The Proteas Cricket Team
The South African cricket team has had a mixed bag of fortunes over the while. Achieving the most success recently, would be the One Day International (ODI) team. The Proteas cricket team managed a draw against England and beat Australia in the two most recent series contested. Once the pride of South African cricket, the Test team has not managed to replicate the success of the late 2000’s. Add to it administrational debacle that is currently unfolding, and we can all agree that the state of South African cricket is not too rosy.
The current situation of SA cricket
While Quinton de Kock remains captain of the T20 and ODI squads, a new Test captain needs to be named. With the appointment of South African cricket legends Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher into the Cricket South Africa (CSA) setup in late 2019, there was an air of optimism in local cricketing circles. However, the debacle that CSA currently finds itself in has muddied the waters. Corruption and poor governance at the highest levels have distracted from the actual cricket in the South African setup. Paired with substandard performances, CSA finds itself at a crossroads. At least from the outside it appears that steps have been made to remove the cancer at management level. But only time will tell if the ship has been righted. Of course, some strong performances from the Proteas cricket team would go a long way in improving the general perception of South African cricket.
With Covid-19 putting a halt to sport world over, South African cricketers have found themselves in an unfamiliar position. The lack of game time has both delayed and brought into question who will captain the Test team going forward.
Among the candidates are Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma. Both are mainstays of the Test team, and either would bring a breath of fresh air to the setup. Markram has enjoyed a more stable, and one could argue successful start to his Protea career. His brilliance with the bat has been evident on more than one occasion. Therefore, both journalists and past players alike have tipped him to become captain. Bavuma on the other hand has perhaps experienced a more inconsistent start to his international career. While his talent is undoubted, his consistency is at times questionable. On the captaincy front he has been successful at franchise level, something that Markram has not.
Both would be a good fit. Unfortunately we may have to wait until cricket resumes fully until we find out who takes over the reins.
The Proteas cricket team
Once news broke that the ICC T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup was postponed, many player had to reset their focus. Those targeting the World Cup will have to wait until 2021 for the event, which will take place in India.
The speculation around whether AB De Villiers will be available for selection will be a hot topic once again. After he retired from international cricket in 2018, there have been regular rumours around whether AB would
give his all one more time for the Proteas. Any cricket romantic would tell you that a fairy tale win at a cricket World Cup would be the perfect send-off…
The enforced rest that pandemic has brought into play gave regular players in all three formats a good chance to recharge their batteries.. Players such as Kagiso Rabada will have been silently thankful for this period. As cricket fans we can only hope that a pumped up, more focused version of himself emerges from the ashes of lock down.
Recent results and schedule
The Proteas cricket team would not be fully satisfied with the mixed results of the last three series against India, England and Australia respectively. From being the first team to hold the number one ranking in all three formats in 2012, anything but success is below par. It is these high standards that Proteas pride themselves on. They will be looking to get back to winning ways when sport resumes. When this may be remains an unknown. The scheduled tours to India and the West Indies were both postponed, along with the home series planned against Pakistan. As it stands everything is TBC, but many are quietly optimistic of return to cricket soon.
The fiasco in management, poor results and lack of game time all contribute to the Proteas finding themselves in a difficult position. The pressure to perform to expectations is high. Therefore, the team will be looking to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. Hopefully this sort of momentum, along with the refreshed management team can steer the Proteas cricket team into another era of success. South Africa is a proud cricketing nation, and many would argue that a strong performing South African team is better for the game.