Captain Joe Root is aiming high after England side had a Test series victory over South Africa in Johannesburg last Tuesday.
The Yorkshire batsman was satisfied with England’s recovery after losing the Boxing Day Test at Centurion Park. Victories at Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and inside four days at the Wanderers followed.
What is more important than the fact that Ben Stokes was named player of the series is that young guns Ollie Pope (22) and Dom Sibley (aged 24) both scored their maiden hundreds while Dom Bess (22) claimed a five-wicket haul and opener Zak Crawley (21) also checked out home. That is the reason why Joe Root was so ebullient about the longer term.
This was only England’s second away series success in four years, the opposite being Sri Lanka last winter. England ends this winter with a two-match series within the same destination in March.
Fast bowler Mark Wood was the standout performer in Jo’burg, where South Africa did not chase 466, falling from 181-2 to 274 all out during the fourth day. He scooped the player of the match award because of nine wickets and many 35 not out and 18 down the order.
This was new head coach Chris Silverwood’s first series victory responsible. The previous White Rose seamer tasted defeat at the primary time of asking, taking place 1-0 in New Zealand before Christmas.
Silverwood’s immediate attention switches to white-ball cricket, with England playing three one-day and as many T20 internationals between Tuesday, February 4 and Sunday, February 16. In addition, there are two warm-up matches on Friday and Saturday.
Like Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, Yorkshire’s Dawid Malan is in both squads. Root will still stay for the ODIs, although he has been overlooked of the T20 squad, which can begin preparations for the Australia T20 World Cup er.
The two Sri Lanka Tests start on Saint Joseph and March 27.