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Rudolph pleased with SA build-up Published: 16 July 2012

South Africa are desperate for the first Test to start, despite a less than perfect preparation, says Jacques Rudolph.

The tourists' second and final warm-up match finished in a draw against Kent in Canterbury. After rain disrupted day two, their batsmen enjoyed some time at the crease on the third and final day, with Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Rudolph himself making half-centuries.

The match ended on a slightly negative note though, with Kent's young opening pair of Sam Northeast and Daniel Bell-Drummond, just 18, reaching 105 without loss as South Africa's four-choice attack toiled somewhat.

After losing Mark Boucher to a freak eye-injury in the first warm-up match in Taunton, and with England in sensational form in beating Australia 4-0 in their ODI series, South Africa could be forgiven for feeling underprepared for the opener at the Oval.

However, Rudolph was bullish in quashing that suggestion.

"I can promise you that all the boys just want that first Test to start now," said the 31-year-old.

"We're well aware we haven't played a lot of cricket before this series and we've accepted that. England have played a lot of cricket, we haven't but we're not going to be worried about how much cricket we've played."

Much of the pre-series talk has centered around the meeting of the two best bowling attacks in world cricket, with Dale Steyn and co. taking on England's four-man group, led by James Anderson.

Rudolph admitted the seam bowlers had been frustrated in Canterbury, but added his pleasure at the first-innings wickets of leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

"It has been a little bit disappointing for the bowlers because the wicket didn't really give them a lot of assistance, but I know specifically in the first innings they were just trying to bowl into their areas," added Rudolph, who has played county cricket for Yorkshire and Surrey.

"It was pleasing to see Imran Tahir get four wickets in the first innings because he has been working really hard on his game."


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