Getting used to the bottom
sports is that winning becomes a habit and losing is the same way. When failure starts to feel normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won’t have to go looking for trouble because trouble will find you. Count on it.”
Vices aside, it seems the Proteas are getting used to feeling what it’s like to be bottoms, and if they stick to it for long enough, even though it might be a stretch at first, it will soon start feeling normal, maybe even pleasurable. Diff’rent Stokes, diff’rent folks, I hear you saying, but I’m finding it difficult to understand how the team that ended the series with the top- scoring batsman (Hashim Amla), top wicket taker and best bowler (both Kagiso Rabada) came out second best.
A lot has been said of late about how hard it is to be on the receiving end of the toss, but surely losing it doesn’t exculpate a series loss to the benefactors of world cricket.
Call it a “rebuilding phase” or call it as it is, as Thompson certainly would have: winning the test on Tuesday felt out of the ordinary and more like a consolation than a real victory.
The truth is the Proteas’ top test ranking fell flat in the beery, sunburnt faces of the barmy army on a cloudy summer’s day in Joburg two weeks ago.
As much as we might look to a potentially bright future in the hands of Rabada, Temba Bavuma and, dare I say, Quinton De Kock, the Proteas have some way to go if they are to have a sniff at leaving a legacy.
I can’t imagine a story of the alsorans keeping my grandchildren enthralled.
But maybe I should try to avoid wallowing in the sad disappointment that is South African test cricket. Maybe it’ll be wiser to look ahead towards the upcoming one-day international series, which could prove to be intriguing – not only because it presents some hope of the Proteas winning something, but because we’ll get to see a clash of two teams very evenly matched in terms of experience, potential and eagerness to shine in an arguably more entertaining format of the game.
The home side welcome back the open-mouthed, semi-wonderboy Farhaan “Fudgie” Behardien, along with golden oldie Imran Tahir, the promising David Miller and the black sheep of the Proteas family, Rilee Rossouw.
The English also seem to have