Just imagine the state of South African cricket two weeks back. It was in a mess. 2019 has been annus horribolis for Proteas on and off the field. Some big guns showed a lesser amount of commitment. Some big guns faded. While the others were struggling to get their acts together. And then there was a hierarchy which crumbled under pressure to add more fuel to the turmoil – all of a sudden, South Africa were all set to follow the path of West Indies.

Thankfully, sane brains exist in South African cricket. The heroes of the past stepped forward to fix things up – a hero never rests and when the matter is about the team, which made them demigods, then surely, it was time to pull up the socks. Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis took charge. South Africa started to find their way.

The total in first innings might not encourage many, but when the bowlers came all guns blazing to take a handy lead, hopes started to take wings. A big lead in first innings and then setting up a target of more than 350runs at a venue where the highest chase-able target in final innings is around 250, still was not safe enough. Many times in past England proved their toughness while chasing such totals. South African bowlers required intensity so that England could never settle. In the end, England failed, South Africa’s intensity won – one could be hopeful that this Proteas unit won’t follow the path of West Indies.

The victory in the first Test could be the beginning of something new in South African cricket. At times, you need just one victory to turn things around and bury the ghosts of the past. This victory might work as the tonic for this Proteas unit.

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