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Alastair Cook vaults back into Top 10 of ICC Test Rankings

A magnificent unbeaten double-century by Alastair Cook has helped him to finish the year inside the top 10 of the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released today following the conclusion of the Melbourne and Port Elizabeth Tests.

The 33-year-old left-handed opener scored 244 in his side’s first innings score of 491, which has helped him to rise nine places to eighth position. He will now start 2018 with South Africa’s seventh-ranked Hashim Amla firmly within his sights, who is 17 points ahead of the former England captain.

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Chris Morris added to Proteas Test squad

All-rounder, Chris Morris, has been added to the Standard Bank Proteas squad for the first Sunfoil Test match against India starting at PPC Newlands on January 5th. Morris has recovered from a groin injury and replaces fast bowler, Duanne Olivier, in the 15-man squad. This selected squad is only for the first match of the 2018 Freedom Series.

The Proteas will assemble in Cape Town on January 2nd to begin preparations for the first Test of the three-match series.

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De Villiers gives pink ball experience thumbs-up

Proteas stand-in captain, AB de Villiers, has given the four-day pink ball experience the thumbs-up despite the one-sided innings and 120-run victory against Zimbabwe at St George’s Park on Tuesday. De Villiers says the novel idea brings in a fast-paced dynamic compared to the traditional five-day approach, and teams can learn to adapt to the varying conditions that affect the match throughout the day.

“I think it was quite nice,” he said of the experience. “ I found the batsmen were a little bit more positive. There were talks of declaring earlier than normal, I spoke to Gibbo (Gibson) last night and we started talking about declarations a lot earlier than normal. It encourages a lot more positive cricket, I enjoy that. I still enjoy five-day cricket but there is definitely an excitement to day-night Test cricket for four-days. It is positive, there is a lot happening, we all enjoyed it as well as the spectators.

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Markram century and Morkel's new ball burst put Proteas in charge

The twilight and night time batting conditions proved to be too much for the batsmen on both sides as 13 wickets fell – 9 of them in the final session – on the opening day of the one-off Sunfoil Test match between the Standard Bank Proteas and Zimbabwe at St. George’s Park on Wednesday.

The Proteas scored 96/2 in the first session and 155 in the second before a collapse set in that saw them finish on 309/9 before stand-in captain AB de Villiers made the obvious tactical decision to declare and by the close the visitors were on the ropes at 30/4 from 16 overs with Morne Morkel having taken 3/20 in 7 overs and Vernon Philander 1/5 in six.

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Du Plessis to miss Zimbabwe Test; De Villiers to captain

Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, has been ruled out of the day-night Sunfoil Test match against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Du Plessis developed a viral infection this week, which delayed his return to full fitness following lower back and shoulder injuries.

AB de Villiers has been appointed as the stand-in captain for the one-off match.

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