The Hack: Patience is a virtue when it comes to Test side

There’s something about an airport that reveals a lot about the human race.

It’s a place full of emotion where happiness, sadness and anger co-exist. But very often the anger is self-inflicted given the impatient nature of some people. Look closely the next time you’ve gone through customs and enter into that parallel universe between departures and arrivals.

It always amazes me how people rush to stand in a queue the minute boarding gates open, scared they’re going to be left behind. Why rush to the space reserved for you in the plane if that’s where you’re going to be confined to for the next few hours?

Or that the big metal sardine can, that’s how it looks to someone who has never flown business class, will leave without them?

What I’m trying to get at here is that patience really is a virtue and it’s something that’s been tested a great deal when it comes to following the exploits of the Proteas Test side.

There are a number of individuals who have played the waiting game and succeeded. Look at Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock, both batsmen striking maiden Test tons during the series against England. Both had doubts cast on their participation in the side and both proved the doubters wrong.

There is probably nobody more patient that Stephen Cook who had to wait a little more than 15 years and 166 First Class matches to make his Test debut and he duly obliged, using the opportunity to add three figures and prove the selectors wrong.

The patience of South African cricket lovers was also tested as the side succumbed to a series loss, saving their best cricket for a dead-rubber encounter, and there were aspersions cast on their ability to restore themselves to the top of the world cricket pecking order.

They have fallen from their pedestal and while some would think that they are in free-fall, the demolition at the Wanderers in the third Test was particularly hard to watch, their performance in the final Test of the series offered glimpses that all hope is not lost.

The easiest way to avoid getting agitated during this time, where transition is the buzzword and it’s bandied about by every member of the squad, stay patient. The fact that the next time the white clothes are hauled out will only be in August helps.

But then we might see a more settled side who should by now have realised that they are capable of turning things around and those members of the squad filling the gaps left by the big names of the past should start feeling like they belong.

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