The Proteas were finally able to express themselves against West Indies, and now I can’t see any other side winning the series.
It’s taken a while for the Proteas to hit their straps, but it all came together with both bat and ball against West Indies last week. They have the best team in this series, and they should win it from here, unless they have a complete meltdown.
Their victory was just a matter of a group of world-class players finally finding their rhythm. Sometimes the less that is said from the coaching staff, the better. Let the players play and express themselves without fear.
One of the more pleasing aspects to emerge from this series is the spin options the side now have at their disposal. Wrist spinners will always be a threat in these conditions, which is why Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi have performed so well. Tahir has shown he is a world-class act, while Shamsi has made a case for himself. In Aaron Phangiso the Proteas have control, and in Tahir and Shamsi they have that attacking threat. So I suppose the question is how are they are going to utilise all three? Well, the majority of the time the Proteas will probably opt for an attacking spinner and a more controlled spinner, unless conditions and opposition suggests otherwise. It was good to see that they aren’t scared to go all-out attack, though, and use Tahir and Shamsi together.
Morne Morkel only got involved for the first time in the washed-out match against Australia on Sunday, and it was good to see a player of his experience in the lineup. There could be many reasons for Morkel not playing from the start, and I wouldn’t want to speculate, but in a team environment some things are kept quiet, and rightly so. It could be that he was carrying a niggle, or perhaps they wanted to manage him, especially with a busy summer coming up. Hopefully the match against West Indies on Friday will be a chance for him to flex his muscles.
Farhaan Behardien proved his worth at No 6 in the second ODI against Australia, but it will be interesting to see how his role is played out in the future. If he is purely a No 6 batsman, then he is competing with JP Duminy, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw and even Dean Elgar. The fact he bowls a few overs is useful, but shouldn’t be weighted in his favour when it comes to choosing the best No 6 batsman in the country. The management and selectors must then decide if he is better than those players, as well as on the domestic circuit.