Category Archives: Hashim Amla

SA Contracted Cricketers

Cricket South Africa have released their contracted platyers for the coming year, a big congratulations to Lonwabo Tsotsobe a thoroughly deserved inclusion. Those who have fallen out of favour include Andre Nel, Monde Zondeki and Robin Peterson.

The focus is on the Australians and kicks off on Thursday for the first test.

Contracted players: (from May 2009 to April 2010) Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

South Africa vs. England 1st Test – Lords

Yesterday many would have never believed the test would start on time. A months worth of rain fell in parts of England Yesterday, the rain didn’t abate until late in the night. However this morning the sun greeted those that woke up early, although there are some clouds about.

England have named an unchanged side, consisting of: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Monty Panesar, 11 James Anderson. This side has set a world record in that it has been unchanged side for the sixth successive match.

South Africa have delayed naming their side until the start, leaving the choice of whether to field Paul Harris or a 4th seamer as a mystery to England. The possible side is: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 AB de Villiers, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini

The players to watch out for in this series from South Africa are: Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla. South Africa have now got a settled pace attack with Ntini and Steyn being key performers and they are expected to be dangerous, however Morkel is a an unknown entity. Recently back from injury, a solid performance with the ball and possibly the bat could be the extra gear South Africa needs. On the batting side, Smith Mckenzie, Kallis, De Villiers and Prince have all contributed this summer as has Amla, however Amla has shown some fantastic warm up match form,  scoring 172 and 161 which has sent out a strong message to the English that he means business. If he can continue this run of form, South Africa will be very difficult to beat. However if he fails, South Africa could be in trouble as McKenzie and Smith could be in trouble early and the last thing SA needs is to be 30/2 in the first test.

England’s players to watch will be James Anderson  and Ian Bell. South Africa have come out and said they will be targeting Bell and Collingwood who have had a poor run recently. Bell needs to perform and if Anderson can produce some of the glimpses of form shown this season, he could help rip through the South African batting. I don’t think Sidebottom is good enough to tear apart the South African attack and he might get punished by Smith if he is not accurate.

The match should set off an absolute corker of a series in which South Africa will be looking for their first win on English turf since re-admission in 2002

Black Batsman and All-Rounders not good Enough according to Majola

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!!!!

SA Squad for India

Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince (vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson and Dale Steyn.

The team has seen Andre Nel threaten to quit SA cricket (see more here) after being dropped for Charl Langeveldt. There is a lot more to it than his childish but understandable outburst about being dropped. He has been an integral part of the test setup this season edging out the legendary Shaun Pollock, no mean feat and something difficult to comprehend for the experts and casual followers. However if you saw him bowling against West Indies you will remember that he justified his inclusion in the side.

It is clear that the selectors who picked a squad of only FOUR players of colour for the Bangladesh tour (Peterson replaced Harris who was injured) when six was the target have now been instructed to pick a squad of six players of colour. Another clear message came from the 2nd test in Bangladesh where Botha had done nothing wrong to be dropped, yet he was dropped for Peterson which ensured the side had four players of colour.

I am still trying to figure out why there must be 6 players of colour in the squad if only 4 will play. In the current line-up which wont change much from the last few test the team has been made up of: Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince (vice-captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn.

This means that either Charl Langeveldt, Robin Peterson, JP Duminy or Paul Harris (if fit) will make up the last spot. If Harris is chosen which is more than likely, the squad will have to adapt, with the possibility of Morkel making way for Langeveldt/Peterson or McKenzie dropped for Duminy.

Andre Nel has had a good tour of Bangladesh and clearly was not impressed by the omission. The bottom line is the selectors have put their heads together and believe that Morkel is a better bowler than Nel, and thus he is left out. For quota reasons Ntini wont be dropped (nor should he be for any reason)

If you had to say which player of colour would be the first one to be picked out of the ODI squad, most people would have gone with Herschelle Gibbs ahead of Langeveldt. This is a clear sign to Gibbs to get his act together if he wants a place in the team to England in June.

Peterson bowled himself into contention picking up  5-33 in the second innings of the second test. That said we now have two spinners who are left arm orthodox, instead of Botha who would add another dimension to the team.

It is the toughest challenge yet for SA in this season, facing an Indian side that could have easily won the Test series against Australia and ended off on a high note. It will take another monster effort from the worlds best bowler, certainly most destructive bowler Dale Steyn and a massive performance from the inexperienced Morkel to give SA a chance of completing a clean sweep of the season. With a fragile top order on the batting front, it will be a remarkable series victory.

South African Batting Averages

Just to put in perspective how average our players are, below are the averages for SA and AUS for the last 2 years

1. Gibbs – 24.38 avg
2. Smith – 31.81 avg
3. Amla – 37.69 avg
4. Kallis – 65.35 avg
5. Prince – 44.78 avg
6. De Villiers – 27.34 avg
7. Boucher – 28.32 avg

Hayden – 46.20 avg
Jaques – 83.50 avg
Ponting – 76.25 avg
Clarke – 74.90 avg
Symonds – 47.90 avg
Hussey – 78.76 avg
Gilchrist – 43.06 avg