South Africa Test coach Shukri Conrad blames country's first-class system for poor Test displays

New South African senior men’s Test team coach Shukri Conrad claims that the domestic system is not helping the Test performance at all.

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South Africa Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Saatvik Oberoi
SAATVIK OBEROI

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South Africa's newly appointed senior men's Test head coach Shukri Conrad claims that the first-class system of the country is not helping the Test team at all.

The South African team in the Test format has been on the decline ever since the retirement of some of its stalwarts. The likes of Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, and Dale Steyn were the real backbone of the side back in the day. Their retirements meant that South Africa had to suffer a massive decline and they haven’t really been able to get back from it.

South Africa still have a lot of potential with youngsters like Marco Jansen, Kyle Verreynne doing well for them in the Test circuit. They recently lost a three-match Test series down under 2-0 to Australia. It was a massive blow for the Proteas considering Australia hadn’t beaten them in Australia for more than 17 years.

Conrad said that the two main elements of the Test team needed to be interrogated. “Are the players our best? If the answer is ‘yes’, how do we improve them? If the answer is ‘no’, who are the players we’ve got to pick? If it’s the latter we also need to look at the First Class system, which, let's be honest, is not very good.”

“We have to create a First Class environment that is high-pressure. How do we do that? Perhaps we create matches involving combined teams; a ‘north vs south’ type match. Whatever we do we have to ensure there is more intensity and quality in our First Class game,” he further said.

Conrad has been given the reins of the Test team after Mark Boucher's tenure as head coach ended, while Rob Walter has been entrusted with the responsibility of the white-ball formats. It is to be noted that the Proteas are set to host England for a three-match ODI series at home starting Friday, January 27 in Bloemfontein.

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