South Africa: The Future of South African Cricket Could Be in a Spin

In the build-up to South Africa’s Test series against Bangladesh, former Proteas batter Ashwell Prince was asked if he saw the hosts picking more than one spinner in the two matches because it would be played at Durban and Gqeberha, two ‘low and slow’ venues.

Prince – a batting consultant with Bangladesh during their tour of New Zealand in January – answered the question with another. What would the visitors prefer, he asked, a barrage of pace and bounce or the spin they’ve been weaned on?

As it turned out, the fast stuff didn’t faze them half as much as the spin did, with South Africa’s twirlers Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer claiming a combined 29 of the 40 Bangladeshi wickets that fell, 20 of them in the fourth innings of the two matches.

Fourteen of Maharaj’s 16 wickets were seven-wicket hauls in the successive fourth innings of two Test matches, a first in Test cricket. South Africa’s use of Maharaj and Harmer as the only two bowlers in these consecutive fourth innings – which were 19 and 23.3 overs long – was not exactly common (certainly not in the country).

Captain Dean Elgar’s judicious use of the experienced left-arm…

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