South African cricket team head coach Ottis Gibson has the goal to take the Proteas side in the no.1 Test rank. While South Africa has achieved that top spot in the Test ranking for several times in last 10 years, it never happened during Gibson’s tenure.
While last time South Africa were on top of the Test ranking in January 2016, Gibson has taken the charge of the team from last August. Currently, South Africa is standing at the second position in the ICC Test team ranking, just behind the Indian cricket team.
Talking about his goals, Gibson stated, “The same way that players set goals, coaches also set goals. The goal for the Test team is to try to get to number one.”
While his tenure started with the easy victory against Zimbabwe in the 4-day day/night Test match at Port Elizabeth, his team clinched two big Test series victories on the home soil against India (won by 2-1) and Australia (won by 3-1) respectively.
Speaking on that, Gibson said, “To win these two series, especially this one (against Australia) with all the other noise that has been going on, is quite rewarding.”
Gibson also revealed that he has enjoyed his first six months of this new role.
He quoted on that, “I have enjoyed my first six months. It has been quite an experience, we have won eight out of 10 Test matches, and we won two big series. We played against two of the toughest teams. A four-pronged pace attack was used against India on lively pitches, while the batting had been strengthened for the Australia series.
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Speaking of that, Gibson said, “Our goal was to be the first South African team since readmission (in 1992 from apartheid-induced isolation) to win a series against Australia at home. That was our focus in every game. When we lost in Durban, we didn’t play our best cricket –- we knew there were three games left to play. In every game we got better as we went on and we have seen some fantastic performances from young players like Aiden Markram leading the batting and KG (Kagiso) Rabada leading the bowling.”
However, their performances in the limited-overs cricket were not so good in that period. In the home limited-overs series against India, South Africa lost the six-match ODI series by the 1-5 margin while they also lost the three-match T20I series by the 1-2 margin.
However, Gibson is not worried about their latest performances in the limited-overs cricket. He said, “The result of the one-day series wasn’t great but I didn’t mind it. I know that the cricket fans who come to watch want the team to win, but from my point of view I got to see a lot of players we wouldn’t have seen if there weren’t so many injuries.”