“We just never got into the game” – Conrad on SA “A” tour

Shukri Conrad,  Head Coach of South Africa ‘A’

Shukri Conrad, Head Coach of South Africa ‘A’

South Africa ‘A’ need to do a lot of ‘soul searching and introspection’ after a very disappointing tour of England, coach Shukri Conrad says.

The tourists ended their month-long trip with a heavy, 257-run loss to the England Lions in their one-off, four-day game at the weekend.

The defeat in Canterbury meant they lost four out of their five completed games on the tour, including the three-match, one-day series 2-0 against their English counterparts. South Africa’s only win came against Hampshire in a four-day, warm-up up match in Southampton.

“It was a disappointing end to what has been a very disappointing tour,” Conrad said. “We just never got into the game and never ever looked as if we were going to exert any sort of pressure.

“We created the odd chance here and there, but the English boys out skilled us. They played with much better intensity than we did and we were found wanting, as has been the case for most of this tour bar one game against a second-string Hampshire side, so it was largely disappointing.”

To be fair to the South Africans however, their tour did start out negatively. Rain washed out their two 50-over warm-up games, meaning their bowlers did not have a single competitive run-out prior to the one-day series and the batsmen had been doing well before rain arrived in both games.

“There weren’t too many positives to take out, maybe one or two individuals have had their reputations and their careers enhanced, but quite a few haven’t,” Conrad explained. “So from a team perspective it hasn’t obviously gone as planned.

“There’s a lot of soul searching that needs to be done, a lot of introspection that needs to take place and obviously we need to turn things around quickly.”

South Africa ‘A’ are scheduled to face Australia ‘A’ and India ‘A’ in two home series during July and August.

“We’ve got Australia A arriving on our shores in a few weeks’ time,” Conrad adds. “And the first game against them on July 12, so we’ve got to be ready for that and whatever learnings we’ve taken out of this tour, and there have been plenty.

“We need to make sure that we obviously put that into practice.”