DURBAN (Reuters) – England have the makings of a strong future test team, captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday after a comprehensive 241-run win over South Africa in the first test at Kingsmead.
“The guys have over the last eight months or so taken big strides forward as a side. We didn’t quite get our rewards in the United Arab Emirates,” Cook said referring to the series defeat to Pakistan in October, “but we did today.
“Over five days we got the rub of the green and played very well. It’s a good side to captain, full of balance and guys that are happy and hungry.
“One to 17 in the squad want to push on, if you see them training, they work really hard. There will be some tough times ahead but it is very pleasing.”
They produced a strong all-round showing with some impressive batting and bowling performances to hand the top-ranked test nation a thumping on home soil.
Moeen Ali was named man-of-the-match for taking seven wickets but there were strong claims for the award from the likes of Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Joe Root and James Taylor.
“We don’t win away all that often. It’s been a while for us as a side. We got our opportunity and we took it.
“Potentially this team can do some really good things, there’s so much talent in this side and I think we are seeing a lot of younger guys coming through. There are a good 20-odd players starting to form the nucleus of the new England squad and that’s really encouraging.”
But Cook also warned: “Let’s not get too carried away. It is relentless hard work and good results over a long period of time.”
England’s second test against South Africa begins on Saturday at Newlands.
(By Mark Gleeson, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)