The Proteas can be forgiven for not liking the cut of the boom of the Hagley Oval after their first Test humiliation against New Zealand, but they have no choice but to adapt and do better when the second Test starts at the same location in Christchurch at midnight on Thursday evening South African time.
Losing an important pitch and batting first, jet lag or the effects of 10 days of harsh isolation can all be cited as reasons or excuses for the dismal failure of the Proteas last week, but international cricket, especially these days, is all about adapting to foreigners. circumstances. South Africa must find the same resilience as at home.
“Those who adapt faster will get the upper hand,” Proteas opener Sarel Erwee said on Wednesday.
“It’s not necessarily the team that wins the toss and bowls first that will have an advantage, the statistics show there isn’t much of a difference at Hagley Oval.
“We have a lot of difficult circumstances at home and it’s about adapting to them and making peace with the circumstances. Mentally, we went through our game plans and processes.
“We have to stick to what we did well and things that didn’t work, we have to adapt to get better. We shouldn’t think too much about it, but there were some mistakes made and we have to correct them.”
But taking on the New Zealand attack, even if it will still be without Trent Boult, is a sophisticated task, not just a matter of confidence and energy.
The hosts were amazing in their discipline, control and skill in the first test.
“I always knew the intensity would be high and there would be no end to it,” Erwee said of his debut last week, “but the biggest surprise was that the intensity just never went away. It didn’t seep away, it was there every minute and every ball.”
Despite all the dropped catches and loose bowling, it’s the South African batsmen who are under the most pressure.
They have to go in and someone has to grow up. It will take a lot more discipline and patience to wait for the Black Caps bowlers to come to them.