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?
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??
Jacques Kallis has refused to reconsider being the South African vice-captain, however he has committed himself to South African cricket in the future.
Andrew Hall has indicated that he is not interested in playing cricket for South Africa again and there is a strong possibility he will join the new Indian Cricket League (ICL) along with Boje and Klusener.
Loots Bosman has hit out at the national coach, Mickey Arthur calling him a liar and questioning his decision to drop him from the squad. Bosman stated “”I am tired of the lying, I am fine, ask my physiotherapist in Bloemfontein who treated me last week. I am very, very, disappointed. Mickey tells too many lies.” According to the Beeld newspaper.
Andre Nel has been selected for the 20/20 competition after SA lose a specialist batsman
Ryan Mclaren seems keen to sign up to play for England along with Vaughn van Jaarsveld while Garnet Kruger has turned his back on SA cricket accusing them of not picking players of colour in the side after selecting them for the squad – this might well be shown again in the Pro20 matches
These are just a few of the problems in South African cricket at the moment
Jacques Kallis was left out of the South African Twenty/20 squad for the inaugural world Twenty/20 championships being played in South Africa in September. This was a shock omission from the squad and because of his omission Kallis resigned as the South African vice-captain.
Kallis is a prime example of a player who is cool calm and collected. There is most certainly a role for Jacques Kallis to play in the SA side. Those that have enjoyed Pro20 cricket know how easy it is for a side to be 25/3 chasing 160. This is when an anchor that can stabilise the side is essential, because without a calming influence the side chasing often ends up 85/7 and the game has been lost.
Kallis has his detractors who can justify pointing out that Kallis can bat slowly at times. Almost immediately if you meet one of the detractors they will point out the game we lost in the world cup to Australia. He didn’t even score at a run a ball they will tell you, he ruined any chance we had. However that was simply not the case – look at the scorecard and you will see that. These detractors tend to forget that he is a world class bowler, an incredible fielder and one of the most senior players in the squad.
Mark Boucher indicated this point to the public via the press and has ended up with a disciplinary hearing which has been postponed until further notice. There are rumours that he might be punished with his place in the squad however those I am sure are just rumours. In reality he stuck up for the good of South African cricket and his mate. There was little that he said that could be construed as directly contravening the code of conduct. If anything his opinion was shared by those around him.
Boucher is not a man that speaks his mind often, however this was a topic close to his heart and what he said was justified.
South Africa lost the toss and were sent into bat at Centurion on Sunday, a decision which would have raised a few peoples eyebrows, especially after the captain of Pakistan, indicated it was a very good batting pitch before making his decision.
South Africa decided to change the opening partnership from the Pro20 game, sending in De Villiers with Smith, another decision which would have raised some eyebrows. The pair set the tone early, making the fielders fetch from all parts of the ground, before Smith was dismissed in the 19th over by Hafeez, for 72 off 47 balls. Hafeez picked up Bosman in the same over, bringing some hope to the Pakistan team, with SA 144-2. Afridi removed de Villiers 23 runs later and a Pakistan fightback looked on the cards. Pakistan managed to reduce the scoring rate from 7.3 to 6.3 with Prince and Kallis at the wicket, however this was short lived when Prince was dismissed and Boucher came in.
Boucher was merciless on the Pakistan bowling and added salt into the wounds when he was caught off a no-ball which co-incided with his 50 off 27 balls. Boucher went on to make 78 off 38 balls, an innings which will make Pakistan very wary of him in the future. Kallis who had consolidated with Prince and reached his 50 off 69 balls smashed 38 runs in the next 16 he faced to take the score to 392, a target which was always going to be out of reach.
Pakistan managed to keep up with the run rate, however the wickets tumbled, leaving them at 6-119, and then 8-125 before Sami and Malik added 73 runs for the 9th wicket, the only meaningful partnership in the innings.
It was a 164 run slaughter, if Pakistan ever needed a slight shake up, this thrashing was it. Pakistan have a very experienced and competent team so the next ODI should be very interesting