Gerald Majola has come out with a statement which might bring one to question his knowledge of provincial cricket. He said: “we have to understand that there are special positions. We need a balanced team, and that there are specialist positions. For instance, we are not blessed with a lot of black batsmen and all-rounders, but lots of black bowlers, and we have to take note of that. We have to start producing them.” (click here for the full article)
The Supersport Series, is the 4 day provincial format which is the only competition that can be compared to the upcoming test match series in India. If Majola had bothered to check the statistics for the series he might be surprised to learn that Henry Davids, scored the most runs for the season, continuing his rich vein of form from the end of last season. He managed 3 centuries and 5 scores above 50 taking him to 817 runs at an average of 48.05 and is the only player to get above 800 runs for the season.
There are 3 players of colour in the top 10 for the most runs scored, the other two being Imraan Khan and and Ahmed Amla (These days its hard to know who is a quota player and who is not – Luke Watson the stormers ex captain is black according to some click here for the story and picture of him)
If Majola wanted to pursue this a bit further and checked the statistics by average, again he would find a player of colour leading the way in the form of JP Duminy, with a massive 93.25 average. Davids is in the top ten here as well, with Vernon Philander 11th averaging 43.25
One would think that Prince, Hashim Amla, Gibbs, Duminy, Davids, Alviro Petersen and Loots Bosman would be disappointed to hear that there aren’t many black batsmen as all of these guys deserve to play at the very least in the SA A side (most of them have or have been selected)
On the All-rounder side, Philander averaged 43. 25 with the bat and 16.13 with the ball. I am not sure what Majola sees in the transformation department but any player that averages above 35 with the bat and under 25 with the ball is going places, and a player averaging 43 with the bat and 16 with the ball should already be there!!!!
22 Bangladesh v South Africa Test Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
29 Bangladesh v South Africa Test Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong
9 Bangladesh v South Africa ODI Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong 05:30
12 Bangladesh v South Africa ODI Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur 05:30
14 Bangladesh v South Africa ODI Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur 05:30
26 India v South Africa Test MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai 06:30
3 India v South Africa Test Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad 06:30
11 India v South Africa Test Green Park, Kanpur 06:30
Below is an extract take from an interview of Graeme Smith
Neil Manthorp: Are you concerned about the perception that domestic success isn’t always duly rewarded? Ryan McLaren, for example, was the leading wicket-taker last season but was not given any international recognition
Graeme Smith: It’s hard for selectors and coaches because they have to watch guys perform and get the results and then, in some cases, they can’t pick the player. But some very young guys are assuming they’re not going to be selected because of quotas and transformation, and that’s wrong. Look at Australia – most players make their international debuts at 27, 28 or even 30. Here, if you haven’t cracked selection by 22, 23 then it’s becoming fashionable to put it down to quotas and then move overseas.
I know Garnett Kruger says he wasn’t treated fairly but does he deserve to play ahead of Andre Nel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel and Charl Langeveldt? Is he better than them? Does he deserve a chance ahead of them? The reality is that there’s always going to be a queue in any country for guys to get the opportunity. Garnett got his opportunity in Australia, he played five or six games and he went for seven runs an over.
There are times that someone needs to throttle the coach, selectors or captain. Here Smith indicates his feelings about what happened with Garnett Kruger. He has conveniently left out the fact that Krugher was in the form of his life in the provincial 4 day setup, was selected to tour Australia, sat on the sidelines during the tests and then picked for the one day matches. There have been many selection errors made but this is oner that will stick in my mind for life.
You might find this odd however, after playing the same amount of games Kruger had picked up 27 wickets and the 2nd best Bowler at that stage had 12!!!!! Yes thats how prolific he was in the longer version of the game before departing for Australia only to be a bowling machine during the tests!!!!
Graeme you killing me with your way of justifying non-selection of players……
Read the rest of the interview here
South Africa named their vice-captains on the morning of the test, with Ashwell Prince named as the test vice-captain and Justin Kemp the ODI captain for the series.
Good choices and some order has been restored to SA cricket for now.
The Test side to take on Pakistan was announced the other day (click here) and was missing a vice captain. I wrote to Michael Owen-Smith, the media officer for Cricket South Africa about this. He has always come across as a nice guy and sure enough he got back to me and indicated that a new vice-captain will be announced in the next few days.
It is good to see that there will be a new vice-captain appointed and it is difficult to speculate who it is. Ashwell Prince has captained the test side before and my money would be on him to take the vice-captaincy role however he has recently resigned as the president of the national players association regarding discussions that were leaked to the press. (click here) Prince stated ”I trusted people and that confidentiality has been broken. I was betrayed and used. I feel strongly that Saca had nothing to do with this. But the fact that it could have been a player, or players, made me realise that I cannot represent people whom I cannot trust. “ After making such statements, Prince might well turn down the honour of being vice-captain.
Owen-Smith indicated that there is likely to be a different ODI and Test captain, which further substantiates that it could be Prince as he hasn’t been part of the ODI setup aside from when he was selected for a few games against India and the World Cup. Thus there is a need for different vice-captains.
The ODI (and possibly test) vice-captain could well be Mark Boucher, although after he allegedly brought the game into disrepute the selectors might think twice before naming him as the vice-captain. That said, knowing Mark Boucher he would refuse to take up the role.
With many of the senior players seemingly unavailable for selection Pollock, Kallis who resigned and has refused to reconsider and Boucher, this certainly is going to be an interesting selection that will more than likely raise a few eyebrows, and add to the recent controversies that have happened apart from the Boucher and Kallis Saga