South Africa v England: We must take catches, says Alastair Cook

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Missed chances 'frustrating' - England captain Cook

Captain Alastair Cook said England would "work hard" on practising their catching after drawing the second Test match against South Africa.

Cook's men made 629-6 declared in their first innings, but then dropped eight chances in Cape Town and had to bat out the final day to make the game safe.

"If we'd taken those chances in the field I think we'd be talking about a different game," said Cook.

"Some were very difficult, maybe 10%. Others, we'd expect to take."

The draw means Cook's team retained a 1-0 series lead with two matches remaining.

He said: "You can't put down seven or eight chances, so we'll work hard in training after a couple of days off.

"These things happen. No-one plays a perfect game and no-one expects to drop a catch."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"South Africa were very poor in Durban. But now Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers have all scored runs and they look like they will be a bit of a handful."
Read more from Aggers

No concerns about final-day batting

The dropped chances contributed to an uncomfortable final day for England.

With South Africa able to declare on 627-7 late on day four, the tourists were required survive the final day in order to avoid an unlikely defeat.

They slipped to 116-6 midway through the afternoon session, but were taken to safety by Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali.

"It's amazing," said Cook. "That's why everyone loves Test cricket.

"Full credit to South Africa for the way they batted under pressure, but we can also take a lot from this game.

"We were the team pushing for most of the game, putting South Africa under pressure."

Stokes innings 'not a one-off'

England were propelled to their huge first-innings total by Ben Stokes' 198-ball 258, the second-fastest double century in Test history.

"It was a pleasure to watch, one of those you don't ever want to end," said Cook. "It was frighteningly good. Not many in the world have the ability to do that, so it's great that he's in our side.

"I don't think it's a one-off. I'm not saying it will happen every time he goes out to bat, but he will play innings that win matches for England."

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