Ashwell Prince, the former South Africa batsman, has said that the team requires time to get over the retirements of recent greats such as Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.
Prince, who played 66 Tests for South Africa between 2002 and 2011, and scored 3665 runs for them, is currently heading Cricket South Africa's spin bowling camp in Bengaluru, in preparation for the senior team's upcoming tour of India.
South Africa will play three Tests in the country in October – their first assignment without the recently-retired Hashim Amla, and Dale Steyn, their most prolific Test bowler ever. Amla and Steyn announced their retirements within three days of each other, the former from all international cricket and the latter from Tests.
"His record as one of the best all-rounders in the world speaks for itself and he also has extensive coaching experience."— ICC (@ICC) August 24, 2019
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"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."
Prince is also overseeing preparations of the A team, who are also in India and are bracing for a five-match one-day series, followed by two four-day games against India A, that will give their players a chance to acclimatise to the subcontinent's spin-friendly surfaces.
"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 obviously have come here [in India] for young players to experience some of the conditions.
"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."
South Africa's preparatory camp is being attended by national team batsmen Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram, as well as Cape Cobras batsmen Zubayr Hamza and off-spinner Dane Piedt. The A team kicks off its tour with the first List A game in Thiruvananthapuram on 29 August. All five matches will take place at the same venue, before the teams head to Wayanad for the first four-day game. The tour will conclude with the second four-dayer in Mysore.
The senior team will begin its sojourn on 15 September, with the first T20I in Dharamsala. The three-match series will be followed by three Tests.