Zimbabwe tour of South Africa 2004-05 February 25, 2005

South African players question Zimbabwe series

Cricinfo staff

Kepler Wessels: 'South African cricket will not benefit at all' © Getty Images
Kepler Wessels, the former South African captain, has said that there is little South Africa can gain from the Zimbabwe series which begins today. Key South African players, including Jacques Kallis, have been rested for the three-game one-day series against Zimbabwe. Kallis was an important part of the team that recently inflicted a heavy one-day series defeat on England.

"South African cricket will not benefit at all," said Wessels to News24, a South Africa-based website. "It will not have any influence. The players must do as well as they can, but one cannot really read anything into the performances in this series."

He said that the tour to the West Indies was more significant, and that the players had to put the results of the Zimbabwe tour behind them. Wessels's comments echoed Graeme Smith's belief that the only thing his players could take away from the Zimbabwe series was self-confidence.

However, Peter Kirsten, the former South African batsman, considered the series to be an opportunity for Zimbabwe to acquire experience even if South Africa had nothing to gain. "South Africa cannot take a lot from the series. I really do not think it will do their self-confidence a lot of good. My experience of victories over poor opponents is that they give you a false sense of security."

Kirsten suggested that South Africa could instead participate in the SuperSport series, as those matches were more difficult than a series against Zimbabwe.