Cricket

Chaos in Proteas ranks

2010-01-26 07:31
Better days? (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg and Eduan Roos

Johannesburg – The shock resignation of Proteas coach Mickey Arthur has dumped the South African team’s preparations for the important tour of India into chaos.

GALLERY: Mickey Arthur - highs and lows

Corrie van Zyl, who is CSA’s high performance centre coach, will apparently take the team to India. It will be a tough task to gain the team’s confidence at short notice.

The first Test starts in Nagpur on February 6.

The process to look for a new coach will start when the team returns from India. It will not be easy to find a successor for Arthur.

A favourite such as Gary Kirsten still has two years left to run on his contract with India.

It is not a major surprise that Arthur has decided to pack his bags now. The Proteas’ poor performances in 2009 obviously did not help his cause.

Captain Graeme Smith and Arthur had the world at their feet at the end of 2008, but were brought down to earth with a thud in 2009.

They lost at home to Australia and lost in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 world championship.

A poor performance in the Champions Trophy tournament was followed by a defeat in the one-day series against England.

The drawn Test series against England was apparently the final straw.

It became evident in the last few weeks of the Test series against England that the once formidable partnership of Arthur and Smith was deteriorating.

It was Smith’s statements on the eve of the last Test against England that raised many eyebrows.

Arthur spoke about how the Proteas would “gamble” to win the Test.

Smith then made a point of saying at his news conference: “I don’t agree with words like ‘gamble’. You rather have to do the basic things right. A good, positive mental approach is important. We have to find a way of getting the best out of the players and help them realise their potential.”

This was apparently a swipe at team management.

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