CAPE TOWN – When the heat is on, what do many South African sportsmen do to relax and clear their heads? Play a round of golf, of course.
And that’s exactly what the Proteas did this week following the uproar around the David Warner-Quinton de Kock confrontation at Kingsmead on Sunday.
While some kind of line was drawn on the matter on Wednesday as both Warner (75 percent match fee and three demerit points) and De Kock (25 percent match fee and one demerit point) were sanctioned by the International Cricket Council, things are sure to heat up once more in the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
But before they got back to the cricket and training on Wednesday, the South African team headed to the St Francis Links golf course on the south coast, which is about an hour and 20 minutes’ drive away from Port Elizabeth.
“Was great to get away from all the madness, with the guys. My first time playing @StFrancisLinks golf course, outstanding. Now looking forward to Friday’s test match,” paceman Kagiso Radaba tweeted on Wednesday.
But there is a Test match to be won, starting on Friday, in order to level the series after Australia triumphed by 118 runs in Durban.
Proteas coach Ottis Gibson said that the team “back each other up” and that they are trying to focus on themselves and the cricket.
“We have to bat better. In the second innings when our best batsmen were facing him (Mitchell Starc), not to say he wasn’t a threat, but the threat wasn’t as great like when our lower-order batters were facing him. Our top-order batsmen have to bat a lot better,” he said, with South Africa having been skittled out for just 162 in the first innings at Kingsmead.
“When you look at the nature of the pitch and the Aussie line-up, you feel that you need an extra batsman. We bowled them out twice, but we weren’t able to get enough runs in the first innings.
“You can’t bat badly in your first innings against a top team like Australia and expect to win the match. We gave ourselves a good chance of winning in the end, the poor batting in the first innings cost us.”