5 take-aways from the Sri Lanka vs South Africa Test series
#4. South Africa’s spin problems are real
When the South African batting crumbled in the Test series they played in India in 2015, most people blamed the pitches. This was justified as even the Indian batsmen hardly made a mark in the first three matches and South African spinners had wickets also. But this series has shown that SA have serious issues relating to playing spin that can look ominous with a tour of India scheduled in near future.
The fact that on the last two days of the series, both Theunis de Bruyn and Temba Bavuma scored good runs proved that scoring isn’t impossible on these wickets, it was the application that was missing. Faf du Plessis looked good and may consider himself unlucky to not have got a fifty but Hashim Amla, considered a good player of spin, was the most disappointing of the lot.
What spoke volumes of SA batsmen’s difficulty was the fact that they were constantly hanging on to the backfoot rather than react to the length of the ball. This is a sign of batsmen struggling against spin.
They were absolutely clueless in the first Test but in the second had a clear strategy of using the sweep shot. This did improve matters a bit and may just be the start of improvement in their spin-playing ability going forward.