Bairstow out for 99 in Sth Africa 4th Test

Jonny Bairstow's 99 leads England to a first-innings total of 362 in the 4th South Africa Test

"They have given me positive feedback", said Du Plessis following the 177-run defeat in the fourth Test on Monday.

Victory would bring England a second straight series win over South Africa after winning in South Africa 18 months ago, but its first at home over the Proteas since the Michael Atherton vs. Allan Donald series of 1998.

Anderson told Sky Sports: "This series shows how far we have come as a team, over the last two years, and it shows where we can go".

Questions remain over the make-up of England's top five, with only Root and Alastair Cook assured of taking their places in the XI Down Under. "It's such a long time but we get to do something we love in front of the world", he said.

Maharaj, who took an economical two for 48 in 30.4 overs, added: "I'm pleased on a personal note but it's unfortunate we're 2-1 down in the series".

MOEEN ALI was hailed as "unbelievable" after stuffing South Africa - and emulating England legend Sir Ian Botham.

It lifts them to third in the International Cricket Council Test rankings, above Australia.

It mirrored a similar theme in the series where England consistently bounced back from challenging moments.

As things stand, Saqlain is scheduled to work with the England side during the West Indies series with Moeen hinting that a more permanent role could be agreed soon.

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Overall, du Plessis conceded that the series was lost with the bat but hopes South Africa will be able to find the personnel to bulk up their reserves and discover the team balance they need going forward.

The Test series was played in conditions that aided bowlers and both sides featured quality bowling artilleries that tested batting skills.

Moeen became the first all-rounder from any country to score 250 runs - after expanding his overnight counterattack of 67 into 75 off only 66 balls - and take 25 wickets in a four-Test series. "I don't feel I miss out - it's just spraying a bottle, not that exciting really", said Moeen, who joked he would mix up his own celebrations by drinking both Coke and Sprite.

"This series I have felt more consistent with bat and ball, especially ball".

"The kidology seems to have worked", he said. He (Ali) is definitely improving all the time.

'Saqqy has been awesome for me in terms of helping with my fields, helping me understand my bowling a lot more than I had done previously - and I think that has been the biggest difference, ' he said.

"He's definitely taken that on and put in some brilliant performances".

England have the right balance to beat Australia in this summer's Ashes series, according to South African captain Faf du Plessis. "He's a real unsafe cricketer and every captain would love to have him in their team", said du Plessis. "But I look at it as a positive that someone in the England set-up is being looked at for a higher job, you've got to look at the positives".

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