Why Proteas went from zeros to heroes


In fact, you can add the Proteas’ tour to India to the equation.

Coach Russell Domingo’s Test team has not been at their best - losing the series to the Poms 2-1 only after winning the dead rubber at Centurion in the final Test.

This comes after their 3-0 Test series defeat to India.

The team sorely missed their pace spearheads Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, who in tandem with Morne Morkel have had no difficulty getting the 20 wickets required to win Test matches in recent years - especially at home.

Then there is also the leadership issue. Hashim Amla stepped down after results didn’t go his team’s way and as soon as AB de Villiers took over, he too lost his form, uncharacteristically going out for three ducks in a row.

It is clear that the Test captaincy weighs heavy on any player’s shoulders and a lack of leadership was clearly highlighted in this series.

As for the turnaround in their fortunes when it came to limited-overs cricket, well, simply put, limited overs cricket requires less mental concentration - both 50 overs and 20 overs formats.

If it’s your day, it’s your day and South Africa have enough talented players in their squad to turn a limited overs game around.

With an entirely different mindset from the five-day game, and different captains, it is almost unfair to compare the fortunes of the different formats.

Such has become the game of cricket that an ODI nation might not be the best Test playing team.

South Africa in the last while has shifted from the best Test team to one that looks like they can finally break their ICC cup hoodoo.

And the true results of this will be seen when Domingo’s men travel to India for the World T20 next month.

Hot Stuff:

Hashim Amla

Amla has been reborn since giving up the Test captaincy.

The star batsman’s form was weak under the burden of responsibility.

But once he had made the decision to step away from the role of leader midway through the Newlands Test, he became SA’s top dog again with a defiant 200 in the draw. He went on to top-score in the Test series and carried that form into Centurion when he piled on 109 and 96.

The wristy ace also made an ODI hundred and his brilliant unbeaten 69 in the final T20 last Sunday shows that he is back to his best.

Kagiso Rabada

Without Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander to rely on, 20-year-old KG took up the role of attack leader.

And he has been brilliant.

His 34 wickets over the summer also saw him become the second South African to take 13 wickets in a Test match, ending the series as top wicket-taker.

In the ODI series, his nine scalps were one short of Reece Topley’s 10 - and KG played one fewer game than him.

One for the future? The future is now.

Chris Morris

Just when the Proteas needed a new allrounder, their prayers were answered in Morris.

First there was his Test 69 at Newlands that gave SA the unlikely hope of winning that match.

Then came the ODI and T20I fireworks. He bowls to his skipper’s wishes and he has the exciting batting style we haven’t seen down the order since the days of Lance Klusener.

Daily Voice

If ever there was evidence of how cricket has evolved over the past few years, it was during England’s recent tour of South Africa.

Original source: Why Proteas went from zeros to heroes