating. "They were better, but we still have work to do."

"There were periods where we bowled exceptionally well. But there are periods where we lose our disciplines and try to bowl teams out - especially at the nine, 10 and 11." One of those tail end positions, Stuart Broad in the second innings at Headingley ensured, with his 67, that South Africa would have to bat twice for their win. Barnes has since specified to each of his fast bowlers what they need to do before the start of the third Test on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the England coach Peter Moores has defended the wildcard pick of Darren Pattinson, insisting it was not an indictment of the system. Pattinson had leapfrogged over Chris Temlett, who was on standby, and Mathew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison. Following the defeat, captain Michael Vaughan admitted the final XI was a confused selection prompting national selector Geoff Miller to demand an explanation. But Moores said it was Vaughan's choice. "Darren is a similar bowler to Matthew Hoggard in some ways but that was the choice and it wasn't a choice taken lightly. It was a long meeting."

* PA Sport