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While the upcoming two-Test series at home will probably not be the series where the South Africa players can test themselves ahead of the series against world number one India, but the series will mark a new start for the Proteas.
The Faf du Plessis-led side will be starting a new journey against newly-appointed head coach Ottis Gibson and will be looking to get back to winning ways after the 3-1 drubbing in Tests at the hands of England a couple of months ago.
Speaking ahead of the series-opener against Mushfiqur Rahim & Co., fast bowler Kagiso Rabada insisted that the upcoming series seems like a ‘new beginning with the same people’ with the only head coach being the new addition to the familiar faces.
“Everyone has a drive to want to win,” he said on Tuesday (September 26). ” That is what we want to do, we want to play good cricket after a long break. We are going to have to get back to it quickly, that is the challenge.
“We have just gotten back together after a break and there is a new coach which is exciting. You can tell that it is a new beginning with the same team, there are only a couple of new faces. At the same time we still have our old coaching staff, only the head coach is new. It feels like a new beginning with the same people. We will be settling in and this match will help immensely,” he added.
Rabada further insisted that playing bad cricket was not the reason behind South Africa’s heavy defeat in England but being on the wrong end during crucial junctures was before stating that the team is keen to rectify those mistakes to get back to winning ways.
“We know we are a talented side and we have good skills. We want to get back on our feet. In England, I don’t think we played bad cricket, we were on the wrong end of some important moments. We have recognised that, and will be looking to pounce on them (moments) and get back to our winning ways. We certainly know how to win.”
The task, however, will not be an easy one with the Proteas suffering a crisis in the pace department. While Dale Steyn has not played for a while now, Vernon Philander has been pegged back by several injuries. However, Rabada is confident that the team can do well in the absence of the star pacers.
“Dale hasn’t been around for a while, but he has proven to be a key player. He is world-class and so is Vernon,” he said. “We do have guys who are up-and-coming, so this will be a big test to see whether we can do it without Vernon and Dale. I am quite sure that we can.”
The two-Test series will start on September 28 at Potchefstroom before the caravan moves to Bloemfontein for the second Test. The series will be followed by five ODIs and two T20Is.