PORT ELIZABETH (Reuters) – England set the template for playing test cricket by earning a high score early that allowed them to dictate the game, said captain Joe Root after taking the third test against South Africa had won in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
The Englishman Joe Root celebrates with his teammates after winning the third test REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko
England scored 499 for nine goals after winning the decisive throw in St. George’s Park before throwing out their hosts twice to record a tough innings and 53 run wins.
"I thought it was a great template for us as we progressed as a team with big first innings and we really pushed the game forward from that point on," said Root.
“It was a brilliant start from the openers and then the (203 minute) partnership between Ollie (Pope) and Ben Stokes who just continued the great form he was in at the start of the series.
“It's great to see, but seeing two other young players in this game who are really on the move and making a massive contribution is exactly what we're looking for in our development as a team right now.
"It fills the entire group with massive self-confidence."
The 22-year-old Pope was hailed as "smart" by Root, while the 22-year-old spinner Dom Bess, who won five gates in the first innings, also received praise.
“We have a clear idea of how we're trying to play the game. Everyone knows what role they play in the team, and it's about making sure you do it when you get the chance to play the game, the skipper said.
"We have played the last two games so brilliantly," he added when England finished their last test in Johannesburg, which starts on Friday, 2-1 after having also won in Cape Town.
"On this tour, we took 20 gates in each test that we had to deal with in the past, and that's a big step forward for us.
“We also managed to make big 100s with the bat. There are a number of things that we have addressed and improved upon and we are now seeing the first signs of this.
“We are by no means the finished article, but steer in the right direction.
“We have a group of players who are willing to learn and we are very clear about the direction we want to take. If it continues, we will definitely continue to achieve the results, ”he added.
Edited by Christian Radnedge