‘Vision 2019’ exposed on all fronts as Proteas slump again

A sight the Proteas batters are getting sick of: Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal wreaking havoc. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

A sight the Proteas batters are getting sick of: Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal wreaking havoc. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

South Africa can’t win the ODI series against India anymore as it becomes abundantly clear that the 50-over side is in huge trouble.

The Proteas almost predictably lost by 124 runs to India in the third ODI at Newlands on Wednesday night and are now 3-0 down in the series.

Depressingly, the best scenario for them now is a drawn result.

Predictable also will be reservations over the new buzzword in the South African camp – Vision 2019 – and how that future looks bleak.

Granted, it has been forced to an extent on coach Ottis Gibson and his charges due to injuries.

There’s a thing that seems to be forgotten though: Vision 2019 also involves the Proteas actually winning the World Cup in England.

And that mission involves all the senior men still present.

South Africa can bemoan the two debutants, wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen and Lungi Ngidi, having less than stellar starts to international 50-over cricket.

Or a young, inexperienced captain in Aiden Markram getting his calculations wrong in the field and leaving his best bowler – Chris Morris (1/45 from 9) – one over short.

Or Khaya Zondo (17 from 38) being far too stroke-less and panicky for an international No 6.

But before one blames these men, one has to consider that the Proteas most experienced men are the ones failing the team at the moment.

JP Duminy, batting at No 3, nudged his way to 51 before missing a straight one from leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.

In a big chase of 304, he needed to bat through.

Hashim Amla has made 40 runs in three innings and scored a pitiful 1 in this match.

For years the mainstay of the Proteas’ one-day attack, veteran Imran Tahir has been found out by the Indian batsmen and can’t adapt his game-plan to bowl his leg-spinners a bit slower.

And David Miller (25), despite his vast IPL experience, crumbles when he needs to take charge.

Then there’s selection clangers like dropping your wisest quick, Morne Morkel, for Ngidi when a match needs to be won to keep things alive.

To top it all off, the spin twins of Yuzvendra Chahal (4/46) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/23) wreaked havoc again.

Local batsmen clearly have a fundamental problem playing spin of the highest quality.

Are older, even tired spinner-friendly wickets being prepared when  South Africans can’t play effectively on them?

It’s a tad sad that the Proteas failures mask the brilliance of Virat Kohli.

The Indian captain’s unbeaten 160 off 159 was more than half of his side’s total of 303/6.

Enough said.

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19 January 2019 TURFFONTEIN

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