Category Archives: Pro20 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??
 

Twenty20 Fixtures for the group stages

The first day on the group stages got underway on Sunday with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa winning their matches. The group stages finish on Thursday with the semi finals being played on Saturday and the final on Monday, a public holiday in South Africa.

The remaining fixtures for the group stages:

17   PAKISTAN  v  SRI LANKA   Wanderers Stadium   18:00
18   NEW ZEALAND  v  ENGLAND   Kingsmead   10:00
18   AUSTRALIA  v  PAKISTAN   Wanderers Stadium   14:00
18   BANGLADESH  v  SRI LANKA   Wanderers Stadium   18:00
19   SOUTH AFRICA  v  NEW ZEALAND   Kingsmead   14:00
19   ENGLAND  v  INDIA   Kingsmead   18:00
20   AUSTRALIA  v  SRI LANKA   Newlands    10:00
20   BANGLADESH  v  PAKISTAN   Newlands   14:00
20   SOUTH AFRICA  v  INDIA   Kingsmead   18:00
 

World Twenty20

Later on today the first World Twenty20 gets underway. Australia are the favourites, however if there was ever a game where the favourites are not guaranteed of making the semi finals this is it. The unpredictable nature of this form of cricket allows for a hero on either side to march to his own tune without being halted by the rest of the band. In this game all it takes is a player to have one good over with the bat or ball and the game can be won when it seemed impossible.

 There are critics of this format and this is justified, it really is not cricket. While this may be true this is where the beauty lies in Twenty20. It is not cricket in the traditional sense and this is the secret. I could easily plant myself in front of a TV to watch 5 uninterrupted days of a decent test match and there are people who think these are reasonable grounds for committing me to the loony bin for an indefinite amount of time, for such strange and irrational behaviour. It is these people – unfortunately it is the majority who think of cricket as an old person’s game, a boring event that’s dragged out over 5 days that will be entertained by the shortest international version of the game.

This type of cricket will have worldwide appeal which will never be lost as it will be exciting the whole way through the game. This form will impact on the 50 over game and as soon as the psychological barrier is broken by the players who will click that they can score 170/2 after 20 overs there is no reason why they cant score 434 – ahh wait that has been done before by a side chasing none the less and strangely enough it was against the greatest side in the world!!!

The best thing about this tournament is that it will be over before most people realize it began. Its set to finish in under 2 weeks and is a huge plus after the World cup debacle.