The Proteas will be looking for a quick turnaround in the fourth and final test against England. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
The Proteas will be looking for a quick turnaround in the fourth and final test against England. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

How can the Proteas fix this?

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Jan 22, 2020

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Time for change

No team ever wants to look like they’re panicking by making mass changes but South Africa can’t just sit back and watch how England walk away with the Basil D’Oliveira trophy.

There is not much between the two sides, even though the margins of defeat over the last two Test matches suggest radically otherwise. England remain a young team - they are just playing well and with confidence.

In contrast, South Africa are uncertain and hesitant.

The inclusion of some fresh blood may just provide the inspiration the rest require to lift their game.

Focused batsmen

Everyone knows this Proteas batting line-up is laden with talented strokemakers.

They just have to find a way to transfer that potential to the highest stage. Go back to what has worked for them in helping them get to the top and then stick to it wholeheartedly. There was far too many muddled brains at St George’s Park with players caught between two ways of playing.

Produce seaming wickets

South Africa have been so mindful of the Ottis Gibson-era when seaming green surfaces were mandatory that they have undertaken a full U-Turn during this series.

The pitches nullified the Proteas’ attack, which remains their strongest weapon. The Wanderers Test will also be Vernon Philander’s swansong and “The Pro” deserves to go out on a high.

It’s not going to happen if the surface resembles William Nichol Drive. Wanderers curator Evan Flint and Philander have travelled a long road together. It is only fitting they have been reunited at the very end.

Carpe diem, Faf

There is a standing joke in the confines of the Independent Media sports office that Faf du Plessis is South Africa’s Mike Brearley.

It was initially a complementary statement relating to Du Plessis’ astute leadership skills. Lately, though, much like Brearley who failed to score a century in 66 Test innings, Du Plessis has been shy of runs. He knows it, the team knows it.

The Wanderers, though, is in all likelihood Du Plessis’ final home Test. He has always prided himself to play his best cricket when under severe pressure. This week could define Du Plessis’ legacy.

4 horsemen of the Apocalypse

Keshav Maharaj was South Africa’s Man of the Match at St George’s Park. The left-arm spinner claimed a first-innings “five-for” after a marathon spell and struck a half-century at the backend of the Test.

Unfortunately Maharaj, though, can’t play at the Wanderers.

It might seem grossly unfair, but South Africa’s only chance of victory is if the surface provided offers up significant seam movement.

The selectors should then go for four-man seam attack with Beuran Hendricks coming in for the suspended Kagiso Rabada.

Equally, they will require seven specialist batsmen which leaves no place for Maharaj and allows Keegan Petersen to debut.


Cape Times

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