Proteas in for tough Test series


Proteas' Hashim Amla (C) and Faf du Plessis (R) reacts as wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (front L) takes a catch to dismiss Sri Lankan cricketer Kusal Perera (back L-in blue) at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 18 March 2015.

LONDON - The Proteas would find themselves locked in a battle this time next week, as they start their four-match Test series against England.

South Africa’s two previous Test assignments in the UK were highly successful, with series wins in 2008 and 2012.

But, if the Proteas’ recent performances were anything to go by, they could face an uphill battle against the Lions.

The South Africans lost both the ODI and T20 series against the hosts this year, and were also dumped out of the ICC Champions Trophy in the round robin stages.

Last year, the Proteas also lost their Test series against England on South African soil in 2016.

While their dismal performances were both in the limited overs format, momentum was always key across all forms of cricket.

Home ground advantage was firmly in favour of the the Lions.

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Some of the danger men in the English line-up were captain Joe Root and former skipper Alastair Cook, with both in top form. 

Ben Stokes was a match-winner with the both bat and ball, but so too were swing bowling pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were both capable of match-winning spells in English conditions.

If fit for the Test series, the duo, who had captured over 800 Test scalps between them, should be a handful for the South African batting order.

The Proteas’ preparations were not ideal ahead of Thursday’s first Test at Lord’s.

Together with their limited overs disappointments, the team were only scheduled to play one warm-up encounter due to their congested fixture list over their three-month tour of the UK.

That practice match against the England Lions would be a three-day encounter at Worcester.

A lot of responsibility rested on the shoulders of SA’s senior players.

It was not all doom and gloom for the Proteas batsmen however, as Hashim Amla traditionally performed well in England, while Faf du Plessis was in line to rejoin the team in time for the first Test, after the birth of his child.