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Graeme Smith Terms India Series As An Eye-opener For South Africa
By CricShots - Feb 9, 2018 11:06 am
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Former South African captain Graeme Smith reckons that India’s complete dominance in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa is a testimony that the young crop of the Proteas is “not quite ready” to take on the quality opposition. Team India is on the verge of registering their first-ever series win on the South African soil as they lead 3-0 in the six-match ODI series.

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Indian skipper Virat Kohli has amassed as many as 318 runs with the help of two centuries in the series and received some apt support from the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (11 wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (10 wickets) in India’s emphatic wins so far.

Also read: Smith questions Kohli's captaincy

Talking to PTI on the sidelines of St. Moritz Ice Cricket tournament, Graeme Smith said, “India team is very deservingly 3-0 up in the series. While South Africa have lost three key players (AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock) to injuries but it also showed that next generation of South African cricketers is not quite ready to take it on.”

He further added, “I think Cricket South Africa needs to think how they would want to blood and develop the youngsters in order to get them up to the level where they can perform. I am extremely disappointed with their performance but one must give credit to India as they have played outstanding cricket.”

Indian wrist-spinners wrecked havoc in South African dug-out

Smith, who played 117 Tests for South Africa, clarified the fact that the current series is already looking in India’s way and it will have a big impact on the transition phase the Proteas are going through. He said, At the moment, it looks like a big series loss for the team and it could be disappointing. Post 2019 (World Cup), I think we would lose a couple of players (like AB de Villiers) and this series in particular showed that next level of players have a lot of work to do in order to get up to the standards where they can at least be competitive.”

The most disturbing aspect for the longest-serving South African skipper has been not able to dominate Chahal-Kuldeep even once during the middle overs. He said, “They haven’t simply batted well enough. There wasn’t may be enough experience in the middle-order but still there was JP Duminy and David Miller who have played a lot of international cricket and quality spin bowling in the IPL. But these are two exciting wrist-spinners, who controlled every game. South Africa simply have not yet found out a way to progress in those middle overs and that’s why India dominated.”

Also read: India’s Wrist Spinner Duo Reveals Their Secrets

Smith was all praise for the young wrist spin duo as he felt that these two have made spin bowling interesting again, especially after the retirement of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. He said, “With no Murali or Warne now, it is great for the game that Chahal and Kuldeep have come in. There was no mystery spinner in the game as such and their current performances have lifted spirits and made it exciting.”

Graeme also opined that the current Indian team could have won the Test series also had they not made mistakes in the playing combination which didn’t have an impact player like Ajinkya Rahane. He said, “I would look at India’s team selection. Rahane should have played from start. India needed to play with an extra batter and the extra bowler they played was not required. Centurion was a very flat deck and India would be disappointed that they lost that Test series.”