...for the English cricketers currently in South Africa who are already today starting a Third Test at Cape Town in which victory would assure them of taking the four-match series.

It is, of course, tempting fate to write in such terms about a side which in the past two seasons has shown an alarming tendency to oscillate between the very good and very bad from one game to another. But the determination with which the First Test was saved by a hair's breadth and the stylish and confident way in which the Second was won have in combination led to a feeling that England under Andrew Strauss' leadership have at last got the balance right. A major factor in the distinct improvement has been the role of Andy Flower who was brought in as team director one year ago and is beginning to see the fruit of the reforms he has introduced. South Africa, by contrast, are having a poor run although Sahara Park, Newlands, in the dramatic shadow of Table Mountain, is a ground on which they have always been difficult to beat.

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