England hurting after defeat - Bell
Jul 25 2012
England are digesting the home truths of their unexpected trouncing by South Africa at the Oval, and promising to put things right in the second Investec Test at Headingley.
Andrew Strauss' team did not shirk the issues in an honest meeting on Monday night, after losing the first match of three by an innings and 12 runs.
Ian Bell revealed that there were no taboo topics when England spoke frankly about where, how and why it had all gone so badly wrong. "We had a good chat last night. Some real good honesty was talked around the team," he told Sky Sports News.
"That's where we've come as a team. Whether we win or lose, we try to get things as honest as possible. There's no point going away from the facts. We didn't play well enough here, and we've got to sort that out.
"I know for a fact it hurt every single player in that team to lose this game, and I'm sure there will be a reaction when we get to Headingley."
England's bowlers could take only two wickets in 189 overs as Hashim Amla's historic triple-hundred and centuries from Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis gave them no hope.
The hosts lost all 20 of their own wickets without even matching South Africa's monumental 637 for two declared, and therefore ended up losing with a session to spare.
England's hard-earned world number one Test ranking is therefore in peril, after five defeats in their last nine matches. One more in either of their next two will mean South Africa depose them at the top of the table.
England, in fact, need to pull off - in reverse - the trick which first cemented Strauss and coach Andy Flower's successful axis, when they followed a similarly crushing defeat at Headingley with victory at the Oval to clinch the 2009 Ashes.
This time, they must reassemble in the north with renewed resolve. "We'll have to train pretty hard and just get things right for Headingley," said Bell. "Obviously it's been a really tough Test match for us."
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