Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Thabang Moroe has called on fans to remain patient after the Proteas conceded the three-match series against India by tasting a mammoth defeat in the second Test in Pune.
South Africa have been in transition after the likes of Morne Morkel, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla retired from international cricket over the past year, with the side now falling to three defeats in their last four Test series.
“It was always going to be a difficult challenge taking on the top team in the world – certainly under their own conditions – in India at a time when we have introduced a new team structure,” Moroe said in a press statement released on Monday.
“In the past two years we have had to bid farewell to some of the great names of international cricket such as AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who between them played nearly 450 Test matches for the Proteas.
“You don’t replace that kind of experience overnight and we need to give a new generation time to settle.”
Their bowling has been poor while their batting has been highly inconsistent so far in the ongoing series against India. In the first Test at Visakhapatnam, experienced players such as Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar scored tons while skipper Faf du Plessis contributed with a half-century.
However, beyond these three top-order batsmen, the rest failed to apply themselves and make a meaningful contribution. Temba Bavuma has scored 64 runs in four innings, Theunis de Bruyn has managed 52 runs while opener Aiden Markram has only mustered 44 runs after bagging a pair in Pune.
Their bowlers have toiled hard but haven’t managed to make a dent in the strong Indian batting order. However, Moroe believes the team will come good soon and with quite a few young players in the domestic circuit ready to make the step up.
“These things take time and I am confident that we will already see improvement in our next Test series when England are our visitors during the festive season,” Moroe said.
“I am sure that our supporters will rally behind them on home turf. These are, in fact, exciting times for South African cricket with new names and faces coming to the fore. Our talent pipeline has produced the likes of Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Zubayr Hamza over the last few years and our development systems are clearly in good shape.
“There is a huge incentive on our young players to put pressure on the incumbents. There is nothing like good competition for places that brings out the best in all.”
CSA’s acting director of cricket, Corrie van Zyl, complimented the quality of Virat Kohli’s team and also expressed his belief in the inexperienced yet talented South African players.
“We need to appreciate the quality that is in this Indian side. This is an Indian team that has been together for some time now and is well accustomed to playing in their home conditions,” van Zyl said.
“I strongly believe we, as the Proteas, have the players to win games and the youngsters will come right. The team are constantly trying to find ways to win. It’s not like they’re not doing a great job with it. We believe in them that they’re going to make the right decisions to do the best they can do to help us win Test matches.”
The visitors go into the third and final Test at Ranchi beginning on Saturday with the hopes of averting a 0-3 whitewash at the hands of India.
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