New Delhi: As tourists England defeated top-ranked Test team South Africa by a thumping 241-run margin in Kingsmead, Durban, the English team led by Alastair Cook was a proud bunch. With defining performances from their bowlers Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Moeen Ali, England looked in command in the first Test right from day one.
The Durban Test also marked a superlative year for England batsman Joe Root, who has now scored 1385 runs in 2015, only behind Australia captain Steve Smith who became a run-machine in this calendar year with 1481 runs.
Throughout the Test match, England captain has shown fine leadership skills, marshalling his troops perfectly to get the best out of his bowlers, combined with his effective field placements. Even though he failed in both innings with the bat, getting dismissed for scores of 0 and 7, Cook came within sniffing distance of breaking Indian batting great Rahul Dravid's record.
Cook has now faced 3123 balls in 2015, the third highest of all time, behind Rahul Dravid who faced 3237 balls in 2002 and former English cricketer Dennis Amiss (3126 balls in 1974).
One of the highlights for Cook this calendar year has been the double century he scored against Pakistan in October. The English captain showed phenomenal levels of concentration as he scored 263 runs off 528 balls, defying the Pakistan bowlers and eventually saving the Test match.