South Africa cricket is on a decline and the retirements of stalwarts like Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn has only made matters worse for the Proteas.
The upcoming players have big shoes to fill and former batsman Ashwell Prince, who is in India as part of a spin camp for South Africa A, believes it won’t be an overnight process and the team needs time to get over retirement of greats.
“It’s a transition phase for South African cricket," Prince told Deccan Chronicle.
“I work in the first-class system and we have first-hand experience of the young guys that are coming through. Of course, you don’t become Amla and Steyn overnight."
The Proteas will play three Tests against India in October. This will be the first time that they will appear without the services of Amla and Steyn, who announced retirement within three days of each other.
As far as the South Africa A team is concerned, they are limbering up for five match ODI series, followed by two four-day matches, that will give a chance to their players to acclimatize to the local conditions.
“We obviously have come here for young players to experience some of the conditions. What we try to do is to pass on our learnings," Prince said.
“But we have some local coaches helping us here. Even the spin coach has years of experience to associate the idea of local conditions. It’s basically to feed the young guys as much information as possible.
“We are looking at both aspects – physical and mental – to play spin. It’s about being able to understand that a good spinner, on a surface providing spin, will go past the outside edge and beat your bat."
Some of the notable inclusions in the A squad are Test batsmen Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram, along with the likes of Zubayr Hamza and off-spinner Dane Piedt. The A team starts the tour with the first List A game in Thiruvananthapuram on 29 August.