I was bored at work and thought of something I can write a blog about.. And then it hit me, why not compare my beloved Proteas to my beloved Springboks. So here goes:
The Proteas are coming off a high after beating arch rivals Australia in their own backyard. I have to say that I was worried that Aus would come here and do the same & after this test series that just finished, I had reason to be worried. Having said that, the Proteas have played some good cricket the last couple of years, moving between the nr. 1 & 2 ranking in both forms of the game. We really peaked in the ODI’s prior to the 2007 world cup and just like the New Zealand rugby team, we did “THAT” thing again. But we are preparing a team for the 2011 WC & as always, Im confident we should win it. Favourite players: AB de Villiers, Gibbs & Smith
The Springboks (I can still call them that, right?) haven’t been as constant as the Proteas in winning matches but has won 2 more world cups than their “brothers in sport”. Jake White really brought pride back to the Bok jersey and the results showed on the field especially on a certain 20 Oct 2007 in Paris, France. Ah, what a beautiful night that was!! But with a new coach comes new game plans, new ideas and off course some new players. The Boks (just like the Proteas) have the talented players to be the best team in the world. New Zealand will be tough nut to crack on their homeground come 2011 but if the core group of players stick together and politics just keep their noses out of the sport (hahahaha, sorry had to laugh at one), we should be a tough nut too. Favourite players: Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Ruan Pienaar
The Players Comparisons
Graeme Smith & Juan Smith
One obvious similarity is that both these guys are huge & their attitude is that of “Opposition team just bring it on, don’t worry my team, today I’ll lead you to the promise land” Captain Graeme loves to lead from the front, loves to attack (almost bully) the opposition bowlers. For me that’s kinda the same how Juan gives hand-offs when trying to get over the advantage line.
Ashwell Prince & Adi Jacobs
Both players are seasoned campaigners. Both players’ loves to play an attractive, attacking game, both players have re-kindled their form after injuries & international wilderness to perform on a very high level.
Hasim Amla & Bismark du Plessis
I know you probably saying: What!? You kidding me, right!? But both these players are still young but both plays a very important role in their respective teams & both players can stamp their authority on the game.
Jaques Kallis & John Smit
Both players have ample records in their brilliant careers. Both are truly classy, focused & professional players and it shows on the field! Smit is a natural born leader so he shades Kallis there but Kallis is the best all rounder (sorry Ventori & Flintoff) in the world so I think we can equal them out.
AB de Villiers & Jean de Villiers
Both players are in awesome form for the last couple of years or so, both players have been billed as future captains for their respective teams, both are media favourites and most importantly, both are my favourite players. hehehehe!! And both players are very entertaining when on song
JP Duminy & Ruan Pienaar.
Talent & bright futures are just some of the first things that springs to mind when I think of these 2 guys. I am a bit worried that too much pressure are put on these guys to lead their respective teams especially Pienaar (having to play nr.10 against the Lions). Having said that, I started this comparison with the word “talent” and I believe both these players will shine for a long time.
Mark Boucher & Victor Matfield
Both players have dipped in form a bit (That’s my opinion anyways) but both provide leadership when regular captains Smith & Smit are not playing so in that way I think they’re very similar. Another similarity is that these guys always plays small but major roles in putting their teams in winning positions: Mark with his cameos to push up the run rate when needed & Big Vic with stealing the opposition’s lineouts.
Albie Morkel & Schalk Burger
This comparison is probably a bit unfair to Schalk considering what he has achieved so far but for me I kind of see a similarity with the blond beast flying in for tackle and Morkel’s ability to let the ball fly to the boundary.
Morne Morkel & Francois Steyn
Another comparison unfair to the rugby player. Having said that, both players are hot-heads & future (in Morne’s case) stars in their respective sports. Another similarity is the inconsistency in these guys’ games. The one moment Morne takes a beauty of wicket because of his raw pace & the next game he gets beaten into a pulp. Steyn’s heroics and what-the-hell-was-that plays are very well documented.
Paul Harris & Jaque Fourie
Both players are not too flashy but very important to their teams. Harris for his “spin” bowling (nah lets call it slow bowling) & Fourie for his defense and “reg-op straight” running.
Makhaya Ntini & Bakkies Botha
The workhorses of the team. Ntini might have lost a bit of pace but he still looks as tireless as he was when he was in his peak. Bakkies, well don’t have to say much about what he does.
Dale Steyn & Fourie du Preez
I cant remember when last these guys didn’t deliver for their respective teams. Both players are considered by peers & media alike the best in what they do.
Herschell Gibbs & Bryan Habana
When these guys bat (Gibbs) or run with the ball (Habana), you are glued to your seat to see what’s going to happen next. Habana has dipped in form & Gibbs has had an awesome Pro-20 series but the word that goes hand-in-hand with these two are: entertainment.
Well that’s it from me.. Now lemme go think up some more crap I can bore you with