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Stokes is hailed as England's chief inspiration

By Rory Dollard

Published 27/01/2016

Prize guy: Ben Stokes with the Man of the Series trophy
Prize guy: Ben Stokes with the Man of the Series trophy

South Africa coach Russell Domingo believes all-rounder Ben Stokes was the primary reason for England's Test series victory.

The Proteas won the final Test in Centurion by 280 runs but finished 2-1 losers overall.

That is despite having the top run-scorer (Hashim Amla), top wicket-taker (Kagiso Rabada), more hundreds and more five wicket-hauls over the four Tests.

But England won the crucial sessions and Domingo pinpointed Stokes' all-round contribution - 411 runs at 58.71 and 12 wickets at 29.16 - as the critical difference.

"England are very fortunate. They've got Ben Stokes who gets hundreds and takes five-wicket hauls" he said.

"He gives them what South Africa had a year or two ago: four frontline seamers and a spinner. Jacques Kallis used to do that for South Africa, it's a massive factor," he added.

Captain AB de Villiers also tipped England as a major force in the coming years.

"I wanted to give them a lot of credit for the way they've played," he said.

"They completely outplayed us in the first two Tests, no doubt. They're possibly the team to beat in the next year or so.

"They have a lot of experience, a lot of match winners and the future is looking bright for their side. They have a very stable captain in Alastair Cook and have a good two years to come where they will be a force to deal with."

Things are also looking brighter for South Africa, after they broke a nine-match losing streak.

That two young, talented black African players were to the fore - Kagiso Rabada with 13 wickets in the match and Temba Bavuma with 78 not out - was a reason for particular cheer in a country where the national side is still fighting hard to be representative of the whole community.

"We all know South Africa's history with the racial issues in the past, so to see two guys like Temba and KG step up is what it's all about," said De Villiers.

"For me to be captain for that, to see those two perform, it's one of the highlights of my career.

"There's something brewing, there's experience mixed with good youth and lots of talent.

"KG showed the maturity of a guy with 100 Test matches and the pace of one who's played just one or two. He is the future.

"Guys like that always excite captains and I'm happy for what he achieved."

South Africa's team doctor Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that Vernon Philander (ankle) and Dale Steyn (shoulder) would play no part in the one-day series against England.

Kyle Abbott, who hurt his hamstring at Centurion, is also out of the first ODI.

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