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Helping out my buddy

Posted in England team blog

The fourth Test at the Wanderers is a cracking game to be involved in. We will be looking to win rather than going out there thinking we need a draw.

We can win the series 2-0 which is something we will focus on more than holding on to what we have. A Test is a long time though and there will be lots of twists before the game ends.

This match is just like the last Ashes Test at the Oval but there we had to win that game. We will be positive, just like we were then.

I have only played four Tests but they have all been good ones, especially if you are an England supporter. This one could be just the same.

The Cape Town Test was very similar to Centurion. We let ourselves down in the first innings. In Test cricket your first innings is crucial and we hope to put that right in Johannesburg.

Even though we were holding on in Cape Town we can take a lot of confidence from drawing that game. We were up against it so to bat for 140 overs was a really big thing for us.

The whole team works hard on their batting including the bowlers. It was great to see Graham [Onions] holding up an end to get us the draw.

We have a batting buddy scheme where the batsmen pair up with the bowlers and pass on advice. My buddy is Graham.

I will ask him if he wants a few throwdowns during nets or if there is anything that he wants to work on. I will then try and give him a few tips but his game is pretty solid. I haven’t had to say much to him. It was nice to see his work in the nets pay off in those drawn Tests.

Graham Onions, Graeme Swann & Morne Morkel

Graham Onions has worked hard on his batting with Jonathan Trott and it paid off in Centurion and Cape Town

We had our final training session this morning and I have just come back from the gym. I will now relax for the rest of the day, listen to some music and have something to eat. I won’t pack my kit until the morning.

I never struggle to sleep before a game. The only time I feel nervous is when I am due to go into bat.

I have enjoyed batting at number three this series. I need to be watchful against the new ball but able to adapt depending on what the team needs, like in the second innings at Centurion where I had to hold up an end. It’s been a real learning curve.

I have had a few starts in the three Tests and hopefully I can kick on at the Wanderers.

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