Captain Joe Root says England’s win over South Africa in the third Test offers a blueprint for his young players moving forwards.
England secured victory by an innings and 53 runs in Port Elizabeth. They now lead the series 2-1 with one Test left to play.
They now head to the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday looking to seal the overall victory.
The visitors are made 1.80 (4/5) favourites with bet365 to do that. South Africa are available at 3.50 (5/2) to bounce back and draw level. The draw is priced up at 4.50 (7/2) with the same firm.
“This game has been a brilliant template for us moving forward,” Root told Sky Sports after the win.
“Big first-innings runs, big partnership, and driving the game from there. I couldn't be more proud of the group and for young lads to step again.
“That's four performances in this tour getting five wickets or 100 from guys under the age of 25. It's a really strong effort and a strong message to the rest of the guys to say everybody is capable of doing something special out here. That breeds confidence within the whole group.
“We have a really clear direction of how we want to take the team forward. The guys have come in and responded really well to that and now we are seeing results and that really hammers home the message.
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing, hammering home the way we are playing and not taking our foot off the gas.”
Root hails the impact of Pope
Root also took the time to praise Ollie Pope’s brilliant showing in Port Elizabeth after he made an unbeaten 135 to set up the success.
“He is a wonderful talent and has such a brilliant game on him,” added his captain.
“When you see someone with that ability, once they believe it themselves then the sky is the limit. You could see that with Ollie, you don't want him to get a position with five, six, seven 50s and thinking it's never going to come.
“For him to do it this week was a massive marker for himself and Test cricket in general. A very talented young player has shown he is ready for this and he wants to be very hungry for runs and make it count when he gets in.”