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Kirsten hails 'incredible year'

2012-12-05 18:00

Cape Town - What the South African cricket team has achieved over a sustainable period of time has been nothing short of remarkable, Proteas coach Gary Kirsten said on Wednesday.

"It's been an incredible year," Kirsten said after the team's return from a Test series victory over Australia.

"We set our sights on becoming the No 1 team in the world and then to hold that position."

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This year the Proteas won a home series against Sri Lanka and won away series in New Zealand, England, and more recently in Australia for a haul of four series victories.

Kirsten said the team wanted to leave a legacy and it was "a very special occasion for the Proteas and South African cricket, and should not be taken lightly".

"They’re a very mature bunch of individuals and play for each other," he said.

"They play for the (South African) badge in a way I’ve never seen before."

Captain Graeme Smith believed the test group had matured and was capable of handling whatever challenges came their way.

"There’s a maturity around the group and it goes into the preparation as well," Smith said.

"There’s a maturity in our knowledge of how to be successful, even when away from home and that has been the biggest thing."

Smith said the players had shown they had the skills to adapt to all conditions.

When injuries occurred, Kirsten said, the replacements did extremely well even though they did not have much experience at Test level.

"When Faf (Du Plessis) came in for the injured JP (Duminy) we were all surprised how well he did," Kirsten said.

"He played beyond expectations, and the same could be said of Robin Petersen, who gave us something special when he came in for Imran Tahir.

"All credit to the players who not only saved matches, but who performed in high-pressure situations. They have also get credit for the dominant way they competed right to the end."

Smith had earlier this year indicated that he was giving the matter of captaincy a great deal of thought, but he said on Wednesday it was not something he had pondered recently.

"As long as I feel that I can add value as a captain within this environment and lead the guys in the best way possible, then there is no reason for me to walk away," Smith said.

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Comments
  • zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-05 18:13

    J.P instead of Elgar in the side that won the Perth Test is our strongest team....

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-05 19:38

      Surely Phangiso should be the option bowler once a wicket dictates two spinners and two seamers. Send Tahir back to Isipingo.....He would be better at catching Shad

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-12-05 18:35

    And much of the credit goes to you, Sir. Well done. We're so glad you're on our side.

  • tuwanir - 2012-12-05 19:21

    All hail to the kings of Test Cricket, the Proteas. For the umpteenth time, Well Done. We are so proud of you.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-12-05 20:28

    'incredible year' Indeed it was Gary.Let's not forget how Kirsten has also taken an Indian team with a mediocre bowling attack right to the pinnacle of Test cricket and won a 50 over WC with them.The authoritative rise of Veron Philander,the vast improvements made in Morne Morkel,bringing the best out of a fired up Steyn,the peerless ness of Kallis,the patience and endurance a the crease of Amla,the new strength at number 7 in Faf du Plessis among others,says a lot about the sheer cricketing brilliance that is Gary Kirsten.So well done mate,hats off to you. Also people will only fully realize how good Kallis truly is once he has retired from test cricket.He is perhaps the best test cricketer ever to have played the game. 0 0 Reply to sean.bagley.50 | 0 comments (hide) | Delete

      derrick.pentz.5 - 2012-12-05 21:44

      It is truly amazing that if Kallis was any other nationality he would already have achieved legendary status but we as a nation find it very difficult to recognise true greatness- very hard to argue your viewpoint re best test cricketer ever- if he had been born in London.Sydney or Delhi that status would already be assured.,

      jacques.dekock.50 - 2012-12-05 23:04

      I must agree on all your points. Kallis definately the best I've seen in my life.

      manfred.meyer - 2012-12-06 09:24

      I believe one of the reasons he is not in that bracket yet is the Proteas constant failure to win the limited overs world cup. No doubt he is one of the best of all time, stats speak for themselves. He still has one shot at it. Hope they get it done.

  • rudzanimulaudzi.mulaudzi - 2012-12-06 06:48

    This proves that the cricket board learn a lot from the Majola scandal, what we saw in the field this season its a result of good management inside. Welldone Gary and the team lets hope Bafana Bafana will learn from the best.

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