Proteas

Shamsi rebukes Proteas critics after T20 series win: 'We're not rubbish, we're quite good'

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The Proteas celebrate a wicket. (Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images)
The Proteas celebrate a wicket. (Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images)
  • Proteas star Tabraiz Shamsi believes the team have received unfair flak from the cricketing public following their T20 series win over Sri Lanka on Sunday.
  • The left-arm spinner says there's no way the side can be labelled "rubbish", stating that this squad is an emerging one that's "quite good". 
  • Shamsi is also enjoying having effective support from an increasingly potent bowling attack.

Never afraid to speak his mind, Tabraiz Shamsi believes that the Proteas are judged unfairly by local supporters despite two years of wildly inconsistent on-field results and damaging sagas off it.

The left-arm wrist spinner - the top-ranked bowler in world T20s - was again instrumental in helping South Africa secure an early T20 series victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday, a feat that means the team has won its last three assignments in the shortest form of the game.

It's in stark contrast to the other formats, where they have a lot to prove in Tests and are currently in a shaky position in ODIs in lying lowly on the World Cup Super League table.

READ | De Kock and spinners shine bright as Proteas thrash Sri Lanka to clinch T20 series

"We've actually been on a three series winning run, so a lot (of the criticism of us underperforming) is perception," said Shamsi, who delivered another bewitching spell of 3/20 in a nine-wicket victory.

"Maybe that's how some people want to view us, but the fact of the matter is that we're on a run (in T20s). I don't think this team is rubbish, I believe we're quite good.

"People speak about the great teams of the past. This team is on par with them.

"We might not have as many household names because we haven't played that much international cricket. It doesn't mean the players are not that good, just because they are not well known."

The jury might still be out on whether the Proteas batting order can back up those words with deeds - only Quinton de Kock can be considered a world-class, proven performer in the current line-up - but there can be little doubt that coach Mark Boucher and co have steadily assembled a potent, hard-working attack.

The tweakers in particular have come to the fore, with Shamsi now getting the support he deserves from the likes of Keshav Maharaj, Bjorn Fortuin, George Linde and, unexpectedly but hearteningly, Aiden Markram.

That bodes well for next month's ICC World T20 in the UAE, where conditions are expected to be similar to the Island.

"We are bowling so many overs of spin because we have that many quality spinners. That's been very nice," said Shamsi.

"Maybe in the past, when we got to spinning wickets, we had a reluctance in picking spinners so that's been a refreshing change. We are picking teams according to the conditions and we have the players to back it up.

"We have three quality spinners in the side, plus Aiden, and it means the captain can utilise me in different ways."  

The final match of the series is on Tuesday, with the first ball to be bowled at 16:30.

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