Gibbs runs the rule over Proteas' tour Down Under: 'I can't see us winning, let alone drawing'

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Dean Elgar and Proteas
Dean Elgar and Proteas
Stu Forster/Getty Images
  • Former Proteas batter Herschelle Gibbs reckons South Africa won't be able to pull off a win in their Test series against Australia.
  • The Proteas will tour Australia for a three-match Test series over the festive season.
  • Gibbs says he is concerned over the Proteas' batting line-up as they've struggled in the past to convert promising scores into centuries.

Former Proteas star Herschelle Gibbs reckons the Proteas will find the going tough on their upcoming Test tour to Australia.

The Proteas head Down Under for a three-match Test series over the festive season, with the first Test starting from 17 December in Brisbane.

It'll be the first assignment for interim Proteas coach Malibongwe Maketa after Mark Boucher stepped down following last month's T20 World Cup in Australia.

The Proteas depart for Australia on Thursday with a 16-man squad led by Proteas skipper Dean Elgar.

Proteas Test squad:

Dean Elgar (captain, Titans), Temba Bavuma (Lions), Gerald Coetzee (Knights), Theunis de Bruyn (Titans), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Simon Harmer (Titans), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper, Western Province), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins)

The Proteas suffered a 2-1 Test series defeat against England in September and will have to contend with an in-form Australian attack next month.

Gibbs, who played 90 Tests and scored 6 167 Test runs for South Africa, reckons Elgar's men won't even be able to salvage a draw.

"Look, I mean, you know career stats as far as the batters are concerned... I think you know you can hype them up as much as you want to," said Gibbs on the sidelines of the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational.

"We've got a wonderful bowling attack, but in order to win Test matches or a Test series, you need runs on the board. Can we do that? Our batters average less than 40...

"You compare them [with Australia]. I can't see us winning, let alone drawing [the Test series]."

Only two SA batters have notched centuries this year, with Sarel Erwee (108) and Kyle Verreynne (136*) scoring tons in Christchurch.

Gibbs feels the Proteas need to be consistent with the bat if they have a chance to defeat Australia in their own backyard this summer.

"It was the same when the guys went to England. Career stats tell a story and I don't want to be so pessimistic, but stats don't lie," said Gibbs.

"Who was going to get hundreds? Guys haven't scored a hundred for two years. Temba (Bavuma) hasn't scored a 100 in six years.

"Those are the hard questions that need to be asked. Who's going to ask them and how they're going to get to the conclusions or solutions? Only time will tell."

South Africa will also have an unofficial four-day match against a Cricket Australia XI from 9-12 December at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

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