England confident ahead of fifth test against South Africa

Ruben Hill
January 24, 2020

"First and foremost we want what's best for Mo, but to have him around is a great asset".

Add the disgusting situation surrounding Ben Stokes' father being admitted to hospital to the mix, and it created an nearly impossible situation.

Since then, the victories in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth have been much more like it.

South Africa will miss Rabada dearly in the fourth Test match, starting Friday. Still, the relative strength of their opposition must be taken into account when we evaluate the progress of Root's men.

Rabada acknowledged how a string of poor performances cannot keep going on as he felt that he was letting the team down along with himself. While England's solitary innings was underpinned by centuries for Ollie Pope (his first) and Ben Stokes (who passed 4000 runs in the process).

As I wrote after that knock, Pope is very impressive.

Still positive about being able to square the series, Rabada acknowledged the tough times that he has been facing with his team and maintained how the best approach to take was a positive one.

"There are four performances on this tour obtaining five wickets or 100 of boys under 25 years".

"It's exactly what we are after in terms of our development as a team moving forward". In March 2018, he narrowly escaped a two-Test ban for nearly running into Steve Smith.

He has more variations and has improved his accuracy.

Has Bess leapfrogged his Somerset team-mate Jack Leach as England's number one spinner?

"We've got a couple of sessions coming up so Jofra will bowl then and, if he's fit, that's another great headache, isn't it?"

With Kagiso Rabada suspended for the final match of the series at The Wanderers, the 34-year-old finds himself leading one of the least experienced seam attacks in Test history.

It was South Africa's seventh defeat in their last eight Tests, the only exception being their win in the first Test against England when it seemed that radical changes in the team management, including the appointment of Mark Boucher as head coach, might have heralded a new dawn.

England are considering recalling fast bowler Jofra Archer for the final Test. In St George's, the South African bowlers failed to take the England batsmen's test, while the hosts' batting order was greatly disturbed by the bowlers of the opposing team. However, can you really drop Bess after how well he has performed in the past two matches? However, that would make the batting look a little light. They don't get told how to play.

While the protagonists of that 1980s hit show were driven by the desire to clear their names, England's youngsters, in particular, have looked hell-bent on making a name for themselves in South Africa and Silverwood is proud of the squad environment that has allowed them to play that way. At the moment, they are a ship steaming off in the wrong direction.

South Africa (from): Faf du Plessis (captain), Dean Elgar, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks.

SOUTH AFRICA paceman Kagiso Rabada has apologised after being banned for the final Test.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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