When Everyone Thought South Africa Is No more, It Still Is.

When Everyone Thought South Africa Is No more
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If we look into the past, a decade ago, even when South Africa had not won any major tournaments in the world, we always knew they are amongst the top contenders in any of them. Even if they didn’t win the trophy, they won against the team that ended up winning it. That was South Africa but the scenario started to change as soon as the superstars started retiring.

In that era, South Africa featured one of the most well-known players around the world, Kallis, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, The Morkel Brothers, Duminy, etc, there is a long list. When these players retired from international cricket, almost at the same time, it felt like South Africa lost its soul but probably that was just for fans.

Every team undergoes a serious change once every 5-6 years. We cannot compare the longevity of players and team dynamics to India because here we are born and brought differently, to worship the talent for the long run and we find it hard to move on. We felt the same way about South Africa, as they do not feature multiple star players in the Playing XI, but they have players who are learning and playing as a team to win matches.

We have seen their top performers like Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Ngidi, Marco Jansen, Van der Dussen, and many more like them who feature in IPL and make the most of the league. Each player after the commencement of each season shows growth and excels in their performance for their country.

India is the team that has won all frontiers across the world. They had won the Test series not just in their homeland but on all continents except Africa. In the recent tour to South Africa, even after winning back to back series, the Men in Blue could not gauge the confidence to win the series there even when experts suggested that it is their best chance to do so. Such is the level of competition laid out by the Proteas.

When they visited India for the T20 series in June, they almost won the series. They toured England and beat them at their home. They are a team that may not bang the band loud, they are swiftly making the mark internationally and moving in the right direction with a few key players.

In the T20 World Cup 2020 held in the UAE last year, South Africa nearly missed the semi-finals after placing third in group one with the same number of points but a little lower net run rate than eventual champions Australia and England. This year, they will hope to bring their A-game on and not let any past chatter affect their future opportunities.

The Proteas’ upcoming Test assignment is a three-match series against an in-form England in the UK in August and September. The team will be playing in front of home crowds at Lord’s, Old Trafford, and The Oval, one of the most critical crowds in the world and that will prepare them for their next assignment. It will be a sight to see how the team that is not taken too seriously, stands at the top of the World Test Championship Charts, making their presence count even when everyone is ignoring them. It might, as well, give a hint as to what to expect in Australia.

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