South Africa in transition shows character: Mike Proctor

A powerful all-rounder, an influential cricketer and a game-changer in his day, Mike Procter is one of the sport’s golden stars.

The South African government’s then-apartheid policy cut short his Test career – he played in all seven Tests against Australia, knocking out 41 batsmen and scoring 226 runs.

In first-class cricket, he excelled in English county cricket. P&G hit an incredible 1,417 batters with a 19.53 rating and a whopping 21,936 overs with a 36.01 rating.

The South African legend and sports star, in an exclusive talk Wednesday.

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What does he think of a South African team in transition? Procter & Gamble replied: “This team showed a 240-point advantage in Rangers’ game against India, with an over-par chase on that course. They are taking on an Indian team that beat Australia in Australia. … However, it was a tough series.”

Procter added: “Captain Dean Elgar is a brave player. He knows his strengths and his limitations. His character rubs off somewhere on this team.”

Asked about Kagiso Rabada’s 50th Test, Procter said: “He’s strong, has good stamina, moves the ball, and he’s quick and hostile. He can change the game. He’ll be playing more test.”

Asked about the appearance of tall southpaw Marco Jensen, Proctor said, “He has the angle and bounce of a lefty. Promising.”

P&G is pretty sure who is the best Indian batsman. “It’s your captain. Virat is a great player. You can see that in the way he does business. He’s one of the greats.”

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Jasprit Bumrah caught his attention. “He has a unique movement with bounce and movement. India’s pace attack now has a lot of depth. It’s nice to have a guy like Mohammad Shami.”

Back in his days, P&G revealed that Viv Richards, Graeme Pollock and Sunil Gavaskar were the toughest trio he’d ever played. “Richards is destructive, Pollock can hit you so easily, Gavasca’s bat, he plays for Somerset, he’s always wide when I bowl to him.”

Joel Garner is the most challenging bowler he has ever faced. “Ghana had a hard time with his lifts, but they were all dangerous; Holding, Roberts, Thomson and Lily.”

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“I played in the era of great all-rounders, both inside and outside the South African team, like Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham and Richard Hadley. Today, Apart from Ben Stokes, there are no great bowling all-rounders around. It’s not a matter of workload,” he said.

“The numbers show that Jacques Callis is the best all-around player of all time,” he added.

The legend fears players leaving Test cricket for the lucrative Twenty20 league. “I think the league is having some impact. At the same time, I think it’s hard for cricketers to be in a ‘bubble’ mentally for a long time.”

In short, they no longer make them like P&G.

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