Category Archives: Twenty20 squads

Preview of the West-Indies Tour

The West Indians have recently been in South Africa, participating in the inaugural World Twenty20 Championships. In the warm up games they beat Kenya and New Zealand and looked set for their third straight win in the 20 over format in the opening match asainst South Africa as Gayle smashed 10 sixes in his 117 off 57 balls to help them reach 205. The South African side managed to reach the score fairly easily and it got worse for the Windies as Bangladesh knocked them out of the tournament.

The return to Africa could not have started off any worse, as Zimbabwe beat them by 30 runs in the first ODI. Ray Mali must have been smiling after the first match – for the uninformed Ray Mali declared Zimbabwe will be cricketing champions of the world in three years !!(see more here)  Natural order in the hierarchy of cricket was restored for the remainder of the series, as the Windies won the following three matches whilst the last game was rained out.

On the 14th of December, the West Indies face the Makhaya Ntini Invitational XI which includes: Makhaya Ntini (capt), Paul Adams, Mark Boucher, Herschelle Gibbs, Tyron Henderson, Jacques Kallis, Mfuneko Ngam, Yanda Pangabantu, Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Pieter Strydom

On Sunday the 16th the Twenty20 match takes place at St Georges for the first time. The SA squad is: Morne van Wyk, Herschelle Gibbs, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers, Gulam Bodi, Shaun Pollock (captain), Vernon Philander, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.

Greame Smith has been ruled out with a mysterious illness and thus Morne van Wyk is in the squad.

On the 19th of December the warm up game against SA A gets underway with Neil McKenzie captaining the side. The rest of the side is: Morne van Wyk (wk), Justin Ontong, JP Duminy, Gulam Bodi, Vernon Philander, Monde Zondeki, Johan Botha, Freidel de Wet, Charl Langeveldt, Robin Peterson (12th man)

Boeta Dippenaar was unavailable as he is writing exams

The West-Indies tour squad: Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Daren Ganga, Rawl Lewis, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.
 

Reasons for SA Failing at Twenty20

There are various reasons that contributed to the downfall of the SA side in the Twenty20 championships. The make up of the squad is a very important aspect of this. Loots Bosman was injured just before the start of the championships and even though he expressed his desire to play the coach indicated he was unfit to play. He is now facing a disciplinary hearing after stating “I am sick of lies, I am very, very disappointed … Mickey tells too many lies.” His physiotherapist said he was fine to play yet CSA ruled him out, costing him R250 000 in lost earnings.

The replacement for Bosman would logically be another specialist batsman, however the selectors had a different idea and believed that another bowler would be the solution thus Andre Nel was selected in his place. This reduced the side of an opening batsman as the Coach Mickey Arthur indicated he had every intention of playing him in this role.

Jacques Kallis can have a good giggle to himself that is if he can stifle a smile about missing out on R250 000 of his salary for being a batsman that scores too slowly. Especially when a side requiring 126 cant even muster a run a ball in the Pro20 format when it counted. The only player to score more than a run a balls was Ntini, who looked a lot better out there than the man who effectively replaced Jacques Kallis – Johan van der Wath who made a single off 6 balls when there was still a chance of the total being reached.

The new selection panel have got off to a shocking start with egg on their faces after their decision to drop Kallis has backfired horribly. Without focusing on his batting ability Kallis has featured as a top international bowler for South Africa. In addition he has years of experience, something you can’t buy with your fish and chips.

The poor vision of the selectors is a worry. There is no reason why Kallis couldn’t have come in at 4 if there was a batting collapse like SA had and if they got off to a flyer he could have been pushed down the order.
The biggest question is what did the see Johan van der Wath doing that Kallis couldn’t have done?? Van der Wath is a good cricketer and deserved the chance to play international cricket but to take the place of Jacques Kallis in the squad seemed ridiculous at the time of selection and was proven in the series.

The captain of South Africa has transformed from a boy with high ambitions to succeed into a man who cant lead from the front. He is a great player but his bark has been worse than his bite for a long time now. The coach and captain seem to share a very close relationship to the point where a conflict of interest seems to be arising and will ultimately lead to an untenable relationship.
The time for a change in the setup of SA cricket is upon us…

SA eliminated from Twenty20 World Championships

South Africa have been embarrassed in the final group match of the inaugural Twenty20 championships. Eric Simons might have an ironic smile on his face as this defeat brings back memories of the heartbreaking 2003 exit.

After the 2003 debacle, Shaun Pollock resigned as captain and Pat Symcox stood down as a selector. In this instance the stakes aren’t as high as this format of the game doesn’t hold as much weight in the eyes of cricketers and the fans in comparison to the other formats.

South Africa have only themselves to blame. At the interval there is no doubt in my mind that the coach and captain would have been aware of the minimum required to get to the semi-final. The all important figure was 126 off 120 balls, by no means a tough ask, yet if you watched the match you would have thought differently.

South Africa started off badly with the three specialist batsmen in the squad sent packing with twelve runs on the board. This brought the all rounders to rescue the game and at this stage it should be stressed that 126 would have been the victory target although it didn’t seem the case.

Boucher and Morkel rescued the side from a disgusting 31/5 to take them closer to qualifying before Boucher was dismissed. This left SA needing 26 runs off 20 balls and 4 wickets in hand to qualify. Whilst this isn’t the easiest task it certainly was obtainable yet they managed 16 runs, 4 of which were to Ntini the only batsman to score faster than a run a ball.

It was a pathetic display from the Proteas, who now are firmly in the driving seat as a nation of chokers in the important games. There is nothing more to say about this the guys weren’t good enough and it certainly isn’t in the talent department, SA have some of the most talented players in the world. The mindset is all wrong, and this needs to be addressed quickly. There is a saying that the rot starts from the top, is this true about SA cricket??
 

Players to watch in the Twenty20 Championships

Australia
Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist. Symonds can win matches in this format, he is a brutal hitter which can swing the game into Australia’s favour and is my key man for an Australia assault.

England

Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright. Luke has had a fantastic time in the English county season and has the ability to murder an attack. The legendary Kevin Pieterson will be looking to prove a point to his old country and should be their top run scorer. Prior also needs to fire at the top for them to post something remotely defendable with their limited bowling attack.

India

 Dhoni and Singh. India will hope Dhoni can blast the various attacks all over the place while Singh could enjoy this format of the game. India has a great all round side and are always a threat.

New Zealand

Bond and Styris: Bond can ruin the top order on his day and they have various batting options but performances from McCullum McMillan and Styris will be vital

Pakistan

No surprises in this line up who the star could be. Afridi has proven to the world many times that he can rip up an attack as well as perform admirably with the ball. A dark horse in this tournament and could easily end up victorious in the inaugural event.

South Africa

The Morkel brothers. SA has picked a side full of all rounders. Captain Smith is the leading Twenty 20 run scorer, De villiers is an incredible talent and Philander showed he is class in the emerging players tournament. However my pick for SA are the Morkels. Albie Morkel can be termed a forgotten man of SA cricket yet he is more lethal than Hall, with the bat and certainly no stranger to bowling at the death. A few years ago he starred for SA “A” against New Zealand “A” in SA. Morne Morkel is going to be vital to the SA bowling attack. With the best bowler SA has in the form of Dale Steyn sitting on the sidelines – SA need to ensure that if Pollock and Ntini get knocked around there is adequate support and Morkel is the key man here. If SA win one of the Morkels will have a huge part to play.

Sri Lanka

Sanath Jayasuriya and Malinga. Jayasuriya is as deadly as ever and Malinga can be the weapon in the bowling department with his unnatural bowling style. A team to watch as they can beat anyone on their day.

West Indies

Gayle and Smith: and co can chase down big totals but it will be up to the bowlers to try defend their scores. I don’t think they have the bowlers to offer much threat in this tournament.

Andre Nel selected in Pro20 squad

Andre Nel has been called up to replace the injured Bosman in the World Twenty20 Championships. This comes to many as surprise. The first reason being that SA lost a specialist batsman and if the side was envisioned as being a balanced one with regard to batsman and bowlers immediately one can assume that another top order batsman would be called up.

The second reason is the issue of meeting quota targets. The target of seven was met before Bosman was injured and it seems there is no one of colour suitable to replace him. This is not the case and Hashim Amla after a massive century in Zimbabwe and a good domestic limited over season would have been thinking he had a real chance of getting the nod. Alviro Petersen is another player who fits the credentials perfectly and is an attacking option that South Africa will explore in the future. 

Jacques Kallis might have been considered but if he was selected the selectors would have gone back on their reason for leaving him out. Effectively Kallis was never going to be chosen after the whole debacle.

Bosman has lashed out at the coach claiming he is fine to play and accusing him of telling lies. It is very convenient for Arthur to have the opportunity to rectify the squad. As seen in Zimbabwe, the SA opening attack that has been relied on for many years is slowly losing its threat, while the  backup in the form of van der Wath, Philander and the Morkels might not have enough firepower to contain the talent of the other sides.

Andre Nel might not be everybody’s cup of tea but he plays with his heart and can get the ball in the right places and if he does that in this form he could be inexpensive whilst picking up some wickets. I think it has strengthened the squad – I am huge fan of Bosman and am frustrated by his absence. For South Africa to win the tournament they need to defend the runs they put on the board and Nel could very well be the missing piece in the selection puzzle.