Get­ting used to the bot­tom

CityPress - - Sport - Stu­art Long­bot­tom @Long­bot­tom_69 is an arm­chair cricket critic. He’s had his fair share of good times at 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

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