England v South Africa 2nd Test

Cook has returned to the ranks after standing down as captain

Kuhn was 34 not out and Hashim Amla 16 not out, having become the fourth South African following Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers to score 8,000 Test runs.

Vernon Philander was 54 not out and Chris Morris 23 not out, their unbroken seventh-wicket partnership now worth 74 runs.

The gamble showed signs of paying off for South Africa as it reached 2-179 at tea against England after deciding to bat in hard conditions on the opening day of the second test on Friday.

England were unchanged from the side that marked Joe Root's first match as captain with a thumping win in which the new skipper scored 190.

Asked if it was the finest innings of his career, Pollock replied: "I think so in the circumstances - to win the Test and my brother got 10 wickets in the game and it was my mother's birthday on August 5 (the first day of the match) - so all the celebrations were in the one direction".

He had Dean Elgar brilliantly caught at backwards point by a diving Liam Dawson for six, making him the first man to take Test 300 wickets in England.

England, however, lost eight Tests past year and Root is wary of letting complacency creep in.

In truth, it could have been a far better day for South Africa had Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes not claimed two wickets apiece in the evening session.

But in the midst of the clatter of wickets, Vernon Philander dropped a routine catch at long-off when Jonny Bairstow, mistiming a drive off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, was on seven.

But the left-handed opener, England's leading Test run-scorer, is now happy to concentrate exclusively on his batting.

"It might be that the seamers play a bigger part this week, and that excites me", he said.

"As you get slightly older, you kind of appreciate everything a bit more because you know a bloke will always come and tap on your shoulder at some stage in the next few years".

The visitors will need their top four to scrupulously build an innings for them every time they come out for bat, something they failed to do last time.

"You can be more stubborn. but at the same time you've also got to be receptive to information people are giving you.

We saw some scooting low, we saw some carrying through so I don't think that's a fair reflection of how someone's bowling".

"To bowl 20 overs each in a day is a tough task and I thought they were unlucky", said Bairstow. I seem to be getting a lot of starts and not finishing the job, but that's cricket for you.

"When they threw a punch back at us we just sat back and let it happen, expecting something to change and it never did and that is where we let the game slip".

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