South Africa head home in a day or two, after being beaten by Sri Lanka today, which concludes South Africa’s fourth tour of Australia since they were re-admitted to the international cricket community.
It has to be said that Graeme Smith’s team was the least successful of the four. Like many nations, South Africa has never won a Test Series in Australia, and they never looked likely to do that. It took a remarkable rearguard action in the First Test to prevent it turning into a clean sweep. And this South African party was the first to fail to qualify for the triangular series final.
Smith can point to the fact that injuries decimated his squad, although that excuse really only carries weight for the poor ODI showing. South Africa were close to full strength for the Tests.
Smith himself had a wretched time with the bat; he did not score a single half century against the Australians in the entire tour. For such a patently talented batsman, this must have been very disheartening.
He did finally score 67 in a lost cause today, but it was a distraught man who watched his side crumble in his wake. He is under fire from home and is not the first, nor will he be the last, talented batsman to find Australia is as tough a tour as any going around.