Time to Step Up Proteas!!

Even though Siddle & Co. huffed & puffed with all their might till the very last ball, they just couldn’t get past their opponents’ resilience & fight lead by debutant hero Faf du Plessis.

Honourable mentions should go to AB & Kallis for hanging in there with the Titans batsman & kudos to Rory & Morkel for providing much needed stubbornness in those last 10 pressurized overs. So instead of being 1-0 down in the series with the 3rd & final test match coming up, the series is still drawn meaning we can still win it but unfortunately, so can Australia.

Just like during the last day & a half in the 1st test match, this was their game to lose & I for one was a bit surprised when the ever-attacking Oz captain Michael Clarke gave us so many runs to get. Didn’t he have enough faith in his bowlers to bowl us out under say, 300 – 350 runs instead of the 430 he set for us to win? Sure there was still a lot of time left to go for a score of over 400 runs but the same could be said about getting 10 2nd innings wickets right?

Onto the 3rd one we Go!!

I’m very proud of the way our fighting spirit has come to the fore especially on Day 2 & 5 but the Proteas will know that we’ll have to improve in almost all facets of our game if we want to win this last test match. Let’s look at the bowling first:

As harsh as it may sound, the bowling has been poor when you consider the high standard these guys have set for themselves in the previous 2 or 3 test series. There has been some brilliant individual spells by some but we need that to become more frequent & for longer periods.

The biggest strength of our bowling department has been how soundly each bowler compliments the other guys & how well the back-up & 1st change bowlers followed up the usually strong opening partners’ performances. With that being said it’s obvious that we not only missed Big Vern’s wicket taking prowess but the fact that he doesn’t go for a lot of runs as well. Ryan McLaren (no slouch with bat or ball) has been called up as cover for Philander & Kallis but I hope that he won’t be needed.  Kleinveldt’s minor improvement has shown us that he can mix it up with boys on the test level & I hope we give him another shot (pending Philander’s availability). Tahir, ai tog.. Look as terrible as he’s been in the last test match, he does offer something different & gives our bowling team some variety so I’ll play him in the 3rd test. Now for the batting:

Please, please, please drop Jacques Rudolph!! You know I really hoped that he would provide at least one innings of substance, instead a rookie upstaged him (& some others) with TWO brilliant, veteran-like outings, something you’d expect from the likes of Rudolph. I hope that Kirsten doesn’t go all Heynecke Meyer on us & keep a player that’s clearly out of form. Hell, he couldn’t even repay Kirsten’s faith in him by moving him up the order to prove that he belongs in the team, that in itself should be enough to cut him from the starting 11. Dropping Rudolph also creates the perfect opportunity to bring in Thami Tsolekile which could help AB de Villiers to solely concentrate on his batting which (coz of his keeping duties or not) has also dipped in form. If that’s not the route the selectors want to go, then giving Dean Elgar a shot is also an option when you consider that like Faf, he also provides a spin option. I understand that we’ve been hit by some unlucky injuries (JP, Vern & Kallis), guys that have been heavily instrumental in our success of late & the well-balance of the team and consistency in selection certainly helped with that but some changes will have to be made whether it’s strategic or forced.

Keys to winning the series:

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