Former all-rounder Jacques Kallis believes the underperforminng Proteas have a ready-made blueprint to work their way back to the top of the ODI rankings … simply follow England’s lead.
Four years ago, it was England who were the giants knocked off their pedestal after failing to make it into the last eight at the World Cup. Sunday’s defeat at the hands of Pakistan places South Africa directly in their shoes.
‘South Africa need to take inspiration from England as they rebuild their team for the next World Cup,’ Kallis wrote in a column for the International Cricket Council.
‘Four years ago, England were perhaps one of the lowest-ranked teams in the world after really struggling at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
‘They used the disappointment of their performances in 2015 to rebuild their team and totally change their mentality and approach to one-day cricket. England now play without fear and aren’t afraid to make mistakes.’
Kallis, however, does not believe the Proteas need a complete makeover. Instead, the squad must be open about their current shortcomings and plot a way forward especially with a number of youngsters in the core base.
‘The first thing that needs to be looked at is the brand of cricket South Africa are playing and all the players will want to be part of that conversation,’ he added.
‘South Africa have some great young players in their twenties (Kagiso Rabada, 24, Lungi Ngidi, 23, Andile Phehlukwayo, 23, and Aiden Markram, 24) and they can be the foundation for the future.
‘What those guys have been through at this World Cup will be invaluable and the process starts with them … England are proof how quickly things can change in four years, so long as you have the right approach.’
South Africa face Sri Lanka in Chester-le-Street on Friday.
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