Headingley: For the first time since they became the world's No. 1 Test team, England face a serious threat to their perch. The loss by an innings and 12 runs to South Africa at The Oval was England's fifth loss in nine Tests. But Alastair Cook, England's vice-captain, believes a turnaround is not impossible in the second Test starting August 2 at Headingley.
"It would be an amazing achievement to beat a side like South Africa and it is certainly not out of the question," said Cook to The Daily Star. "I know it's all doom and gloom now but we know how things can happen in Test cricket. We have just got to make sure we steel ourselves for fighting for those five days."
Reflecting on England's comprehensive defeat in the first Test where they could pick up only two South African wickets, at the cost of 637 runs in 189 overs, Cook conceded it was a case of the opponents being supremely motivated to beat the No. 1 team. "We gave our all and were not good enough. South Africa ground us down very well with the bat. It was an incredible batting performance that reminded me of what we did to Australia in Brisbane in 2010," said Cook.