Tom Curran was reluctant to accept England’s under-strength side had been shaken by their seven-wicket defeat to South Africa in the first ODI.
In their first 50-over match since winning last year’s World Cup, an England team showing a raft of changes from the one that defeated New Zealand in the Lord’s final were outclassed in Cape Town.
England are likely to keep any changes for today’s penultimate match of the series to a minimum and Curran is confident they can bounce back at Kingsmead – although the weather forecast is grim.
Curran, right, said: “We’ve lost games of cricket before and come back to win the series. I don’t think it’s a massive confidence knock, the boys are going to be training hard ready to try to level the series. I don’t think it will have affected anyone too much.
“You don’t want to lose a series at any time but, taking one game at a time, we don’t want to lose a series definitely, so we have to win and we will be looking to do that.”
England have not lost a bilateral ODI series since India prevailed 2-1 at the start of 2017 but this is a squad without the rested Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Mark Wood, and the injured Jofra Archer.
Curran, an unused squad member in England’s triumphant World Cup campaign, is one of those to have benefited from the decision to pick a largely second-string side.
But the seam bowling all-rounder insists he does not need an extra incentive to succeed. He said: “You’re always motivated. When there are guys missing, there are going to be opportunities and no doubt we’ll be looking to take those.
“I didn’t play (at the World Cup) but it hasn’t changed my mentality going into these games, it was a great experience to be a part of that and if anything, not playing is a little nudge and a little motivator to be out there at the next one.”
While Quinton De Kock’s century and an innings of 98 from Temba Bavuma condemned England to such a heavy defeat, left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers on either side with three for 38.
He was wary of writing off England, saying: “They won the World Cup so I don’t think they’re that bad! They’ve got unbelievable players in their squad.
“A lot of the chat is about them resting players, we’ve also rested players and it doesn’t really matter, ultimately it’s South Africa against England and they are the world champions. If you look at their batting line-up, it’s class.”