Deservedly the Proteas reaffirmed their position as the best test side in the world with an outstanding display in the third and final test. We all were a bit disappointed after the first innings but I always remind myself to reserve judgement until both teams have batted – and so it proved to be.
For batters, scores are made from partnerships and bowlers, like wolves, hunt in packs. This test brought these facets together for the South Africans. Add to this the discipline to execute their plans patiently, and you have a winning recipe.
The silent warrior, Amla, might have lost a few battles on the tour but have definitely won the war! Welcome back AB de Villiers! The arrogance and confidence to play three reverse sweeps to get to his hundred was just unreal. Steyn reminded the cricketing world just how good he is and Captain Smith led from the front with a solid series in terms of runs and leadership. The team effort came together beautifully and every player in that squad and coaching team can feel proud of their achievement.
The man of the series, from a South African point of view, must surely be Faf du Plessis. The very reason we lived to fight another day was due to Faf’s superb efforts in Adelaide as well as his 78 in the first innings! Robbie Peterson made a welcome return to test cricket with a brave performance which was rewarded by getting the valuable wickets of Ponting and Clarke amongst his six wicket haul for the match.
Farewell Ricky Ponting, probably South Africa’s toughest competitor ever. The entertainer scored an impressive 8 hundreds against South Africa in 24 tests.
Once again we learnt that test cricket is indeed the pinnacle. We really hope that these tours can be determined over 4 or 5 tests. For now, let’s just sit back and savour the moment. After all, we have beaten the Aussies in their own back yard for the second successive tour!
– by Paul Kruger
We put together a team of fifteen Springbok players who we think deserves the honour of selection for the sterling work they did for the country. At the end of the exercise, I sighed with relief that this was not my daytime job. It is exhausting!
In some cases, it was impossible to select just one candidate, but we persevered, despite the possible outcry from you, the experts out there.
We really look forward to hearing your views. Try, if possible, to think beyond provincial lines?
Our team, together with 8 replacements, looks as follows:
15: Andre Joubert/Percy Montgomery
14: James Small
13: Jacques Fourie
12: Jean de Villiers / Hennie Le Roux
11: Brian Habana
10: Henry Honiball
9: Fourie du Preez/Joost van der Westhuizen
8: Gary Teichmann
7: Juan Smith/Ruben Kruger
6: Schalk Burger
5: Victor Matfield
4: Mark Andrews/Bakkies Botha
3: Cobus Visagie/Jannie du Plessis
2: John Smit (Captain)/Bismarck du Plessis
1: Os du Randt/Guthro Steenkamp
Coach: Kitch Christie.
Referee: Bryce Lawrence.