South Africa were humbled in the Test series in Sri Lanka, won the ODI series and ended the tour with a loss in the one-off T20I. While they were totally outplayed in the Tests, they came back almost as strong in the 50-over tournament to win the first three games of the series rather handsomely. However, the tour ended in an anti-climatic fashion, with defeats in the two dead rubber ODIS and the one-off T20I. And yet JP Duminy believes they had a successful tour.
In the 20-over clash, South Africa were again strangulated by spin as they were shot down for just 98 – their lowest score in T20Is. South Africa did push Sri Lanka before the hosts sealed a three-wicket win. “I don’t think we’re walking away from Sri Lanka with negativity,” Duminy said after the loss. “I think there’s a lot of positives. I’ve certainly experienced many tours of the subcontinent when you walk away with your head in your hands not knowing where your next run or next wicket is going to come from. Yes there’s disappointment about the Test series, but from a one-day perspective, we’ve taken huge strides in my opinion. I’m excited by the brand of cricket we’re trying to adopt. I believe we can only get better.”
South Africa, however, will be mighty pleased with the growth Tabraiz Shamsi showed as a player during the tour. He was at the forefront of South Africa’s attack and at times overshadowed Keshav Maharaj during the Test series. Duminy was certainly left excited with what the left-arm spinner brings to the table.
“Tabraiz is an exciting prospect for South African cricket and he’s a wicket-taker,” he pointed out. “If you look at Imran Tahir who’s been a match-winner for us for many years, to have another one coming through now, it’s fantastic. Even Keshav Maharaj has been a match-winner for South Africa. That’s exciting to see for our spin department. Spin coach Claude Henderson has played a big role in that, working with the spinners. It’s exciting to see them put their hands up in these conditions.
“The opportunity to pick both (Shamsi and Tahir) of them is exciting. If you have conditions similar to Sri Lanka, or even English conditions – that’s where the World Cup is going to be – that’s a good option to have, if you know that the opposition doesn’t necessarily play spin well. It’s definitely a great feather in our cap.”
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