It was the first international series for South Africa in 8 months, we were all full of excitement and hope.
England were deserved winners, and won the T20I series 3-0. As a result of their whitewash, they are the new no.1 T20I team.
South Africa had the chance of winning both the first two T20Is against England, but an incorrect team selection in the first game and subpar batting in the second put an end to that excitement.
Inexplicably, in the first game, Beuran Hendricks was selected over Anrich Nortje, who as soon as he did play, showed exactly why he should’ve been picked.
Rassie van der Dussen admitted after the second loss that he struggled at the crease as he batted 29 balls without hitting a single boundary. To his credit, he batted with greater intent and aggression on Tuesday evening.
An injury to KG Rabada meant young and inexperienced Lutho Sipama was played in the final game, and he was targeted. Sipamla is an exciting prospect and has definite potential, this was a good learning experience for him and it will be important to see how he comes back from a disappointing game. This is where leadership becomes incredibly important, knowing you have your captain’s backing and support.
It is difficult to understand how one day the team can bowl with discipline and control, and two days later it was the complete opposite. Very seldom were two good overs strung together, they weren’t bowling in partnerships and any good side, like England, will take advantage of that, and that they did.
There was a definite lack of leadership shown on the field on Tuesday evening, which was disappointing, especially for a young and inexperienced team.
George Linde however was spectacular, with an average economy rate of 6.08 throughout the 3-match series, bettered only by England’s Adil Rashid (5.83). Linde has been a shining light for the Proteas, and sadly the only one. But, in him, South Africa have found a new and young bowling all-rounder, who deserves a proper run in the team.
For a team with quality players, it was a very disappointing series, and one South Africa have to be honest with themselves about. Better discipline, more intent and a recurring factor for the Proteas, accountability, these are basic things they need to remember.
Having not played any international cricket for 8 months, when England have been playing consistently since July and key players like Andile Phehlukwayo being unavailable, most likely due to COVID-19, have definitely contributed to their performance, but hopefully the rust they very clearly have will disappear by the time the ODI series starts on December 4th.