Proteas coach Shukri Conrad admits that some of the players currently on tour with him in New Zealand are not yet ready for the rigours of Test cricket.
South Africa found that out the hard way when they were beaten by 281 runs in the first five-dayer against their hosts, with no fewer than six players making their Test debuts in that match.
Ahead of next week’s second and final Test of the series, Conrad says when asked if the defeat highlighted the big gap between first-class cricket and Tests: “Yes, if I am brutally honest.”
He then says of the lessons learnt: “The relentless pressure a bowling attack puts on you – they don’t bowl better away swingers or inswingers or bouncers [in Tests], they just bowl less bad balls and similarly from a batting perspective.
“As soon as you err, whether on line or length, you get punished. Those were the harsh learnings for our guys…”
He adds of what impact the result has on his players’ mentality: “Obviously a few of them would have taken a bit of a knock in terms of the harsh realities that Test cricket brings and possibly how far away they probably still are. Many feel that they are closer to the Test side than they currently are, and then you go through a few days like you have been and that is a bit of a jolt and a wake-up call.”
DAY 4 | TEA 🍵— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) February 7, 2024
David Bedingham(84*) and Keegan Petersen(15*) have cemented themselves at the crease with stunning 💯 partnership 🏏
Beddars is a few runs away from his first Test century as a Protea 🇿![CDATA]>🇦
🇿![CDATA]>🇦 Proteas are 173/4 after 56 overs
( SA need 356 runs to win) #WozaNawe… pic.twitter.com/bCsMk6CqM1
South Africa had to pick a weakened side led by Neil Brand because their main manne are involved in the SA20 tournament back home.