So, our beloved Proteas have now lost four Tests in a row, following the 241-run bashing by England in Durban in the first of four Tests.
That’s quite interesting, given that we are ranked number one in the world when it comes to the five-day game. Embarrassing as it was to lose the last Test series 3-0 at the hands of India in the sub-continent, the extreme optimist could have easily dismissed losing by 108, 124 and 337 runs in the first, third and fourth Tests respectively (the second one was washed out and resulted in a draw), as the result of the almost unplayable pitches that were on offer.
But as it appears, it is not only the state of the wickets that led to South Africa’s downfall in India, but also the team’s general poor form. As things stand, we have bowlers who are being hit for big runs, albeit not bowling all too badly; and a few batsmen who look like they cannot buy a run. One such batsman is our Twenty20 captain, Faf du Plessis. The man is obviously out of form, so much so that he has only managed to score a total of just 60 runs in his last five innings – the highest of those being 39!
I think it’s about time that the selectors give Du Plessis a bit of a rest, and replace him with the run-scoring again Quinton de Kock. This, mind you, will most likely mean that vice-captain AB de Villiers – who’s arguably our best fielder and certainly best batsman – will give up the gloves for De Kock, and do what he does best in the field when not tasked with being behind the stumps.
Luckily, the selectors have already read my mind and have decided on adding De Kock along with his Unlimited Titans team-mate Chris Morris to the current squad, to (hopefully) bolster it. Let us hope that this brings about the much-desired results, because another series loss, this time at the hands of the ‘Three Lions’, would be embarrassing – especially on the back of the series that we just had in India.
Our number one spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings now also hangs in the balance, need I say more?
The second Test in Newlands, Cape Town begins on Saturday, 2nd of January 2016.