There are various reasons that contributed to the downfall of the SA side in the Twenty20 championships. The make up of the squad is a very important aspect of this. Loots Bosman was injured just before the start of the championships and even though he expressed his desire to play the coach indicated he was unfit to play. He is now facing a disciplinary hearing after stating “I am sick of lies, I am very, very disappointed … Mickey tells too many lies.” His physiotherapist said he was fine to play yet CSA ruled him out, costing him R250 000 in lost earnings.
The replacement for Bosman would logically be another specialist batsman, however the selectors had a different idea and believed that another bowler would be the solution thus Andre Nel was selected in his place. This reduced the side of an opening batsman as the Coach Mickey Arthur indicated he had every intention of playing him in this role.
Jacques Kallis can have a good giggle to himself that is if he can stifle a smile about missing out on R250 000 of his salary for being a batsman that scores too slowly. Especially when a side requiring 126 cant even muster a run a ball in the Pro20 format when it counted. The only player to score more than a run a balls was Ntini, who looked a lot better out there than the man who effectively replaced Jacques Kallis – Johan van der Wath who made a single off 6 balls when there was still a chance of the total being reached.
The new selection panel have got off to a shocking start with egg on their faces after their decision to drop Kallis has backfired horribly. Without focusing on his batting ability Kallis has featured as a top international bowler for South Africa. In addition he has years of experience, something you can’t buy with your fish and chips.
The poor vision of the selectors is a worry. There is no reason why Kallis couldn’t have come in at 4 if there was a batting collapse like SA had and if they got off to a flyer he could have been pushed down the order.
The biggest question is what did the see Johan van der Wath doing that Kallis couldn’t have done?? Van der Wath is a good cricketer and deserved the chance to play international cricket but to take the place of Jacques Kallis in the squad seemed ridiculous at the time of selection and was proven in the series.
The captain of South Africa has transformed from a boy with high ambitions to succeed into a man who cant lead from the front. He is a great player but his bark has been worse than his bite for a long time now. The coach and captain seem to share a very close relationship to the point where a conflict of interest seems to be arising and will ultimately lead to an untenable relationship.
The time for a change in the setup of SA cricket is upon us…
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??
The last day of the group stages features two key matches out of the three on offer. The first match of the day at 10 am (8:00am GMT) is the decider between Australia and Sri-Lanka, the winner will join Pakistan in the semi-finals. It is hard to call a winner in this game, as Australia are without a doubt the best side in the world in the longer versions of the game, however they have struggled to adjust to the shortest version, twenty20.
There is no doubt they have the players that can impact on this game, however they haven’t seemed to adjust to this format quickly enough. I think Sri-Lanka will win it in a tightly contested game. The key man for Australia will be Symonds, a brutal innings from him could change the game.
Pakistan vs Bangladesh: There is nothing to lose for Bangladesh who started off by thrashing the West Indians, and struggling from there. They have some classy players, but are no match for the powerful Pakistanis.
South Africa vs India: The final match could cause some calculator work to be used if India beat SA. South Africa will qualify as the number one side even if they lose to India provided it is nail bitingly close. However if South Africa get trounced by India, they could find the net run rate counting against them and fail to qualify. It is an unlikely situation, especially as India just need a win to qualify regardless of by how much it is.
I have worked out that if India score 210 and SA fail to make 195 they will be knocked out. At the moment they have the best NRR however the matches are so close it is easy for them to relinquish this position.
I predict South Africa to win this game but it will be their toughest game of the tournament so far as there is added pressure on them. The conditions will be very interesting and more than likely favouring the side batting first. This toss is a vital one to win.
The matches played on Thursday the 13th started off with an unexpected result. The West Indies faced Bangladesh, needing a victory to advance to the next round alongside South Africa. The Bangladesh side had other ideas knowing a victory ensured they would go through. Bangladesh got off to a great start, with Syed Rasel picking up the dangerous Chris Gayle with the third ball of the day.
Hopes of beating the West Indies would have been fading as the second wicket partnership was 95, with Devon Smith scoring a 50 and later on Dwayne Smith smashing 29 off 7 right near the end, which enabled the West Indies to post 164 a very defendable total.
Bangladesh got off to a poor start as Rampul’s first ball removed Nazimudden, and in his next over he sent Iqbal back to the bleachers off his last ball of the over. This was about as much joy as the Windies were going to get as Mohammed Ashraful joined Aftab Ahmed at the crease. Ashraful got into the action straight away with some very aggressive slogs rather than strokes bringing three 4’s off his first three balls faced. Ashraful scored 18 off Powells over and Rampul went for 16 in the previous over.
Aftab and Ashraful carried on the slaughter taking Bangladesh from 28/2 to 137/3 when Ashraful went out for 61. Ashraful recorded the fastest Twenty20 50 runs off 20 balls, stealing Jayasuriya’s record of 23 balls.
Bangladesh cruised to a 6 wicket victory with two overs remaining. They have certainly proved that the can perform in this form of the game and their match against South Africa will show the rest of the world how good they are.
ome might have thought that the 3 matches played today were foregone conclusions. Others like Ray Mali would have told you a different story about who would be victorious in the final game of the day.
Zimbabwe was given a small total to chase and they managed to chase it down in the last over. Australia struggled all through their innings and whilst the conditions weren’t easy the batsman were not hanging around for long enough to get settled in except for Symonds and Hodge who both got in the 30’s. Zimbabwe’s opening bowlers – Elton Chigumbura and Gary Brent had combined figures of 7 overs 39 runs 5 wickets. The most expesive bowler for Zimbabwe was Tatenda Taibu who went for 20 in 2 overs.
In contrast Australia opening bowlers, Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken bowled 8 overs for 56 runs 2 wickets. Essentially this was the difference between the two teams. Brad Hodge was the most expensive bowlers with the same figures as Taibu.
There was not much difference between the two sides apart from the attitude. Boucher got fined 60% of his match fees for indicating in a report that he preferred the other formats, which meant he was bringing the game into disrepute so I shudder to imagine what Australia would be docked if they had to face a South African inquiry. They have seemingly mocked this form of cricket and paid the price. One can only hope England carry on the lesson Zimbabwe started – failing to plan is planning to fail….