SA youngsters not ready: Smith

St Moritz: Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith feels that India’s complete dominance in the ongoing ODI series is an indicator that the next generation is “not quite ready” to take on quality opposition.

India are on the cusp of their first-ever series win on South African soil across formats as they lead 3-0 in the six-match ODI series. Skipper Virat Kohli (318 runs with two hundreds) along with wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (11 wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (10) have contributed significantly to India’s emphatic wins so far.

“The Indian team is very deservingly 3-0 up in the series. South Africa have lost three key players (AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock) to injuries, but it also showed that the youngsters and the next generation of South African cricketers are not quite ready to take it on,” Smith said on the sidelines of St Moritz Ice Cricket tournament .

“I think Cricket South Africa needs to think how they would want to blood and develop the youngsters in order to get them up to the level where they can perform. I am extremely disappointed but one must give credit to India as they have played outstanding cricket.”

Smith, who played 117 Tests for South Africa, made no bones about the fact that the current series will have a big impact on the transition phase the Proteas are going through. “At the moment, it looks like a big series loss for the team and it could be disappointing. Post 2019 (World Cup), I think we would lose a couple of players (like AB) and this series in particular showed that next level of players have a lot of work to do in order to get up to the standards where they can at least be competitive.

“I think SA cricket will have to really plan as to how they are looking to blood youngsters.”



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