The Proteas, have started off their test series against Pakistan terribly. The Proteas were bowled out for a measly 249 runs on the opening day of the test series. As usual, Hashim Amla attempted to give South Africa a fighting chance but his 118 runs were not enough to give South Africa a defendable total.
Pakistan is known to be one of the ‘weaker’ teams in cricket, compared to the likes of India and Australia, yet the Proteas have had their hands full by the South Asian country. The poor display by the Proteas was not what you would expect from the number one ranked team in the world. The players’ inconsistent performance has been under discussion for years with little being done.
There has also been a lot of speculation over the years that selectors often listen to senior players in the team before deciding who to select. The quota system, which guarantees spots for black players, also affects the squad as some players who deserve their place have to be excluded because of this law.
A talented player who is excluded because of the quota system is Neil McKenzie. McKenzie has only played 94 innings for the Proteas and has scored 3253 runs which consists of five centuries and one double century. The Proteas have their fair share of extremely talented players such as AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, and Dale Steyn amongst others. These players will not be around forever. Kallis recently turned 38 and his age is starting to get the better of him as he tires quickly and he is off the pace while bowling.
South Africa has many talented young cricket players waiting to make a breakthrough and fight for their spot in the Proteas. But for these young talents to shine, they need to be given a fair chance.
Gary Kirsten, the Proteas coach, needs to realise that the players who are past their prime need to make room for the next generation that will continue the South African cricket legacy.