When winning becomes a habit, the taste of success becomes even sweeter.
Ask England captain Eoin Morgan and he will definitely second this.
Why shouldn’t he?
Under his captaincy, his chargers have won 7 of the last 8 T20 series with drawing only one against Pakistan earlier this year.
The latest causality in the successful march of the Poms have been a rather indecisive Proteas outfit with the series all but lost last evening!
As Eoin Morgan and his team celebrated winning yet another T20 series, his counterpart the Proteas wicket-keeper and captain Quinton deKock had a look of disappointment in the post-match ceremony.
And the look was certainly justified, with the Proteas losing 7 out of the 10 T20 matches contested under deKock’s captaincy.
Even before the game started, Quinton donned a rather confused look in the pre-match conversation, not knowing whether he was on air or not and then a little flustered on his team changes.
It almost seemed like Why am I here?
Truth be told, his body language suggests he is not enjoying captaincy too much albeit for cricketing purists, it might be too early to comment.
Having said this, whether captaincy is his thing or not, it certainly is affecting the performance of the Proteas having lost the T20 series to England at the start of the year and now repeating the same ill-fated feat towards the end.
In all honesty, if we dissect both the matches, one can clearly see how the Proteas have grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory not once, but twice!
On Friday night in the beautiful Newlands at CapeTown with the scenic Table Mountain overlooking the stadium, the match was also beautifully placed for the Proteas to win with England slightly struggling to reach the formidable 179.
In came Proteas left arm seamer, Beuran Hendricks to bowl his final over, 17th of the innings and the Poms still needed a further 51 to reach the target.
And didn’t he play the part perfectly albeit not in favourable sense for the Proteas but England by conceding a disastrous 28 runs in the over.
Poor bowling was a massive understatement to say the least.
23 to get of the final 3 with 5 wickets still in hand, it had to be the batting sides game and so it was with England cruising to victory.
Heard of history repeating itself?
Well, that’s exactly what happened last evening too with the Proteas again squandering their advantage to win.
South Africa were again in a strong position and could just have used some positivity to capitalise against the tourists, having scored 146 batting first on a slow and low pitch and had England faltering, with the spin twins, the impressive George Linde and Tabraiz Shamsi weaving their magic to get England 4 down needing a further almost 60 runs of 5 overs.
Believe me, it was not going to be easy as the pith was not at all conducive for stroke play and the Proteas seamers the famed trio of Nortje, Rabada and Ngidi had to just mix up slower balls and seam up deliveries to keep the Englishmen in check.
In nine in ten times, you would favour the bowling side to defend on the pitch as it was yesterday, yet that the Proteas still found a way to lose the match is beyond me.
It’s hard for me to say whether the English duo of Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan batted excellently to win the game or the Proteas wasted their opportunity but would tilt towards the latter as it shouldn’t have been as comfortable as it was for an English victory.
So why have the Proteas surrendered the advantage to win games twice?
Is it a lack of a seam bowling all-rounder in the absence of Andile Phehlukwayo?
Is it lack of experience in the middle order in the absence of David Miller?
Is it being too top heavy with Reeza Hendricks getting a game last evening?
Is it not finding the right balance in the wake of transformation targets?
There are certainly a lot of questions that need answers for coach Mark Boucher and captain Quinton de Kock.
Another series lost, with one match left to salvage some pride.
Can the Proteas get the winning recipe right in the final match?
Truth be told, I don’t have the answers, but as a loyal Proteas supporter, I would hope to find some.