Updated: 23/07/2012 17:04 | By pa.press.net

Much to ponder for Strauss



Andrew Strauss has backed England to bounce back in the second Test

Andrew Strauss has backed England to bounce back in the second Test

Andrew Strauss has admitted England need to learn their lessons quickly after sliding to a humbling innings-and-12-runs defeat against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

England, resuming on 102 for four, were always going to be up against it and although Ian Bell dug in with a battling 55, he found scant support as Strauss's side were all out for 240. Much of the damage had been done over the last three days, with Hashim Amla striking a brilliant triple century as South Africa compiled 637 for two.

"I don't think shocked is the right word," Strauss told Sky Sports 1. "After day one, South Africa played some outstanding cricket and earned the right to get on top if and didn't allow us to get back into the game. You've got to give them a huge amount of credit for the way they played, certainly their batsmen."

He added: "The concentration they showed was outstanding, both Amla and (Jacques) Kallis - and (Graeme) Smith actually.

"We'll have some regrets. We got ourselves a nice little foundation on day one and we weren't able to go and get on our own big score, and losing four wickets last night put us under a lot of pressure today. Lot of frustration but there are lessons to be learned and we'll learn them before next week."

Strauss has backed his attack to shine in the next Test at Headingley, starting on August 2.

"I think we've got an outstanding bowling attack," he said. "I think you've got to give them credit for the way they batted but I'd still back our bowling attack to take 20 wickets on most wickets - not this one unfortunately. Those guys will be determined to show more of themselves in the next Test match and I'm sure they will do."

Amla was named man of the match after becoming the first South African to make a Test treble century with his unbeaten 311 in his side's mammoth first innings total. The 29-year-old was understandably delighted with his efforts but was keen to hail the contributions of Smith and Kallis as well praising the Proteas' bowling attack.

He said: "I'm obviously very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute and get a big score like that, but you can never do it alone and fortunately Graeme and Jacques were with me to guide me along, so it was a lovely experience for myself."

He added of veteran all-rounder Kallis: "Everybody has taken a lot from Jacques. Obviously he's a very experienced guy, so we've taken a lot from him. And credit to our bowlers in this particular match, the wicket was good to bat on and they did a fantastic job for us."

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