But now we’ve done. We went and beat the mighty Aussies in their own back yard, almost making a clean sweep of the series with a heart-breaking defeat in the second to last over of the final test. The true stories of courage behind this series are the discoveries of talent and guts that the Proteas showed throughout the series. JP Duminy, Morné Morkel, Dale Steyn and Paul Harris showed their worth. JP Duminy especially came into his own with a maiden test century that arguably helped clinch the second and deciding test of the series for the Proteas. And the tail-enders proved on more than one occasion, to be the thorn in the Australian’s. And they also did their job with ball in hand with excellent statistics for the series, and being able to take wickets against the Australians, speaks for itself. But apart from all that, Graeme Smith should return to South Africa as the toughest and most courageous test captain to have ever graced our shores or any other cricket pitch in the world arena. Not only has he led from the front with inspirational batting performances, but he has battled a niggling elbow injury that made mundane tasks like brushing his teeth painful, let alone batting against the top test team in the world.
He also showed real character and grit by stepping onto the field in the last session of the final test to defy expectation and medical advice, to try and help the boys elude defeat, but unluckily could not perform that task. Then again, not many people would be able to do that with two fit arms, let alone a chronic elbow injury to one arm and injured hand on the other. And the Australian crowd, after cheering his departure upon leaving the field injured in the first innings, cheered and applauded even more when he marched out of the dressing room fully kitted out as the last man in for the South African Team. Australian players reported afterwards that they thought to themselves, “Oh no Smitty, we have seen enough of him this series!” He did not take part in the T20 and ODI matches, in which South Africa also took the series win. All in all it was a pretty successful trip down under for our boys. The Aussies will be out for revenge, surely, but we at SA Promo believe that the Proteas will not step down and hopefully we can stick it to them in front of packed stadiums full of cheering Saffas. And those of us, who can’t make it to South Africa, can shout at our TV’s!