Proteas focused on big picture after easy series win over Bangladesh
South Africa were easily the better team in their test series against Bangladesh‚ winning by 333 runs and an innings and 254 to claim a whitewash.
But what might that mean in the greater scheme of things considering Bangladesh did not belong on the same field as their opponents‚ who outplayed them in all departments?
And in the context of the summer’s tougher challenges awaiting in the shape of tours by India and Australia?
“We had really good targets leading into this series of what we wanted to achieve as a team and we achieved those goals hands down‚ so we’ll take confidence as we move into two big series‚” Faf du Plessis said after his team wrapped up victory with more than two days to spare in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
“Bangladesh didn’t have the firepower we thought they would have in these conditions.” Four members of South Africa’s top six — Dean Elgar‚ Aiden Markram‚ Hashim Amla and Du Plessis — scored centuries over the two matches.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada made light of the injury-enforced absence from the attack of Dale Steyn‚ Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel by claiming 15 wickets at an average of 12.00.
“From this series there is nothing we could have done any better‚” Du Plessis added.
“Everyone did very well‚ everyone scored runs‚ there were big hundreds and important partnerships.
“But we understand we are team that need to get better. If we get better we will challenge that number one position again.
“We appreciate that India and Australia are going to be a lot tougher. Also we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves in thinking we are the finished article.”
If Du Plessis awakes with a headache on Monday‚ it might be because of Sunday night’s victory celebrations.
Mushfiqur Rahim‚ might also have a sore head from the fearsome blow Duanne Olivier struck him on the side of the helmet.
The Bangladesh captain deferred taking the advice of South Africa team doctor Mohammed Moosajee to go to hospital until after he was dismissed 32 balls later.
“After I got hit I felt a lot of pain‚ but I had medication and I tried to be there for my team‚” Mushfiqur said.
“I had a chat with doc and our physio in the middle‚ and I said after 10 or 15 minutes if I can’t bat then I would got off.
“I was not 100% but I was trying my level best to survive until lunch.
“After that I could assess; but before that I got out.
“Then I went to hospital‚ where the doctors did a few tests. Now I’m OK. If I feel badly later on I can go back to the hospital.”
Once that headache passes Mushfiqur might feel another coming on when he thinks about the one-day series that starts in Kimberley next Sunday.