Michael Atherton’s unbeaten 185 against South Africa at the at The Wanderers lasted for 492 balls

Alastair Cook must emulate a legendary innings by Michael Atherton if England are to save the second Test against South Africa, says Michael Vaughan.

England were set 474 to win at Trent Bridge with two days of the match left.

Atherton batted 10 hours 43 minutes for 185 not out to earn England a draw in South Africa 22 years ago.

“England need Alastair Cook to play one of the great innings like Atherton did in Johannesburg in 1995,” said former England captain Vaughan.

“We just want to see some application for England’s players to the situation now. They need to show some fight.”

Cook and fellow opener Keaton Jennings will resume after they negotiated a tricky four overs before the close on the third day.

Former skipper Cook was given out lbw first ball, but successfully overturned the decision on review to see the home side close on 1-0.

Vaughan believes England, who are 1-0 up in the series after a comfortable win at Lord’s, should put any thoughts of a record Test victory to the back of their minds on Monday.

“You don’t mention winning on day four. If Joe Root is honest he will want his team batting on Monday night,” Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

“He will be saying let’s not fold. Show personal pride, show how good you are as a player. If you take it to the last day maybe then you can talk about drawing, maybe winning.”

Listen: Why are left-handed batsmen so successful? – TMS special podcast

‘We have opened up a few cracks’ – Elgar

South Africa batsman Dean Elgar believes his side hold a psychological advantage over England heading into the fourth day and will seek to exploit it.

England were bowled out for 205 in reply to South Africa’s first innings total of 335 before they watched the tourists declare on 343-9.

“They rely heavily on their experienced batters to score the runs. We got a few guys out cheaply in the first innings, which worked brilliantly for us because those lower and middle order guys couldn’t do that,” Elgar said.

“I definitely think we have opened up a few cracks in their side, which will be brilliant for us in the rest of the series.”

Cook correctly reviews lbw out decision first ball

‘There are no cracks’ – Moeen

England all-rounder Moeen Ali dismissed Elgar’s comments and believes his team-mates simply batted poorly the first time round.

“I don’t think any cracks opened up. He can say what he wants,” Moeen said.

“We have to bat for two days,” he told TMS. “You can’t rule it out at all with our batting line-up and the players that we have. We bat a long way down.

“I wouldn’t put it past us. We’ve got players who actually believe we can do that.

“There’s quite a lot of us who gave our wickets away, so we’re itching to get a big score on the board.”


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