Mistakes were made during the Proteas’ ODI series defeat to India.
But after losing the fifth ODI by 73 runs at St George’s Park on Tuesday, coach Ottis Gibson is just happy that they made those mistakes now instead of at the World Cup in England next year.
In his short time at the helm of South African cricket, Gibson has shown that he is a bold coach - one that’s not scared to take risks when it comes to his selection policy.
One of those risks was to appoint 23-year-old Aiden Markram as captain of the world’s best ODI team against the then-second placed Indians in only his third ODI.
The decision backfired as Markram failed to lead get the Proteas over the line.
As a batsman he also failed to lead from the front, with scores of 8, 32, 22 and 32 at the top of the order.
And Gibson admits: “I don’t know if the whole responsibility of captain has been too much for him. It’s something I will have to review for myself.
“But it seems to me that he’s trying to bat in a way that is different to the Aiden Markram that I saw in September and I’ve spoken to him about it.”
Gibson, though, is convinced Markram still has a role to play as a leader in the future.
He adds: “It [Markram’s captaincy] wasn’t a decision for now. It was a decision for the future.
“Aiden’s shown all the hallmarks of somebody that is going to be a good leader and we felt with Faf [du Plessis] out we could give him that opportunity I think it was the right decision.”
Of the series result, Gibson adds: “We got a good hiding from India, but it’s also given us some food for thought going forward.
“I’m very disappointed in the way we played. [But] I’m very certain we’ll be stronger for having this experience now.”
The Proteas have the chance to save some face in the sixth and final ODI at Centurion tomorrow, after India clinched the series 4-1.