|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
Catterall was a right-handed batsman, usually batting in the middle order but sometimes in the earlier part of his career used as an opener, and a right-arm medium-pace bowler often used to break troublesome partnerships, though he did not take any Test wickets until the final series that he played in.
Early domestic cricket
He made his first-class cricket debut for Transvaal in 1920–21, achieving little in two games, but the following season he played regularly and was a consistent scorer, averaging more than 42 although he passed 50 only twice and his highest score was only 75. In 1922–23, an England team, playing non-Tests as Marylebone Cricket Club and Tests as England, toured South Africa and in the first-class match with Transvaal before the Test series began Catterall, opening the batting, scored 128 in 195 minutes with 13 fours and two sixes. That innings led to his selection for the South Africa side for the first Test match against England just a week later.
Catterall opened the innings twice on his first Test appearance, the first game of the five-match series against England. In the first innings he made 39 which proved to be the top score in a poor innings of 148 all out; in the second Catterall was out for just 17, but the match was rescued by a chanceless innings of 176 by Herbie Taylor which set up a target of 387 for the England side in the fourth innings which they fell a long way short of. The second Test was a low-scoring game which was won by the narrow margin of one wicket by the England team: the only scores of more than 50 came in second-innings second-wicket partnership of 155 between Catterall and Taylor, and Catterall's 76 was the highest score of the match. By contrast, the third game of the series was a high-scoring slow-scoring draw in which a day was lost to rain: Catterall made 52 in his only innings, this time opening with Taylor and putting on 110 for the first wicket.
Between the third and fourth Tests, Catterall played in a second first-class match for Transvaal against the touring side and top-scored for his team with 68 in the first innings. With scores of 31 and 8 he was less successful in the fourth Test, and in the final game, which England won to take the series, he also performed modestly, making 17 and 22 in the two innings. In the series as a whole, Catterall had scored 272 runs at an average of 30.22 and in terms of the South African team was third in aggregate and fourth in the averages.
1924 Test series in England
Catterall played no first-class cricket between the end of the 1922–23 season and the start of the 1924 South African tour to England, for which he was selected. He had a strange tour, as Wisden Cricketers' Almanack noted: "Taking the whole tour through, Catterall had quite a modest record—1,389 runs with an average of 27," it wrote. "But inasmuch as he triumphed in the Test matches, scoring 120 at Birmingham, 120 at Lord's and 95 at the Oval, he was in a sense the outstanding figure on the side." Wisden backed this judgment by making him one of its five Cricketers of the Year in the 1925 almanack.
- "Bob Catterall". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Five Cricketers of the Year". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Part I (1925 ed.). Wisden. p. 292.
- "First-class batting and fielding in each season by Bob Catterall". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Scorecard: Transvaal v MCC". www.cricketarchive.com. 16 December 1922. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Scorecard: South Africa v England". www.cricketarchive.com. 23 December 1922. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Scorecard: South Africa v England". www.cricketarchive.com. 1 January 1923. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Scorecard: South Africa v England". www.cricketarchive.com. 18 January 1923. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Scorecard: Transvaal v MCC". www.cricketarchive.com. 3 February 1923. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Scorecard: South Africa v England". www.cricketarchive.com. 9 February 1923. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Scorecard: South Africa v England". www.cricketarchive.com. 16 February 1923. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "M. C. C. Team in South Africa". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Part II (1924 ed.). Wisden. p. 616.
- "Five Cricketers of the Year". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Part II (1925 ed.). Wisden. p. 3.