Category Archives: Johan van der Wath

No Vice Captain?

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.
 

Twenty20 Day 1 Summary

If ever the ICC were looking for a fairy tale start to a new venture, they would have to perform a miracle to improve on the start of the Twenty20 World Cup. Over 400 runs in under 40 overs. Pro 20 cricket was designed to entertain and if there are going to be more exciting matches than the opener – Twenty20 cricket will take the world by storm.

SA decided to field first and after Gayle destroyed their attack with TEN yes TEN 6’s and 7 4’s in his 57 ball 117. Smith might well have regretted the decision, with all of the bowlers being smashed around.

Smith decided to lead by example and introduce himself into the attack as the only spinning option. He performed admirably for his ability and showed the side that with his limited bowling talent the over cost only 17. It did indeed spur on the rest of the attack with far superior bowling skills, and  the 12th over bowled by Smith was the highest for the rest of the innings!!!

The Windies were cruising along until Van der Wath removed Gayle in the 17th over and only conceded 4 runs followed by Morne Morkel conceding 3 runs in the 18th over. This was the least runs conceded in the innings. There was little support to Gayle apart from Devon Smith who opened the batting with Gayle making 35 off 34 balls

The Windies set SA 206 for victory however as mentioned in “The Players to Watch” post, West Indies didn’t have the bowlers to back their batsman up and whilst 200 should be defendable by any team, SA managed to get there with 14 balls to spare.

The West Indies surely set a record for the most wides in a 20/20 international game conceding 23 of them!! Not that this detracts from the beautiful 120 run partnership between Gibbs and Kemp, Gibbs making 90 off 55 whilst Kemp carved 46 off 22 balls.

South Africa managed an 8 wicket victory which should be more than enough of a warning to Australia that they are looking to knock them off their perch as the favourites.

SA vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI 22Aug 2007

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat, which looked to be going horribly wrong when they were 72/7 in the 24th over. Elton Chigumbura and Gary Brent came to the wicket and fell 2 runs short of setting a record 8th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe.  However their 115 run stand ensured it was the 4th highest of all time in ODI’s and helped to give some credibility to their score.

South Africa could be accused of not going for the jugular, as Ntini, Pollock and Philander each had 2 overs left in their spell. This could be attributed to neighbourly friendliness or perhaps Smith was testing out all his options. Either way it allowed South Africa to have a bit of a bat even though it was a modest 207 runs required.

There were some highlights from the innings, with Zimbabwe equalling the record for most players run out in an ODI, Gary Brent doubled his highest ODI score, Smith didn’t bowl himself and let two other spinners have a go including Bodi who hasn’t had much of a bowl since he converted into a batsman. Maruma, batting at number 10, made his debut memorable by hitting a six off van der Wath for his ever ODI boundary.

The SA bowlers were fairly tight, Morkel managed to go for 33 in his 10 overs including 5 wides. Philander was the pick of the bowlers going for 15 runs in his 8 overs and collecting 2 wickets. The villain in the pack was van der Wath going for 59 in 9 overs including allowing the tail order debutant to hit him for 6 in the last over. (No doubt there will be a fine in the changing room for that)

SA got off to a shaky start with Bosman caught behind in the first over, however that was the only joy Zimbabwe were going to get. Smith reached 50 before being dismissed, Bodi made 51 off 99 balls and De Villiers contributed 63. Duminy also didn’t take advantage of the situation making 3 before being judged LBW. Pollock and Philander ensured no more wickets fell and SA cruised to a comfortable 5 wicket victory.

Some reports indicate that South Africa should have won more handsomely, however there are no special prizes for giving a significantly weaker side a hiding. SA have 2 more ODI’s against Zimbabwe, on Saturday and Sunday where more tactics can be tried in preparation for the Twenty20 Championships.

SA Twenty20 Cricket Squad Announced

On Saturday the South African squad was announced for the upcoming Twenty20 Cup. There was the shock omission of Jaques Kallis, which can easily be justified if Strydom is sticking to his guns about not exposing all the senior players to this form of cricket. Bearing this in mind, there was no surprise that all the players currently playing for SA “A” in Zimbabwe were left out. This includes Nel, Hall, Langeveldt, Botha, Ontong, van Wyk and Prince (who will join the squad for the second game).

My predictions were slightly wrong as Kallis was replaced by Bodi allowing for Peterson to be dropped as the quota target was reached. Van der Wath replaced Peterson, which adds depth to a rather untested bowling attack apart from Pollock and Ntini. Personally I would have liked to have seen Steyn get the nod and still believe he is the most dangerous bowler we have.

As predicted the Morkel brothers were selected, and if South Africa want to shine, Morne Morkel in particular needs to deliver the goods. If his bowling is accurate, South Africa has a good chance to win the tournament. If there is any shortcoming in the South African line up it will be the in the bowling department, as South Africa have picked a squad full of all rounders instead of specialist bowlers.

The squad selected is a strong one, with a nice blend of youth and experience and will perform strongly in this tournament. The squad consists of: Graeme Smith (capt), Gulam Bodi, Loots Bosman, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp, Albie Morkel, Mornè Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock, Thandi Tshabalala and Johan van der Wath.

Proposed South African Pro20 Squad

The South African Twenty20 side is announced tomorrow, and if the new convener of selectors sticks to his word it could be a tough team to predict. Strydom has said: “We tried to keep a balance between youth and experience, but we wanted to give the youngsters a go” as well as “We don’t want to expose the senior players too much to this format. We have a tough 18 months ahead of us, and we need to be aware of that,” and “You know you’re going to leave some very good players out, but you’ve just got to hope that the players you pick hit form at the right time,” when he commented on the side he has selected.

Assuming the players in Zimbabwe have not been considered, this leaves a squad of 21. Out of this squad the parameters are again changed, knowing there will be a minimum of 7 players of colour selected as well as the core which is in bold below.

Proposed squad:
Graeme Smith (Captain), Jacques Kallis (Vice-Captain), Loots Bosman, Gulam BodiMark Boucher, AB De Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp, Neil McKenzie, Albie Morkel, Morné Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Roger Telemachus, Alfonso Thomas, Thandi Tshabalala and Johan van der Wath

Out of the remaining players, I assume Philander has made the squad along with JP Duminy, leaving just 5 places to the rest of the squad. Peterson and Bosman were in the World cup squad so more than likely will be in the equation. This leaves 3 spots available of which one will be for a player of colour. I am a fan of Alfonso Thomas, as I think he can bowl a lot better than most credit him for and can be successful at swinging a bat. However I just have a feeling that Thandi Tshabalala would have been taken to Zimbabwe if he wasn’t in the squad. I think Telemachus is a very good man for this format and should take Thandi’s/Peterson’s place

At this stage the squad meets the minimum quota necessary and leaves just two players to be decided upon. I think that on merit all the players of colour should be selected but the government/CSA have laid down the minimum amount of players of colour and thus players of colour are quota players regardless of talent.

I am interested in the selection of Bodi but believe its either Bosman or Bodi in the squad as they have similar batting styles. I think the Morkels will get the nod for the last two spots. If one is chosen it will be Morne to spear the attack and van der Wath might get a look in as the last man. I believe all of these players deserve a spot in the team and it shows the depth we have especially with many regulars in Zimbabwe.