The Proteas played against Sri Lanka in a 5 day test match which started on the 13th of February 2019. The match will be remembered as a famous victory for the Sri Lankan national team as they batted their way to victory on the 4th day with Kusal Perera battling his way to a fine score of 153 not out.
While many people are focused on the outstanding performance of the Sri Lankans I’m more worried about the performance or lack thereof, of the South Africans. now I’ve seen a lot of former players and pundits pointing fingers at Faf and saying his poor captaincy lead to the ultimate demise of the team however having watched the game I’ve drawn a different conclusion .
Yes Faf may have made a few questionable decisions but these did not lead to the defeat in fact he did tremendously well in my opinion with the side that was selected and while I know he has some say on selections I also know that he may have been out voted behind closed doors that is a fact unfortunately we shall never know. The initial selection for me should be called into question. Going in with only six batsmen to start with was a huge mistake as well as selecting the wrong spinner in the test match.
Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt should have been selected in my opinion he’s just come off the season of his life securing his career best with both bat and ball in the recent Sunfoil series which just finished thrillingly on the last day with Dane’s cobras narrowly missing out to the Highveld Lions. He took 54 wickets in 10 matches by all means a fantastic haul and his best thus far in his career. This is by no means a knock to Keshav Maharaj who has been an excellent performer in the red ball format for the Proteas in the recent past but if you compare the two players form it surely should have been Piedt who got the nod especially with Sri Lanka boasting a host of left handed batsman in their team.
Another mistake I believe the selectors made is not playing in form batsmen Zubayr Hamza . He has also been in great form this season scoring runs for fun as he has done for a number of seasons for his franchise and coming of the back of a double ton in his last game I believe he was the obvious choice.
If the proteas had gone in with those two players in the starting XI I believe the outcome of the game would have been much different however, we shall never know? I’m a firm believer in selecting players at the right time and this was it for both Dane Piedt and Zubayr Hamza. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and had they been picked they may not have performed but give them a chance to fail at least and these players with something to prove might just surprise you!