It has been a doleful week for an ardent Glamorgan and England fan like myself. I know that makes me sound like an ex-player already, but I am confined to spectating duties and there has been some unpleasant viewing.

Taking Glamorgan first; I travelled down to Chelmsford on Tuesday in the hope that the team could shake off their recent string of losses and re-ignite their title ambitions. Sadly, within half an hour of the start they were extinguished. Ronnie Irani won the toss for Essex and then Nasser Hussain laid into Alex Wharf with such vigour and venom that, in my view, the contest was over.

There were, of course, the optimistic mutterings that Hussain had done something similar at Cardiff three weeks earlier and had still ended up on the losing side. But this was different, much more savage and damaging. Glamorgan also had to bat under lights too. Game over.

And so it proved. It was a night to forget for Wharf who came a distant second best in his misguided attempts to ruffle the former England captain with some verbal recommendations and even the hint of a shoulder barge at one stage. All credit to Hussain though for a masterly display of batting, cover driving and cutting with grace early on, then reverse sweeping the admirable Dean Cosker and Robert Croft to distraction later.

It is a while since a Glamorgan side has been so humiliated and Croft's face afterwards said it all. It was like thunder. What is most worrying is that Glamorgan seem to have slipped into a losing habit. They have not won a game since that victory over Essex three weeks ago. There have been some near misses in that time - notably at Worcester last weekend where a spirited second innings batting display could not atone for an ordinary first innings effort- but also a couple of comprehensive defeats, culminating in Tuesday's demise. In the words of that well worn clich, Glamorgan have not become a bad side overnight but they do need a win desperately. Things could alter dramatically if they secure that sooner rather than later. On to England. I was not surprised that they struggled at Lord's, such had been the upheaval in the previous week. But it was the magnitude of their travails that did take me aback. Lest we forget, this was the England side who were made overwhelming favourites to win this series. It was a foregone conclusion in many people's eyes. I never thought it was that clear cut because South Africa do possess a number of world class players, but I never thought either that it would be so one-sided in favour of the visitors.

And Graeme Smith has embarrassed me. I thought his quirky technique with its closed face and dominant bottom hand would hinder him in Test cricket. It does remind me of a youthful Adrian Dale, just with a little more power emanating from a physique which would not look out of place on a Springbok flanker. I should point out that despite his frequent protestations to the contrary - "I was the only one who could tackle Lyndon Mustoe (the former Pontypool, Bridgend and Cardiff prop) in school!" - Arthur's other nickname of Arnie is based on irony rather than fact. Having said that, I am mindful that I called him tough last week for his quick healing properties. Indeed, I think he is; it's just he doesn't look it, even with a boxer's scar around his eye! But while Smith has been making hay, his new opposite number, Michael Vaughan, must be wondering what on earth is happening. I think he was landed in it by Hussain last week; the timing of his resignation was poor and allowed Vaughan no time to do anything before his first Test in charge. He could not even have any say in selection. And my biggest fear is that Vaughan's form will be affected. That would be wasteful if it did happen. We have just nurtured a batsman of true world class; now we make him captain at an awkward time and suddenly he is plunged back into the sea of middle ranking players. I hope not.

As for the next Test at Trent Bridge, I would make just two changes; Graham Thorpe for Anthony McGrath and James Ormond for the retired Darren Gough. It is sad that Gough has made this decision, but it is the correct one. He has been endeavour personified in his brave comeback from chronic knee problems but is clearly a shadow of his former self at Test level. Talking of knees; how heartening to see Simon Jones back in action. And what a week for Panteg, too. I bet they haven't had so much excitement there since Ian Williams and Brian Murgatroyd were playing!