How the Proteas fared Down Under
THE EIGHT ODIs South Africa played in Australasia in the last five weeks, were an important marker for the World Cup next year. Stuart Hess looks back at the five areas that AB de Villiers, pictured, wanted his side to excel in ahead of the World Cup.
There were some brilliant moments, courtesy of Faf du Plessis, but those were offset by some very poor play, too – the four dropped catches in the first match in Perth stand out. The partnership between Smith and Wade in Melbourne – especially the risky running the pair engaged in – cried out for someone to produce a sensational run out The moment arrived for Robin Peterson, he missed. Overall standards were poor, too, SA need big improvement in this area.
Needs a lot of work. Australia in the last 10 overs in the first match scored 105/3, in game three it was 88/3, including 62 off the last five overs and in the fourth match it was 86/2. It’s okay that SA want more variety at the back end of the innings, but most importantly, they need to be accurate, and they were anything but in that regard.
Understanding the dimensions of the fields are crucial, something SA didn’t do in Melbourne. Mainly, it’s the accuracy and composure that let them down.
It’s been tough, which opening is always going to be in this part of the world, at this early stage of the season and against two new balls. So, it’s no surprise the results for them have been erratic. Just one century stand and one partnership of 50. In their favour De Kock and Amla did score South Africa’s only centuries of the Australia series. Given the problems with finishing the innings on this tour, more is needed from those at the top of the order.
A huge worry and one of the many areas in which Duminy’s absence was keenly felt. Domingo said they weren’t smart enough in Melbourne, when they should have looked for more ones and twos instead of only wanting to smash boundaries.
Miller had some reasonable returns but never put himself in position to hit big shots as he has done in the IPL. Behardien’s 63, was SA’s best innings in this part of their game.
From the perspective of being able to handle the sledging, South Africa were fine, but the composure needed to be successful at the end of the innings was sadly missing.
That is a big concern, given South Africa’s history at ICC tournaments. How do they resolve it before the World Cup? They can’t. When the moment(s) arrive where they have to be cool and calm, the players need to apply themselves, and get over that historic and massive mental hump.