On most occasions when South Africa renews their rival with New Zealand in the Test Series, fans across the globe are always expected to be treated with some pulsating encounters. As they are preparing to face off, it is different this time around.
Proteas opted to fly with so so-called “C team” due to the missing of experienced players for the upcoming series which resumes on Sunday 4th of February.
With players being able to pocket millions by having to spend a month or so for one tournament, then there have been some concerns about how Test Cricket has been neglected. As the oldest and longest form of Cricket, there is fear that nowadays, young players are not willing to play the Test format. They no longer have a passion for it. Either have the patient be on the ground for up to five days waiting for the results. Opting for a 20-over match that is full of entertainment all around. So, the legends of the game have been calling out for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to save the test match.
Many believe Tests play a significant role in the cricketer’s way of approaching the game. So, It teaches a player to be patient and manage to grow confidence to assist in difficult times. But there is some light in the tunnel. Last week, West Indies claimed a celebrated victory over Australia in Australia to level the series 1-1. This was the first West Indies win in Australia for the first time since 1997. West Indies legend Brian Lara shed the tears in the press box in a win spearheaded by Shamar Joseph.
Joseph was playing his first international test match having decided to commit to playing Cricket full-time last year. Before he was a security guard. Now Proteas will head to New Zealand to face them in two Test Match series which resume on the 4th of February at Bay Oval and there has been an exchange of words before it has started. After Protea’s prominent players opted to play in the ongoing second edition of the SA20 competition, many believe the squad sent by Cricket South Africa to the tour is weak. The stand-in captain Neil Brand is one of the seven uncapped players included in the team.
That alone shall tell you about the depth inside the Proteas. But after West Indies with the young, experienced team recorded a magnificent feat in Brisbane over mighty Aussies, many have a different perspective now. Maybe for the experienced players having to participate in lucrative T20 leagues is creating a platform for upcoming young guns to make a name for themselves in the long format. But New Zealand has left no room for inexperienced players. They went all out with the cream of the best for this series. Star batsman Kane Williamson will make a comeback to the national side having missed out in the recent 5 T20 series against Pakistan due to a hamstring injury. Rachin Ravindra who won the Emerging Player of the Year in the ICC Awards will be hoping to add to his three -test caps.
The 24-year-old Ravindra was one of the vital players in the Cricket World Cup in India last year. Meanwhile, Kyle Jamieson will return to the squad after nursing a back injury.
Players That Are Expected To Shine
David Bedingham (Proteas)
The 29-year-old batsman made a Proteas debut with the match against India. He nicely introduced himself snapping a half-century in a match Proteas won by an inning and 32 runs. As a player who has opted out of participating in SA20 citing his intentions of focusing more on the Test Match. Then it shall tell you how crucial he is willing to make his mark. Plus, the experience of playing in the international league as he was in England will be an advantage to him. He is expected to be a dangerous man if Proteas are willing to come close to securing a victory.
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)
Having proved as one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world last year, Rachin Ravindra has earned a call-up in the Test series to see if he can adapt. The 24-year-old has three test matches under his name since making a debut in 2021 against India. Yet to settle, he has 73 runs under his belt. A different player from what he was then, Ravindra carries total confidence in his game. He would be a man to stop.