Category Archives: Boeta Dippenaar

Neil McKenzie recalled

Neil McKenzie has been called up to join a squad that was selcected for the first two tests. This is an indication that he will be playing, it would be pointless to add a 13th man to the sdide. The journalists in the know expect him to replace Gibbs and to open the innings.

Another great call from the selectors here, getting a man to open for his country when he traditionally comes in at 4. I guess they informed him he is only going in 5 overs earlier, as Gibbs and Smith are usually chilling in the pavilion by this stage!!!

I am very against shuffling AB de Villiers around yet again and thankfully I read somewhere so are the selectors. This is for two reasons: firstly he didn’t sparkle as an opener and secondly he is the heir to the gloves and must adapt to playing at 5 or 6 so he has some rest between keeping and batting.

I indicated before I would prefer to see Morne van Wyk there as he is a natural opener and has also been on the fringe for a few years now. Neil has proven himself in the domestic competition for the past few years and has the talent to be there, my biggest frustration with McKenzie was his predictability and lack of concentration. Often he used to get 60 odd runs before throwing his wicket away, generally to a sweep shot that wasn’t on. The experts out there say he has matured, if he has he may well be the answer to our middle order woes yet strangely he the to sort out the top order problems. I think its unfair to ask him to open, however he has got another chance against a side that has been less than ordinary for seven years, so hopefully he will take it.

One other question is what happened to Boeta Dippenaar?

Surprises in the SA “A” Squad

The South African A side has been selected a short tour to Zimbabwe for two 4 day matches. A perfect opportunity to blood the youngsters and see who is pushing for a place in the upcoming tour to Pakistan. Its not often South Africa can send a young side to the wrong side of the Limpopo river for some bonding and a more than likely confidence boost for thrashing the helpless Zimbabweans.

So many names rush to my mind as to which players are knocking on the door in the selectors eyes before seeing the side. Will they let Vernon Philander develop a bit more? Has Ontong been given another chance to play in the longer form of the game? Surely with only two four day games, the essence of the squad will be those brought in to help South Africa’s dismal recent performances in this arena. We have climbed the rankings as India and Pakistan fell, so without a game being played South Africa moved from 6th to tie 4th!!!

When I saw the side, it seemed like a veterans side, until I noticed Neil McKenzie wasn’t part of it. It turns out that he is already playing in the long version of the game for Somerset in the County Championship.  With all the wisdom gained from years of insightful choices our selectors decided to top previous questionable decisions by selecting a squad of players with more experience than the current Zimbabwe test line-up.

The only thing I can be thankful of is Lorgat hasn’t come up with another 5 foot under player like Paul Adams. Adams is still the best spinner we have had since re-admission and was fantastic but he had fallen into the pit of anonymity, not being seen as a regular for the Cobras then lo and behold he was recalled into the squad and co-incidentally brought about the resignation of Boje.

The squad selected already went through another moment of embarassment when there was however a late substitution with Friedel de Wet getting axed for Johan Botha, which is a huge shame and disappointment for the Lions player after being told he was selected.

Here is the SA A squad: Boeta Dippenaar (c), Yusuf Abdullah, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Andrew Hall, Paul Harris, Imran Khan, Charl Langeveldt, André Nel, Justin Ontong, Alviro Petersen, Aswell Prince, Thami Tsolekile and Morné van Wyk.

There are a few things you can read from the squad selection. The players chosen are more than likely not going to play in the Pro20 world cup, thus the logical conclusion is Philander will play in the Pro20, Garnet Kruger is not considered part of the future plans nor is Roger Telemachus. Finally and painfully so, South Africa are not testing out any new captains nor coaches for the new future.

Its good to see the spinners selected, and to see some talented youngsters joining the battle hardened veterans. Peterson and van Wyk certainly deserve higher honours, and our middle order at test level needs serious re-wiring.

The first four-day game is on 9 to 12 August and the second from Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th August 2007.