Mark Nicholas

Cricket presenter for Channel Nine in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

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While Joe Root's strike bowlers were in fine fettle, Faf du Plessis had to grapple with the absence of key players

Root or du Plessis: who would you rather be?

The England captain largely has the personnel to give expression to his dynamic leadership. His South African counterpart faces trickier circumstances

James Anderson produced a three-wicket burst from the James Anderson End

England v South Africa, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day

Old Trafford swings to Jimmy's tune

It took James Anderson just three deliveries to strike from his own end on a day where the ground hung on his every move

Ben Stokes celebrates his century

England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Kia Oval, 2nd day

Stokes the fitting crown for Oval's 100th

The Oval is a ground that rarely disappoints and Ben Stokes produced an innings to rank up there with the greats

Hashim Amla played some eye-catching strokes

England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day

Amla eases through gears past to inspire South Africa

He may have failed to reach the hundred that was his for the taking but there were shades of Hashim Amla's greatness on display at Trent Bridge

Joe Root celebrates a century in his maiden Test as captain

England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, Lord's

Root lays down a marker like few others

A host of new pre-match duties; his openers dismissed early; the walk through the Long Room as England's captain; a sticky start with the bat. But, then, Joe Root commanded Lord's

Runs returned for Jos Buttler with a brisk half-century

A festival of cricket is upon us

England's meek defeat at Lord's was a departure from their recent style, but should not affect their prospects in a potentially vibrant Champions Trophy