Stephen is in (Cook)ing form

Reversal of fortune? Stephen Cook plays a reverse sweep during SA A's four-day unofficial test against India A at Senwes Park. His performances with the bat earned him a player of the series award. Photo: Mario van de Wa
Reversal of fortune? Stephen Cook plays a reverse sweep during SA A's four-day unofficial test against India A at Senwes Park. His performances with the bat earned him a player of the series award. Photo: Mario van de Wall

If there is one obvious thing that the recent SA A four-day test series against India A brought to the spotlight, it would be the form of SA opener, Stephen Cook.
No one else batted with such composure, poise and technique in his four innings and he was by far the best batsman of the series, deservedly scooping the player of the series awards for his 320 runs at an average of 106.66 and a high score of 120.

He also carried his bat in SA A’s ill-fated second innings in Potchefstroom last week when he ground out a valiant 70* that proved he has the concentration and willpower to bat long innings. This performance has raised some eyebrows as to why he was dropped as a Proteas test opener after a poor run of form against New Zealand and Sri Lanka last year. Maybe, it is time to give him another opportunity at the top in the upcoming test series against Bangladesh at Senwes Park, the same pitch where he seems to flourish.

Aiden Markram, another challenger for the Proteas opener’s slot, on the other hand, also averaged 48.50 with the bat and the youngster will surely be one to look out for as a permanent opener in the fu- ture. For now, Cook has one last chance and, if he is picked, he must perform where he previously failed.

His test career depends on it.

Sport

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Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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