One of South Africas most talented batsmen has been cast aside for the tour against England, but due to some injuries has managed to sneak into the SA A side to face England on Tuesday. Gibbs has been given a lifeline, and most of us hope he will use it.
The squad is made up of: Hashim Amla (capt), CJ de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Heino Kuhn, Morne Morkel, Andrew Puttick, Rilee Rossouw, Juan Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Vaughn van Jaarsveld
There are 4 youngsters to watch: Rilee Rossouw, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dean Elgar and CJ de Villiers
Recently Pietersen reckoned:
“I’m looking at playing the warm-up game on Tuesday next week at Potchefstroom and then, I hope, the first one-day international,” he told reporters. “But we’ll just see how this next week goes. I’m certainly not going to rush things – I tried that a while back. So that’s the plan, and I feel good for it at the moment. “I’ve done some rigorous training over the last six weeks, I’ve done a lot of work at Lord’s in the last week before I flew out yesterday and I’m feeling good, I’m feeling fresh mentally. I had a bad day on my Achilles yesterday, but I think that was just purely down to the flight. I’ve woken up feeling really good today.”
However he has been included in the game today and will be looking to dominate South Africa. South Africa have made 3 changes, with Kallis, Abdulla, and Kuhn coming into the squad.
South Africa were knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy tonight, but cricket in South Africa has not looked better. Graeme Smith decided at last to play a captains innings and if he has turned a corner the rest of the team will follow suit. For years we have watched Smith make 30 off 20 balls or some equivalent, occasionally getting to 50 and then getting out. Smith has been great to score at a run a ball in his innings but has failed to put together a captains knock under pressure for ages.
Hopefully tonight is the coming of age for Smith, and for some of his peers. Watching the replays of how the guys got out, apart from Duminy who had a fantastic arm ball the rest of the team imploded. Morkels run out effectively ended the game, but Kallis and De Villiers fell for the trap while Gibbs and Botha mishit one. I am still at a loss of why Steyn is at 11 and Parnell at 10. I might be wrong but I dont think Parnell has batted for SA and senior level yet. I understand he has hit the middle of the bat once or twice but Steyn is fairly accomplished with a test 50 and some great runs in the England circuit.
There were mistakes made tonight and we all hope that Mickey, Graeme and SA learn from it but only time will tell.
Unfortunately I am nowhere near live coverage of the game and what a cracker it could turn out to be. Following the commentary on cricinfo I picked up that it is a flat track. The shots described make the pitch sound an absolute belter. Looking at the english line up, only Jimmy Anderson poses a problem with his mixed bag. If Jimmy gets it right this wont be a contest, however knowing Anderson’s general performance, Onions and Swann will be the men to be careful of.
I predict SA to win it, and it will be close. SA will have to break the record for highest run chase at Centurion but it can be done and I hope it will be otherwise SA will again be embarrassed on home soil.
Update: 3/0 after the first over
South Africa are top of the world after England scrape a win against Australia in the final ODI
1. South Africa 127 points
2. India 126
3. Australia 125
4. Pakistan 109
5. Sri Lanka 108
6. England 105
7. New Zealand 105
8. West Indies 78
9. Bangladesh 55
10. Zimbabwe 26
11. Ireland 25
12. Kenya 0