England should “stay ruthless” to clinch the series: Botham

Saturday, January 2, 2010

LONDON - Former England all-rounder Ian Botham has said that the Andrew Strauss- led team should “stay ruthless” and beat South Africa in the third Test to clinch the series.

England had earlier won the Durban (Kingsmead) Test by a thumping innings and 98 runs. The victory was their first in South Africa since 1964.

“The only way England can top what was a great win in Durban is to clinch the series this week - and I think they will do it. A ruthless streak is the hallmark of all the best teams and if England have designs on sitting at the top table of world cricket then this is where they need to bare their teeth,” Botham wrote in an article for The Mirror.

“It is one thing performing when your backs are to the wall, but it is quite another when you’ve got a lead and you need to push on for the kill and that is what I’m looking for this week,” he added.

Botham further said the team should not be carried away by the win and try to play like they did in the Ashes.

“The similarities between this series and the Ashes are obvious. Both times we got out of jail with a draw in the First Test and both times we followed it up with a thumping win. The victory at Lord’s and the win at Durban were two of the finest I’ve seen from an England team in recent years and they both exposed the soft underbelly of the opposition,” Botham said.

He also said that England must not be scared of being the front-runners.

“When England can get out in front and stay there then we’ll know we’ve got a team to really get excited about. They should love being the front-runners, and embrace and use it to their advantage,” Botham said. (ANI)

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