Cape Town - South Africa ‘A’ captain Stephen Cook admits he will depart Australia an unhappy man after a disappointing 2-0 four-day series loss to the hosts.
The visitors were beaten heavily in the two four-day matches, first going down by 197 runs in Brisbane, followed by a 10-wicket defeat in a match that ended in Townsville on Tuesday.
What was unsatisfactory for Cook’s men was that their squad included several players with international Test experience, most of whom were part of the same squad that had beaten Zimbabwe 1-0 in a similar two-game series a few weeks earlier.
The skipper himself and Dean Elgar are the current Standard Bank Proteas openers, with the touring party also including Temba Bavuma, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Wayne Parnell, Dane Piedt, Vernon Philander and Hardus Viljoen. However, it was a condensed tour considering they arrived just a few days before the start of the first game, with eight days of cricket crammed into 11 days.
They also had to deal with the pink ball for the first time - an experience that will nonetheless assist the Proteas in their first-ever day/night Test on their tour Down Under later this year.
Still, though, there were no excuses from Cook.
“The guys didn’t bounce back the way they would have expected after the first game and it’s another poor result, if we have to be honest with ourselves,” the captain said. “I don’t think anyone is feeling good about how we played.”
Cook will now return home for the one-day leg of the tour with Heino Kuhn stepping in to take charge of a squad that is almost completely different. Vincent Barnes takes over as coach from Malibongwe Maketa.
“There’ll be quite a big change to the squad for that series,” Cook added. “The guys are looking forward to a new challenge and will hopefully put on a better show.”
The South Africa ‘A’ side, who play a National Performance Squad in Townsville on Saturday, also play India ‘A’ and Australia ‘A’ in the Quad Series, which concludes on August 31.
The South Africa ‘A’ one-day squad for the tour to Australia:
Heino Kuhn (captain), Qaasim Adams, Reeza Hendricks, Khaya Zondo, David Miller, Theunis de Bruyn, Dane Vilas, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Aaron Phangiso, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Malusi Siboto, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dane Paterson