Tough lessons are being learned in India
JOHANNESBURG – Summing up the series on SuperSport yesterday, former Proteas coach Eric Simons stressed the importance, not just of taking lessons from what will be a white-wash by India, but how, South African cricket goes about taking and implementing the lessons learned from this series defeat to Virat Kohli’s team.
In Ranchi, where South Africa lost 16 wickets in 98.2 overs of play on day three of the final Test, young Zubayr Hamza, playing just his second Test, was trying to outline what learning lessons from three beatings against the world’s No 1 Test team means.
“There are always lessons to be learned,” said the 24- year-old. “I tend to look at the bright-side in most scenarios, tough though the tour has been performance-wise and results-wise, you have to take lessons, and build confidence going forward instead of dwelling on the negative.”
That’s a remarkably optimistic outlook given how this tour has unravelled.
The nature of Faf du Plessis’ dismissal in the second innings suggests a captain and player, who looks lost. Du Plessis as much as anyone else looks like he needs clarity about the future. The situation around his not captaining the T20 team and then telling an overseas media outlet that he in fact remains the T20 skipper - even though Quinton de Kock led the team against India - was handled messily.
The team selection for this Test has been poor too. What is De Kock doing opening the innings? How is that a decision with a long term outlook? There is a mess around the national team and it bears repeating; the Team Director/Head Coach is a temporary appointment, the Director of Cricket is there in an acting capacity and is also the chairman of selectors - acting in that role as well.
All these lessons need to be learned and then applied, while new people take over those crucial roles, hopefully in the next few weeks.
The circumstances in introducing Hamza to the national team environment have not been good. He played very well under the circumstances in the first innings, scoring 62 off 79s balls, hitting 10 fours and a six.
Hamza showed outstanding composure under pressure, played fluently, and generally given the circumstances surrounding the team, it was a performance that suggests he has a bright future at the highest level.
Unlike what has happened in India previously or what South Africa had anticipated for this series, it’s been India’s quick bowlers who have dominated the Proteas. In a reversal of years past, it was India’s fast bowlers intimidating South African batsmen - Anrich Nortje needed the ice-spray after being struck by a short ball and worse was Dean Elgar being hit on the head, by a nasty ball from Umesh Yadav.
That blow saw the end of Elgar’s game - he was replaced under the new ICC protocol for players who are concussed by Theunis de Bruyn.
A statement from Cricket SA yesterday, said Elgar would continue to be monitored and the earliest he could return to the playing field is next week.@shockerhess