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  The Marcus Trescothick Column
There can be no excuses for our performance at Lordís and no doubting just how stiff the task ahead is against a revitalised South Africa.
The facts are simple. The England batsmen did not score enough runs and the bowlers did not take enough wickets and we must turn that round if we are to get anything out of the series.

We just did not perform either individually or collectively and I include myself in that because during the four days at headquarters I was just not good enough.
I know that Graeme Smith has scored a phenomenal amount of runs, Gary Kirsten has brought stability to the side and Herschel Gibbs has run into form, but we are not that bad that we should have been beaten by an innings.
That is down to each individual and we must all accept responsibility.
After back to back Tests it was nice to be able to switch off a little, but I have spent most of my time off topping up my fitness levels and getting in plenty of practice, making plenty of use of the fantastic facilities at Taunton.
Now I canít wait to get back in the middle to see if I can do my bit towards getting us back on track.
We know we havenít performed, both lacklustre and under par are accusations I cannot defend against. But just as long as the batsmen do their job and the bowlers put the ball in the right places, there is no reason why we should not prosper.
Just before I close, I would like to pay a personal tribute to Darren Gough who decided to end his Test career at Lordís. He will be missed because Goughie is a unique character who brought a buzz and a bubble to the dressing room.
It was a little bit of surprise when he decided to quit but he had said one or two little things along the way that prevented it being a complete shock. He helped me a lot and I will always remember and be grateful to him for that.
Written by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM


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