Rising to the ocassion, alone or together
There is a quality about the current South Africa team which, perhaps, can't be seen or understood by those outside it. Jacques Kallis elaborates.india Updated: Mar 14, 2011 02:02 IST
There is a quality about the current South Africa team which, perhaps, can't be seen or understood by those outside it.
It is the belief not just in ourselves as individuals but in each other.
Even in extreme and seemingly hopeless situations, we expect someone to put their hand up, take responsibility and change the situation.
The first thing we do, as individuals, is look to ourselves and ask whether we can change the game. If not, we back others.
When India reached 270-1 and, no doubt commentators were (understandably) talking about them reaching 400 (!), we never gave up hope.
Even when things seemed desperate, I had the confidence that somebody would change the course of the game. I had no doubt that we would restrict India to…maybe around 330!
To bowl them out for less than 300 exceeded my greatest hopes. It showed why Dale Steyn is the best bowler in the world and has been for a couple of years now.
What's the difference between a really good bowler and a great one? You can, eventually, subdue a really good bowler and get on top of him, especially as he gets tired. You can never do that with Dale. He's as likely to get you out with the new ball as he is with one that is 100-overs-old in his sixth spell.
It was one of those great games (for us, at least) after which every member could say they had contributed something significant to the victory. But it wasn't just the XI who could take confidence out of the game, it was the squad -coaches and management.
Judging from the amount of phone, email and text messages I received, there are quite a few thousand supporters back home who are more confident about our ability to play and win in the sub-continent now.
I felt sorry for Imran Tahir when he was left out because he was desperate to play and convinced that he was fit enough. But if he had been hit on the thumb during the game and ruled out, it isn't worth thinking about. Now, with a decent rest, he'll be fit.