A casual fan surveying the local cricket landscape could be forgiven for thinking that the crops are healthy and the rivers full. Pakistan were steamrollered 3-0 by the Proteas in the Test series, with the ODIs and T20s running similarly in SA’s favour, though by closer margins. Sri Lanka, currently touring the country, are giving the Proteas a closer run, but there is still the sense that the visitors are outgunned. So, overall, all seems dandy with Faf du Plessis’ men ahead of their big trip to the World Cup in England this year. There is a good working relationship between Du Plessis and Ottis Gibson, the Barbados-born national coach, who has brought greater technical savvy to the Proteas’ bowling (though some argue about the consistency of SA’s top-order batting). A number of players, including Rassie van der Dussen, Andile Phehlukwayo and Duanne Olivier, have made giant strides through the summer, with Van der Dussen likely to have cemented a late place for himself in the World...

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