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Ken Borland

Proteas show resilience to overcome hotel room cells & 1st Test humiliation

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

From dealing with a 10-day quarantine that almost turned their hotel rooms into prison cells, to getting over a humiliating defeat in the first Test, the Proteas showed immense resilience in bouncing back to beat New Zealand by 198 runs in the second Test in Christchurch on Tuesday, allowing them to level the series and ensure the Black Caps have still never won a rubber against South Africa.

Man of the Match Kagiso Rabada, who led the way with the ball with 8/106 in the match and played a vital innings with the bat, said after the impressive triumph that resilience seems to come naturally to the Proteas team.

“It just seems to be our natural character, resilience has always been the word that just seems to fit us best,” Rabada said. “It’s never easy to beat us and we proved it again in this series.

“And to see young guys stepping up like Lutho Sipamla and Kyle Verreynne, and Sarel Erwee in his first series, there are lots of good signs for the future.

“It was no use harping on about how badly we played in the first Test, we recognised that we totally did not rock up and New Zealand were too good for us, but we had to put game-plans in place and react under pressure.

“Mentally we had to come back. We had to wake up, rock up and execute. We were under pressure, so it means a lot not to lose the Test series. We would have liked to have won, but credit to us for bouncing back,” Rabada said.

Although the 26-year-old still occasionally has moments of breast-beating emotion that pour out on the field, he is now a much more calculating, composed bowler. While there can be no doubting his passion, Rabada has developed a cool, ruthless streak.

“As a fast bowler you very seldom feel at your very best, so I just go out and try and implement the basics as well as possible and try to adapt to the conditions as best you can,” Rabada said.

“You’re always overcoming challenges and you just try and create your own luck through hard work, sticking to your process and refining it where necessary. And then you just have to allow it to happen.”

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