South African captain Temba Bavuma said he was “very excited” about the depth of strength among South Africa’s bowlers after his side completed a 284-run win on the fourth day of the second Test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
But he said it was disappointing that a young side would not play another Test until they host India at the end of the year.
“Our batting remains a challenge, but when these guys (the bowlers) click, we always have chances in the game,” said Bavuma, who was named man of the match after scoring a career-best 172 in the second innings.
He said rookie Gerald Coetzee, 22, had impressed in his first two Tests. “He brings that pace and aggression that we want in our attack.”
Coetzee adds to a battery that includes Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen. Bavuma said he also regarded Lungi Ngidi highly despite Ngidi not being picked for the series.
South Africa won the series 2-0 despite Rabada and Coetzee being the only frontline bowlers to play twice.
The West Indies was bowled out for 106 on Saturday after being set to make 391 to win.
Bavuma said spin bowlers Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj had shown their quality in helpful conditions on Saturday and justified the decision to pick both at a ground which traditionally favoured fast bowlers.
The match was effectively won and lost in 8.1 overs leading up to lunch when the West Indies crashed to 34 for six.
Rabada makes inroads
Rabada struck twice in three balls and sparked the collapse after opening batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul survived the first 10 overs, putting on 21 runs.
Rabada dismissed Brathwaite for the seventh time in successive innings when he trapped the West Indian captain leg-before wicket for 18 with a ball which kept low.
Two balls later, Raymon Reifer gloved a catch down the leg side to wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen.
Harmer and Maharaj also took two wickets each as the West Indies lost six wickets for 13 runs.
Off-spinner Harmer shared the new ball with Rabada and extracted an extravagant turn. He bowled throughout the innings and finished with three for 45.
Brathwaite said at the after-match presentation that he believed the West Indies had shown some improvement since being heavily beaten in Australia in December.
“I still think we are making some good strides,” said Brathwaite. “In the first Test, we were in some good positions, and our bowlers took 40 wickets (in the series), which was a good job.”
Brathwaite said the batting had not been good enough. “When you are against the top bowlers in the world, we have to show that we are top batsmen.” He said he believed the main problem was mental, although there were technical aspects that needed work.
Bavuma said he regretted that there were no more Tests for South Africa until December. He said some multi-format players would be involved in competitive limited overs matches before then, but ways had to be found to keep the Test specialists in form.
“We want more Tests,” he said. “We are a team that is building. We will have camps where the red-ball guys get together and play a couple of games with each other.
“There is also an A team tour, I think to the West Indies, so some guys who don’t have any cricket might catch that tour.”
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