England opener Dom Sibley admitted there was a moment where he did not know how he was going to score any runs against South Africa.
The right-hander’s moment of doubt came after he was caught behind off Kagiso Rabada in the first Test after an examining opening spell, taking his tally to 42 in his first four innings at that level.
Sibley forced his way into the England side by finishing as the top scorer in the 2019 County Championship with a massive 1,324 runs.
The haven of county cricket seemed a long way off at that point, but Sibley came good and ended up finishing the series as England’s top runscorer with 384 runs, including an unbeaten 133.
“I thought, ‘If they bowl like that all series, I’m not sure I’ll get a run’,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I spoke to my opening partner Rory Burns and he said the same thing.
“He reckoned it was the best opening spell he’d faced — even better than the Ashes, when he’d faced Pat Cummins.
“At times in that series, there was Anrich Nortje at one end and Kagiso Rabada at the other, each bowling 90mph-plus.
“You don’t get exposed to that too often in county cricket. It’s about being thick-skinned.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my doubts. But I got 29 in the second innings and took confidence from how I played.
“I told myself that I’d only had three innings, which wasn’t a fair reflection.
“I spoke to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and they said I should keep doing what I’d been doing.
“For them to say that, urging me not to worry, really helped.”