It is not surprising that South Africa has been able to whitewash Pakistan in a three-match Test series. With arguably the best pace bowling attack in the world and home advantage to boot, the Proteas were always going to be too strong an opponent for a Pakistan team still in the process of achieving a stable batting order.
While the eventual result gives the impression of a completely one-sided series, there were passages of play where Pakistan showed real grit and fight. As usual, it was the bowlers who kept the team in the game with their spirited performances, while the batsmen often let the side down.
With the series over and done with, let’s look at the five key takeaways from the contest that will be important for the future of these teams also.
#5 Proteas have the best pace attack
Till some time ago, the question of which team possesses the best pace attack was unresolved. Australia and South Africa seemed to be the two top contenders, while the Indian fast bowling group also staked a strong claim.
But at the end of this series, it is hard to not consider the Proteas team as being the most potent when it came to fast bowlers. The Australians don’t have much claim to the title due to their weak performance at home. And while the Indian pace attack looks better than ever, when you look at the stats and the quality of the South African quartet in this series, it is hard to argue against them.
There is Dale Steyn, an all-time legend leading the way, Kagiso Rabada, arguably the most impressive young pacer in the world, Vernon Philander, with an astonishing record to his name, and now Duanne Olivier, the latest arrival on the scene, who has picked up 24 wickets in the series.
These bowlers combine searing pace, deadly accuracy, discomfiting bounce and the ability to move the ball, both in the air and off the track, to make batting a nightmarish experience for the opposition. There is certainly no other pace battery that can match the firepower of this attack.