The series is levelled at 1-1 after SA managed to throw the last game away. There are going to be many justified questions around Neil McKenzie’s place or the rather curious decision to send him in at such a crucial time of the match.
SA needed 94 runs from 14 overs (84 balls) which is not a tough ask, especially when you are only 4 wickets down. I have nothing against Neil McKenzie, however he is not the man I would send in to win the match with 36 overs down and more than a run a ball needed – especially when there is Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel and even Johan Botha to choose from – in fact Dale Steyn can swing the willow successfully!!! After 15 balls Neil had managed just 8 runs and the scoring in the 5 overs he was in for didnt get past 4 in the over, in fact it was a 15 run partnership off 30 balls effectively making a score easy to chase with 6 wickets in hand a massive task.
Boucher came to the crease scoring more than a run a ball as did Morkely but the fat lady had sung and the poor Saffas that had to sit through were tearing the hair out possibly shouting obscenities at the coach and captain.
The 3rd ODI is at Sydney and should be a cracker – it will be interesting to see if Warner gets another chance and whether SA will toggle with the team – its a difficult match to call and no doubt it will be tight however SA should have the upper hand.
South Africa have still not appointed a vice-captain, hours before their first tour game gets underway against a Patron XI. The match is a 3 day warm-up game, and will be useful for some of the youngsters to get acclimatised to local conditions.
I am not sure what is going on in SA cricket but Smith has been very critical of the administration about how the younger players are leaving, which is ironic as it seems the SA squad is very difficult to break into. One wonders who will be the second in command a position which in the past was something special. For current SA players it seems a burden.
Some sensationalist journalism indicates that Smith isn’t sure who his vice-captain is as well as stating Loots Bosman and Van der Wath have broken ties with SA cricket. It remains to be seen if this becomes fact or is fiction.
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