South Africa- The Undisputed champions of Test cricket
South African team has been on a roll in Test cricket ever sine they have been the number 1 team.The side looks well balanced unit and can prevail in any conditions with their fast bowling quality and also batting firepower. This team can get out of any troublesome situation and can turn the tables on the opposition. The batting looks rock solid which has some great players like Hashim Amla, Ab de Villers and some exprienced players like Faf du Plesis, JP Duminy. With the retirement of Kallis and Smith the onus has fallen on Amla, De Villers.
The quality players like Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla who have played long innings and built a strong foundation for a huge score and let the bowlers put pressure on the opponents especially the sub continent players who cannot play short balls. Dale Steyn’s fat bowling, who is their number one bowler in the rankings, along with Vernon Phalinder, a swing bowler, and Morne Morkel makes The Proteas look angerous. But the main problem lies in the spin department. To get the best out of team and team spirit is best quality in this team. When South African team toured Australia in 2011 the first Test match was drawn, while in the second test match in Adelaide the team was pushed to walls but the debutant Faf du Plessis played a great innings and scored a century,saved the match and finally they played well to win the series 1-0. I am a firm believer that this team can be tested if the opponent team attacks them. The spinning department has Imran Tahir, Robin Petersen, JP duminy and they need to have a quality spinner if they have to challenge the subcontient batsman who are good players of spin bowling.
In the recently concluded Test series against the Pakistans the South African team lost the first Test by 7 wickets in four days, they were hurt and came back strongly, won the Test match by an innings and 91 runs which showed their character to come back from a defeat.
Vernon Phailander who is a medium pace bowler can swing the bowl and create a havoc, Dale Steyn who can bowl at 140kmph regualry with the pace and bounce and swing makes him a threat, and if a wicket does not fall , partnership is taking place he can take a wicket and then the other bowlers support, and clean up the tail.
The best quality is that they can adjust to any conditions and bring the best out of them when the team requires to step and perform. Hashim Amla deserves a lot of credit for having such concentration power. Beating England in England is difficult and thanks to Amla, South Africa made that great achivement. I think the pitches in South Africa are suited to them because they love bounce and pace.
The slip catching looked very good with Graeme Smith at first Slip, Jacques Kallis at second slip and the ground fielding makes them special. Not losing a series outside South Africa for 7 years is an excellent effort. In 2010 Hashim Amla played a brilliant innings at Kolkatta but was not able to save the team from losing, partnership between Kallis and Amla at Oval was special.
The challenge of this team is now that Kallis has retired which player can replace the great. I think the bowling department, especially spin department needs some attention. Since it has been on number one rankings in Test cricket the team is playing well as a unit and can be team that can retain the number one rank. They lost the number 1 ranked side for a few days but in due time they retained the number one rank .
In 2014 the South African team defeated Sri Lanka in Test series in their own den. The captaincy of Amla has been aggressive in the matches he has captained. They became dangerous when they play at home. They have good coaching staff with the likes of Allan Donlad who is the bowling coach of the team. In the first Test match against Sri Lanka in 2014 the batting looked impressive with the tailenders scoring runs. The bowlers did a fine job and won the match.
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