South Africa. Australia. We really are made for each other.
Was it really a career-saving hundred? Or, is his career already over?
Well, whatever it might be, Stephen Cook can at least breath a sigh of relief that he has scored a ton in the series to outscore his opening partner Dean Elgar.
Ever since the departure of Stiaan Van Zyl, this was the only affordable opening option for the Saffers, with De Kock at seven.
Cook, apart from his hundred on his debut, had never got a score coming to Adelaide.
He scored a duck in the second innings against England and managed to score only a half-century in three innings against New Zealand.
This time Down Under, his scores were 0, 12, 23, 11 and 40 before his 104 in the final innings.
In all fairness, as it turned out, the Adelaide Test match was the resurgent ground for the perennial losers of this series.
While Australia ticked all boxes to earn a consolation win, Stephen Cook fought long and hard to outscore his technical flaws with his tenacity and character.
The series has been a nightmare for Cook but the hundred will long be cherished.
And it might as well be possible that he has managed to secure his place in the team, for the time being.
And perhaps for the last time.
The upcoming series against Sri Lanka would be make-or-break for Cook.
There are still concerns whether De Villiers can get fit within the next four weeks, before the first Test on Boxing Day. Besides, the Sri Lankans have a weak and inexperienced team.
South African selectors might as well be tempted to select the same team, which has proven success behind its back.
The expected P.E pitch at St.George’s for the Boxing Day Test would be ideal for Cook to prolong his late purple patch.
Though he is not bent on to change his technique despite its flaws, he needs substantial scores to establish his place at the top.
Dean Elgar has already established the other position, even though this series was not as fruitful for him, apart from a hundred at Perth. Quinton De Kock, in all sense, might get promoted to the opener’s slot if Cook fails to make an impact in the upcoming series.
Cook would direly hope he has one more series to prove his credentials before De Villiers makes a comeback.