Proteas on the front foot

READY FOR ACTION: Stephen Cook is one of the few members of the Proteas test squad who does not know what it feels like to take a series off Australia. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
READY FOR ACTION: Stephen Cook is one of the few members of the Proteas test squad who does not know what it feels like to take a series off Australia. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

But pink ball under lights may favour Aussies

The last time South Africa lost a test series in Australia‚ Graeme Smith was their captain and Thabo Mbeki was the country’s president. That was in January 2005‚ when South Africa drew in Perth but lost in Melbourne and Sydney.

They have since ventured down under twice‚ with Smith leading them to victory both times to mark South Africa’s only test series wins there in all 10 attempts going back to 1910.

So the class of 2016-17 would have felt the weight of history on their shoulders when they jetted out of OR Tambo International on Sunday.

Happily, seven members of the squad and one of their coaches have been there and done that‚ some of them twice.

Hashim Amla‚ JP Duminy‚ Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were part of both of those successful campaigns.

Dean Elgar‚ Faf du Plessis‚ Vernon Philander and Neil McKenzie – now South Africa’s batting coach – have one such triumph in the credibility bank.

Of the rest‚ Rilee Rossouw‚ Kyle Abbott‚ Quinton de Kock‚ Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi were among those who drilled the Aussies 5-0 in the one-day series that ended on Wednesday.

Which leaves Temba Bavuma‚ Stephen Cook‚ Dane Vilas and Keshav Maharaj as the only members of the squad who do not know what it feels like to take a series off Australia.

Only Shamsi and Maharaj are untried at test level.

“No matter what the format‚ if you are in form you feel confident and that is something that’s amazing to take over to Australia‚” Du Plessis said before the squad left.

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