Langeveldt Pulls Out of SA tour to India

Charl Langeveldt has pulled out of the 3 test tour to India, which kicks off on the 26th of March. Langeveldt indicated that the controversy surrounding the team selection has upset him and he wont be in the right frame of mind.

It is now common knowledge that the South African touring side consisting of 14 players must have 6 players in order to be approved. Langeveldt has worked out that his selection is not based on anything else apart from race. He last played test cricket two years ago in Australia, which was just his 6th test. He averages 37 with the ball in tests and had a shocking display in this seasons Supersport Series (the 4 day domestic competition) averaging 43.45 with the ball!!!

Langeveldt was deservedly voted as one of the South African cricketers of the Year in 2007 and it takes only slightly more intellect than those that meddle with the team have to work out its not for his ability in the 5 day format.

Langeveldt has impressed in the ODI format, averaging 28.46 in 59 matches. He also contributed in the MTN domestic championship picking up 17 wickets at an average of 14.70. He also had an outstanding world cup and is an integral part of the ODI squad.  

Statistics don’t mean everything but they are a good way to gauge where Langeveldt’s speciality lies. In Bangladesh he picked up 2/32 and 3/31 before being rested for the last game.

My sympathy goes out to Langeveldt who knows he wasn’t the best player for the job and also understands the reason why he was picked. The politicians like the Ministry of sport Butana Komphela have no place in the game. (if you don’t know who he is – he is the person that wanted passports taken away from the Springboks for not meeting transformation standards – read more here) He came out to defend Arendse when the side from Bangladesh was rejected for not having enough transformation players and told the media that:

“We must build this country through unity and through sport, we have all seen how united this country becomes as soon as one national team wins. All of us, even the president (Thabo Mbeki), supported the Springboks when they won the World Cup.

“People asked me ‘why’ and I said ‘they might be white, probably by accident, but they are South Africans, it doesn’t make them lesser South Africans.’

He also went on to say “But our agenda is to tell them to transform and that is not going to stop. We are unapologetic about that because the truth is very simple: we all need to feel like we have a place in the national team.” (to read more of his statements click here and yes it gets worse)

As mentioned in another post why must 6 players of colour be taken when only 4 will play? Who will replace his spot? If policies are to be adhered to, one thing is for sure it wont be Andre Nel.

Champions Trophy Groupings

The  rankings are done 6 months before the tournament starts, which means even when SA finish their series against Bangaldesh 3-0 up and claim the top spot they have been ranked number two for the tournament. The two groups will be played on a round-robin format with the top two sides progressing to the semi-finals.  SA seem to have the easier group avoiding the sub continent sides which are lethal and the venue is Pakistan

Group A Australia (1), India (4), Pakistan (5), West Indies (8)
Group B South Africa (2), New Zealand (3), Sri Lanka (6), England (7)

SA vs Bangladesh 2nd ODI

Unsurprisingly South Africa made it 2 from 2 in the ODI series, it wasnt such a battering this time only a 7 wicket victory. Bangladesh managed another score in the 170 odd region which was a good recovery from 18/4. A 100 run partnership from the Hasans (no relation I dont think) managed to stable the ship for a little bit taking them to 137/5 before another collapse left them 173 all out.

 Bangladesh might have got a little excited when SA were 60/3 but De Villiers and Duminy steered them home comfortably.

 If SA win the last match they will be the number 1 ODI side in the world

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.