DURBAN - Independent Media cricket writer Lungani Zama has looked at the most important takeaways from the Proteas dominant series win over Bangladesh.
The green and gold still matters to AB de Villiers
After another extended break from the international game, the former South African captain reintroduced himself to the cricket world with a spanking 176, off just 104 balls. He then explained it felt like he was playing his first game again, such was his excitement to be back in national colours. If that is how he shows his enthusiasm, may the feeling last until August 2019.
The future is now
Though Bangladesh have hardly provided the sort of resistance that can be accurately used to gauge quality, the addition of Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder into the side was seamless. They looked like they belong, and the form part of an ever-younger look about the Proteas. Stiffer tests will come down the road, but a nod to the selectors for keeping an eye on tomorrow, today, is in order. Come what may in 2019, the core of the Proteas’ squad will be looking to the next World Cup, instead of retirement.
All-rounder vacancy has applicants
Young Mulder has joined a list of that includes, amongst others, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and the injured Vernon Philander in the all-rounder list. Not all of them can win a match with bat or ball alone, but they give options. With a specialist coach for batters, bowlers, spinners and fielding, perhaps we are not far off an all-rounder consultant in the dressing-room. Oh, add Kagiso Rabada to that list. His cameo in East London is the latest bit of evidence that the laaitie can bat. His cover drive is a lithe version of Clive Lloyd’s
Bangladesh have a following in South Africa
Who knew that the Tigers have stripes that reach to places as far flung as Potchefstroom, Paarl and East London. They have been as loud as the home fans, even when they had nothing to cheer. More is the pity that their team are such fickle travellers, because their fanatics have added considerably to a festive atmosphere, complete with loudly painted faces and a bellyful of laughs.
The revamps at grounds across the country
Much money was spent on sprucing up cricket grounds around the country, most of them for the T20 Global League. Though that project is now on ice, the grounds themselves are certainly in good nick. Charming Buffalo Park has never looked better, Paarl has added gloss in the serenity of the winelands, while Bloemfontein has space-age lights that could beam up an entire city - and probably turn the outfield into a moerse nightclub if they so desired. These are good things for the game, even if the primary intention was for something else. Roll on November 2018