August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
What a test match!! What a series!! The boys did it again & this time got a title as the nr.1 test side in the world to boot!! What an amazing achievement to go up to England & almost whitewashing them in their own backyard to the 2nd spot on the ICC Test rankings.
But the celebrations (though thoroughly deserved) are done (hopefully) & now we turn our attention to the ODI’s. Most of us Proteas’ followers will remember that after our ’08 test series victory, England beat us 4 – zip in the 5 match ODI series that left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths & brought the SA side & their fans down from their high they experienced a couple of weeks before.
WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN!! Mind you, the English ODI side has been pretty unstoppable the last couple of months (just ask the ozzies) & add the fact that they will be hurting from their test series defeat, they are definitely going to be tough nut to crack, maybe even more so than in the test series.
AB de Villiers & his men will have to come down from that series victory high & start from scratch again, something I’m sure Gary Kirsten & his coaching staff would be able to assist them with. Speaking of the captain, I saw on twitter that he & his test captain went to the movies to relax a bit & AB himself also tweeted that he’s spending a relaxing day with Biff while also catching some tips from a guy who just became the most capped test captain in the history of cricket. Marinade on that last part just for a bit.. Wow!!
I hope he won’t catch too many tips though because his own young captaincy is much like his batting: Exciting, innovative & successful as he’s shown against Sri Lanka & New Zealand. He’s obviously got the backing of his colleagues (young & old), his coaches as well as the country which is fantastic for any young leader of a national team. His batting form in England is a bit of a concern though coming into the one-day series but AB is a positive person & player and the shorter format of the game is tailor made for his playing style. I have the utmost confidence in him & this team to carry on from their form in New Zealand & either give the Poms a run for their money or better yet, beat them in a series again.
Our ODI team is not as settled as our test side with basically just nr. 6 & wickey a bit of a head scratcher with the latter side. I thought that our middle order batting were superb against NZ with Kirsten very cleverly rotating AB, Faf & JP when the situation required for it. This is not to say that our top order spearheaded by ODI’s nr.1 batsman, the Hash, wasn’t good but I just really impressed with 4,5 & 6. I thought that our bowling attack was even better than our batting in our last series & with luxuries like Steyn, Petersen, Tsotsi (nr.1 ODI bowler by the way), the Morkel bro’s, Tahir, McLaren, Ontong, Parnell & a part timers like JP & Faf to choose from, AB will have an abundance of options to choose from to stick it to the English.
There’s been word that Kallis will be rested for this series so the team I would like to see facing England would be:
Amla, Biff, Dean Elgar, AB, JP, Faf, Albie, Petersen, Morne, Steyn & Tsotsi.
It’s a team that can bat very deep especially since Morkel & Steyn has shown that they are very capable of playing a couple shots, we have 3 world class seamers with Albie no slouch as a 4th one either & (basically) 3 slow bowling options that can take wickets, slow the run rate or simply just offer an alternative & ofcoz go through their overs very quickly. Throw in our world class fielding & you have a world class team that should trouble England and then some. If the warm-up game played against Gloucestershire is anything to go by, outsiders looking in like McLaren, Ontong, Parnell & Tsolekile might also get some game time but I really hope we get to see if Elgar can come to the party on the big stage. The guy (in my book) he replaced in the squad, Colin Ingram, has been too inconsistent & a little bit disappointing as well. I really hope Elgar comes through, Kallis (even though it may look that way) is not going to play forever you know.
I’m really excited about this series!!! It’s a bit weird for me coz usually I’d be more interested in the current rugby tournaments going on but with the Stormers disappointing me (again) & the Boks currently playing a team they should win (by some distance), I feel myself more interested in the cricket than the ruggas. Maybe when we play the AB’s & Wobblies, it will change. But with England’s ODI form, the fact that they’re hurting AND the fact that we would wanna right the wrong that happened 4 years ago, this series will be just as exciting or even more so than the test series. So once again Go Proteas!!