Kepler Wessels believes that the ODI series defeat to the Proteas is another blow to the creditability of Steven Smith’s captaincy.
Wessels, who played for both the Proteas and Australia, questions Smith’s leadership ability, and warns Australia are in danger of adopting a defeatist mentality amid their recent struggles.
‘This loss to South Africa brings into question the leadership of Steve Smith,’ Wessels wrote in his blog on the SuperSport website. ‘They lost on his watch to Sri Lanka. After that loss he was given some time off to rest before this tour and David Warner led the one day team to victory in Sri Lanka.’
Wessels says the Australian management and selectors clearly underestimated the South African side. ‘They sent a well below strength combination on this tour. They may not have expected a victory in the series but they also would not have expected their team to disintegrate totally under pressure.
‘The statement bandied about that the Aussies only worry about World Cups is both naive and a cop-out. They lost the Test series recently 3-0 in Sri Lanka and are in danger of being white-washed here as well. Getting into a losing habit is dangerous. They no longer have the superstars in their line-up to change things around at will. Clearly Smith will be feeling the heat now that he is back in charge and his team are 4-0 down in the series.
‘It will be interesting to see how the Australians deal with this setback. If the pride in performance they had in the past still exists they will try and regroup for the Test series in November by selecting their best side and coming back hard at the Proteas.’
The fifth ODI takes plays at Newlands on Wednesday.