Warwickshire sport director Paul Farbrace believes Dominic Sibley has all the tools to build a substantial Test career and make his maiden Test century "the first of many."
Bears opener Sibley’s brilliant unbeaten 133 against South Africa at Newlands set up England’s thrilling 189-run victory, a crucial win which levelled the series at 1-1 with two to play.
The 24-year-old’s innings was redolent of so many that he has played for Warwickshire – supplying the game-plan with exactly the required backbone. He has emphatically made the step up to Test cricket and Farbrace expects many more runs at that level to follow for the Bears vice-captain.
It’s been interesting to hear how within a few days the talk has gone from his technique being questionable to him being exactly what England’s top order needs.Paul Farbrace
“I am delighted for Dom and I have absolutely no doubt that he has the ability and temperament you need to have a long Test career,” said Farbrace. “It was a fantastic innings at Newlands and I am sure that century will be the first of many.
“After the New Zealand tour, I spoke to James Taylor and he said that everybody had been impressed with Dom – with his attitude, the way he practiced and the way he batted, scoring good runs in the warm-up games. All he needed was a score. I had no doubt it would come and now he has that first match-shaping score in Test cricket under his belt.
“One of his many strengths is that he is a level-headed guy – he doesn’t get too down when things don’t go his way and doesn’t get carried away when things go well – but he has every right to feel very proud of that innings.
“Whenever you make a step up, whether it’s academy to 2nd XI or 2nd XI to 1st XI or 1st XI to international cricket, you want to put in that first big performance. He has that now and will only take confidence that.”
Sibley’s superb innings was the catalyst for England to reassert themselves in the series – and then the icing on the cake arrived when the thrilling denouement meant that his maiden ton arrived in a victory.
“Never mind how many runs, wickets or catches you get, every cricketer is judged, first and foremost, on how many matches they help their team win,” Farbrace said. “Ben Stokes got the man-of-the-match and, of course, he is an exceptional cricketer but it was great to hear Stokesy talking up Dom’s innings after the game and saying how it set up the win.
“I thought he batted brilliantly in tricky conditions in the second innings at Centurion but just didn’t go on to make a big score. At Newlands he did exactly what he has done so often for the Bears – and it’s been interesting to hear how within a few days the talk has gone from his technique being questionable to him being exactly what England’s top order needs!”