Just six weeks into given a six-month contract by CSA (hardly a ringing endorsement of their confidence in him), Jennings told the paper he was “nervous about England”. He also said the side had uncertainties in four areas: opening batsman, spin bowling, fast bowling and wicketkeeping, following their recent 1-0 loss in the two-match series against India.
Those areas of uncertainties are, well, desperately worrying. As Pringle says later on, he might have well just said:
“We’ve got no bloody hope,” and that “Steve Harmison will pin us to the sightscreen.” But he didn’t, at least not publicly.
Ouch. I refuse to buy into the view that England are firm favourites for this tour – I think we have a very good chance, but South Africa are incredibly mentally tough and resiliant – like sporting cockroaches – and, I suspect, will rather relish the “backs to the wall” situations that England could enforce.
However, England can only be pleased that SA are struggling on & off the pitch. It’s not a situation they’re not so unfamiliar with in not-so-recent-tours-gone-by!