Nel ready to take on England
Thursday, 31 July 2008

REUTERS, BIRMINGHAM- South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel has pledged to keep his fiery temper under control in the third test against England starting at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Nel is set to take over from Dale Steyn, who is out of action for at least two weeks with a broken thumb. South Africa lead 1-0 in the four-test series after their 10-wicket victory in the second test in Leeds.

"I was messing around with our computer guy one day and he said sometimes when I go on to the field I'm like those guys who live up in the mountains and have a lack of oxygen to the brain," Nel told reporters on Monday.

"I'll be pumped up but I'll be a smarter pumped up. I don't think I'll be overboard any more. I've got smarter with time so I am looking forward to it. I have calmed down. There will still be 'white line fever' but just a bit more tame."

South Africa are seeking their first series win in England since 1965 while England will be trying to return to the form they showed when they enforced the follow-on in the drawn first test at Lord's.

The second test witnessed a below-par performance from England, especially their batsmen, and they only escaped an innings loss through an unbeaten 67 from tailender Stuart Broad.

The selectors, after being heavily criticised for picking little-known swing bowler Darren Pattinson at Leeds, dropped him after his debut and have recalled fast bowler Steve Harmison, the leading wicket-taker in the county championship.

Opening batsman Alastair Cook acknowledged England need to be more switched on this week.

"At Lord's we got 593 for eight so you don't become a bad batting unit overnight," Cook said. "We didn't play that well as a batting unit at Headingley, we will admit that we made mistakes. The challenge is to bounce back.

"It's (also) great to have Harmy back in the squad. He's gone away and is now the leading wicket-taker in first-class cricket and bowling back at 90 miles (145 kms) per hour. Anyone who, from his height, can do that strengthens the pace attack."

South Africa opener Neil McKenzie, will be playing his 50th test match.


England (from) - Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose, Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson, Monty Panesar, Steve Harmison.

South Africa (probable): Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Steve Davis (Australia).

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