Ben Stokes said on Monday it was “scary” to think of what England might achieve after rounding off a succesful first-season as captain with a dominant display against South Africa.
England needed just 25 minutes at the Oval to complete a nine-wicket win over the Proteas in barely more than two days’ actual playing time that secured a 2-1 series victory.
It also meant England had won six out of seven Tests under a new leadership duo of Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum – a far cry from a record of one win in 17 matches that marked the end of Joe Root’s reign as skipper.
New Zealand, the World Test champions were beaten 3-0 before England defeated India in a one-off Test, held over from last year because of coronavirus concerns in the Indian camp, prior to seeing off the Proteas.
All of those triumphs were marked by a willingness to engage in dashing run-chases, while removing as much pressure from players as possible, albeit much of England’s success, as South Africa captain Dean Elgar noted, was built on traditional fundamentals of the red-ball game.
But they all took place on home soil and Stokes is determined England should “walk towards danger”, in cricket terms, during their…