Proteas: Winning the series will take care of top rankings

Fresh from an emphatic innings and 220 runs win over a beleaguered West Indies team in Centurion on Saturday, the Proteas are not focused on the Test rankings, according to Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla.

The Proteas are in little danger of losing their number one ranking in Tests, as a series victory by any margin against the West Indies – plagued by pay disputes, player withdrawals, injuries and poor form – will maintain their position at the summit of the ratings.

Fast bowler Steyn was asked what he thought about the Proteas number one ranking being on the line in the series, and was honest in his lack of knowledge about the rankings.

“Are we not number one now?” asked Steyn.

Captain Amla elaborated on Steyn’s response.

“I think Dale’s reply of ‘are we number one?’ kind of tells you it’s not a main focus for us. We’re not sure what’s going to happen in Australia, and we’re doing what we do best.”

Hosts Australia lead India 2-0 at the halfway stage of their four-Test series. But even a series whitewash for the Aussies would not be enough to surpass the Proteas if they win their three-Test series against the West Indies.

“We’re just trying to win the series here. Everything else will take care of itself,” Amla said.

“We’ve seen a few new faces come into our team. It’s about keeping the consistency going. The new guys coming into the team need to learn what it means to play for the Proteas.” he said.

“I hope this game goes a long way in educating the guys, and for the senior guys to maintain our standards. If my premier fast bowler [Steyn] is doing his job, everything will fall into place.” the captain concluded. 

Steyn did his prescribed job for the Proteas in a dominating fashion on day four, as he took four wickets in 16 balls to end with figures of 6/34, claiming the 25th five-wicket haul of his career.

Proteas premier bowler Dale Steyn attributes his performance to luck. (Getty)

His performance followed a wicketless return from 14 overs in the West Indies first innings.

Steyn put the contrast in his results down to pure luck.

“Sometimes you go past the edge, other times you find the edge and tend to make the batsman play a bit more. They’re then a little bit more wary and uncomfortable. Once I got one I was on a roll.” he said. 

“Even Dean Elgar got a wicket [in the first innings] – I was a bit bummed about that.” Steyn said. 

The Proteas have played 19 One Day Internationals and ten Twenty20 Internationals, but have only played just seven Tests in 2014.

With the World Cup around the corner starting in February, in New Zealand and Australia, Steyn was pleased to be playing the longest format of the game again.

“One Days are just too much. There’s a massive uproar about the World Cup and I think if you focus so much on it that by the time you get there, you’re exhausted.”

“So these three Test matches are just a great opportunity to get back into the longer version. It’s good to get fit again, get over that 10-over barrier.” the bowler said.–Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday