Watching England build with composure and patience against a one-man attack yesterday was a reasonable way to spend the time. Especially if you're just starting to emerge from a hideous bout of flu which has rendered your Christmas a complete non-event.
But then, with Cook and Bell having made good runs you're left to ponder (those elsewhere who know me as a defender of Bell may be amused by this) whether you've been giving them too hard a time.
Cook yes, Bell no. Cook merely reminded one of his main quality, and that which sets him apart from almost every other young English batsman you can think of. Patience. With that, a shedload of runs under his belt in Test cricket already (and he's only just 25) and some necessary technical work under way he'll be around for a while yet. No wonder Boycott likes him.
Ian Bell was poised, stylish and engaging late in the day, all the things he tends not to be when the fur is really flying. But, while his unbeaten fifty will have reminded a few people that technique isn't really the problem, his temperament, which is, is highly unlikely to be tested again in this game.
Elsewhere the obvious was reaffirmed. Ntini is finished, but Morne Morkel has the capacity to do some serious damage worldwide over the next few years if he can continue to bowl with the persistence, pace and aggression which he showed yesterday.
Can he back it up, though? It's a problem Bell and Cook know all about.
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