Cape Town - The Proteas’
emphatic 280-run win against England in the fourth Sunfoil Test match at
SuperSport Park on Tuesday is a welcome step in the right direction. The almost
flawless performance in Centurion is a positive end to a challenging season of
Test cricket, and is a promising sign of the way forward for the squad.
“It’s definitely a step in
the right direction,” captain, AB de Villiers said after the match. “We didn’t
play very good cricket at the Wanderers but I still felt that our attitude was
really good. We were there to win the Test match but we had one blow out
session. I think there is something brewing and a bit of confidence starting to
“There is some experience
coming into the side mixed with good youth and lots of talent,” he said. “There
are a lot of reasons to be positive, we are not going to get ahead of
ourselves, there is a lot of hard work to be done. There are a lot of reasons
to feel like we are moving in the right direction. We are only playing Test
cricket in six months’ time so it’s a lot of time to break things up.”
De Villiers says he
‘thoroughly enjoyed’ captaining the team in the two matches this series and is
excited about the future of the Test squad, who’s next series is only in August
against New Zealand at home.
“Tough times are part of the
game and part of an individual’s career,” he said. “It comes when a team is
going through a phase. I never felt like it was panic stations even though we
never won a match in eight or nine matches. Things came together, we applied
pressure for a bit longer, did the basics better than we have done in the last
while. Those are the kind of things I have been asking for over the last 14
days and luckily we got it right here.”
The captain struggled to find
the superlatives to describe Kagiso Rabada’s record-breaking performance, but
feels it is one of the highlights of his career to be the captain of such a
“What more is there to say
about the man sitting next to me,” he said of Rabada. “Every time I asked him
to come out and perform for us he did. He showed the maturity of a guy that has
played a 100 Test matches with the pace of a guy that has played one or two.
“It’s difficult to find the
compliments and to say the right things but he has impressed us all. He has to
be looked after really well, it’s up to us and the management to manage him
well and to make sure he is always fresh when he walks out on the cricket
field, that’s important. He is the future, he along with a few other guys.
Having guys like him coming through excites the captain and coach, I’m very
happy with what he has achieved this series.”
Rabada himself was still
basking in all of the glory of the morning’s events, and gave credit to a
team effort for his first taste of a Test win.
“It’s amazing,” Rabada said.
“It’s been a while since we have won, we have been losing a lot, but we have
stuck together as a team. AB touched on being positive in every game that we
play and I think it showed here. Everyone played magnificently well, it was a
real team effort. I’m happy that we won and that I contributed.
“The ball was coming out
really nicely,” he said of his performance. “I felt good rhythm as the match
went on, when I first started it was okay but as the match went on I felt more
rhythm and better.”
“What I focus on is doing the
basics right, if that gets me wickets its gets me wickets,” he said. “I can
only control the controllables, I don’t look at stats too much. The key is to
do it for 15 years, not one game.”