Gary Kirsten's 'fair old scolding rocket fired' Proteas in Perth Test
Coach Gary Kirsten's fair old scolding following an inconsistent display on day one of the Perth Test against Australia motivated the South African to produce a brilliant fight back on day two, according to sports writer Rob Houwing.
"The Proteas picked up their Australian foes and shook them about with bullying zeal on a dramatic, probably series-swaying day two of the final Test at WACA on Saturday," Houwing wrote in his column for Sports24.
"Just about in the game despite another oddly erratic performance on the first day's play, Kirsten, at least if some of the visiting South African television commentators' dressing room eavesdropping is to be believed, had apparently put aside his normally calm, even-tempered characteristics to deliver a fair old scolding," he added.
"f that was indeed the case, what a response it elicited! By stumps three further sessions on, in a seriously fast-motoring Test match, the Proteas had got tantalisingly close to delivering a knockout blow in defence of their world championship title, if you'll excuse the slightly drawn-out boxing parlance," he said.
Still, it is safe to say that the tourists have suddenly claimed an iron grip, even with the midway stage of this contest, time-wise, remarkably still some way up the road, he further wrote.
Houwing added: "The South Africans lead by an deeply assuring 292 runs with eight second-innings wickets in hand, and a certain Hashim Amla unlikely to be especially fidgety - who, Amla? Fidgety? - about supping with his score on an unbeaten 99."
"If Gary Kirsten put a verbal rocket up the Proteas' posteriors on Friday evening, what price another South African of generally genial disposition doing the same in the Australian change-room after Saturday's events?" he wrote.
"His name, of course, is Mickey Arthur and if he has gone that route, the home country will pray for an on-field backlash as productive," he concluded.