Kobus Pretorius reflects on the players and moments that shaped day one of the fourth Test at Centurion.
BATSMAN OF THE DAY
It has to be Stephen Cook. It’s always special to score a century on debut and with the expectations on him Cook did exceptionally well to make his mark from the start. He looked calm and assured throughout and survived a DRS referral on 98.
BOWLER OF THE DAY
No one really stood out, but Ben Stokes was relatively good and showed some fight and intensity when he bowled. Hashim Amla was dropped on five off his bowling and his figures of 1-57 in 16 overs was respectable on a good batting pitch.
SHOT OF THE DAY
There were quite a few. Cook and Amla played some exquisite shots, but JP Duminy’s cover drive to get off the mark was beautiful, especially from a left-hander.
DELIVERY OF THE DAY
Stokes’s delivery which found the edge off Amla’s bat deserved a wicket. Cook and Amla both got inside edges while AB de Villiers played a silly shot to lose his wicket.
CATCH OF THE DAY
James Taylor keeps on taking spectacular catches at short leg. This time Dean Elgar was the batsman as he mishit a Moeen Ali delivery into Taylor, who used his entire body to keep the ball from touching the ground.
OLD PROBLEMS RESURFACED
Taylor aside, England’s catching in the series has been poor. Amla was dropped on five and went on to score 109, while Stephen Cook was dropped on 47 and ended on 115. Jonny Bairstow has mixed the sublime with the ordinary behind the stumps.
STAT OF THE DAY
Stephen Cook became the sixth South African, third opener and 100th player in Test history to score a century on debut.