Both players enjoyed tremendous series with both bat and ball, though few would have predicted Wood’s success with bat in hand. The quick bowler ended with 95 runs at an average of 47.50, placing him joint third with Quinton de Kock in the series batting averages, with only Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley averaging more. His runs also came quickly, with his strike rate of 128 the best managed by any batsman across the series.
Ben Stokes this series:
318 runs at 45.42
10 wickets at 22.00
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 27, 2020
In his preferred discipline, Wood’s bowling average of 13.58 sees him easily top the bowling averages, nearly six runs per wicket cheaper than second-placed Stuart Broad. His 12 wickets were only bettered by Anrich Nortje (18), Broad (14) and Kagiso Rabada (14), though all three played more than Wood’s two matches.
Wood also claimed his best ever first-class bowling figures during the series, taking 9-100 in the final Test in Johannesburg. His previous best figures were 8-117, while in Tests the best he had previousy mustered was 6-93.
Stokes averaged slightly lower than Wood with the bat, but his 318 runs put him third in terms of runs scored, while only Wood, Broad and James Anderson averaged less with the ball. The all-rounder also had sticky hands through the series, taking 12 catches in all and in doing so equalling the record for outfield catches by an England player in an overseas series, and second in all series for England behind Alastair Cook’s 13 catches against India in 2018.