December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
It’s so much fun isn’t it? Comparing newly found “superstars” to legends of the game. Or making those supposed to be superstars bigger than they really are. The media loves doing it & we love gobbling it all up. I’m mentioning this coz I saw this happening 4 years ago & it looks like it’s about to happen again.
I remember when JP Duminy burst onto the test arena in Australia with that brilliant knock (& make no mistake – it was brilliant), he was immediately dubbed a superstar.
One guy even tipped him as South Africa’s first ‘black’ cricket superstar (http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/387181.html) & he’s probably not from SA coz there is a difference between black & coloured people here in SA. Sorry, but he’s messing a bit with my coloured pride here.
What pisses me off about that article is that just a couple of years before JP made his entrance onto the international arena, his schoolboy hero (Gibbs) played arguably one of the greatest one-day innings ever witnessed, oh & by the way, he’s also ‘black’. First Non-white cricket superstar? No, sorry but that role was already taken.
I also remember reading somewhere that JP was being dubbed the next Ricky Ponting!! Now I don’t like Punter, I for one am glad he’s retiring but I thought that was very disrespectful to the then Ozzie captain; that a test rookie was already mentioned in the same conversation as him. I had nothing against JP, I was very happy for him when he made those knocks but I honestly thought he was being overrated afterwards. That he was already being labelled some things he has the potential & talent to be but wasn’t there yet. And he proved my point the following 2 seasons after his debut when he struggled with spin bowling & bouncers & eventually got dropped from the test side…
Now back to 2012 where Duminy showed that he’s grown & matured a huge amount since that debut 4yrs ago as a 24 year old & he showed that maturity when he was required on a number of occasions to bat with our tail in the SA-Eng series earlier this year. I think he was a huge loss to our side because his absence upset the team’s balance especially when we went into that 1st test without Tahir. But one guy’s injury is another man’s test debut & JP will know that better than most. And what a debut it was!! A man of match debut!! I could even go so far as to say a man of the series debut because Faf du Plessis’ excellent & resilient knock really took the stuffing out of the Aussies, giving us the mental advantage heading into the final & deciding test in Perth. But here’s the thing..
I feel that just like Koppe played himself into test team, Faf did too but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves coz just like with JP, 2nd season blues could be looming for the Titans batsman (touch wood). And even though he may be better known internationally than JP was, there’s still a huge difference between test & limited overs cricket. Case & point: Kohli, Raina, Warner.. Morgan.. Guys that excelled in the limited overs arena but are struggling to do it consistently in test cricket. Luckily they’re all fairly young (including JP & Faf) so they still got time to settle in and that’s what we as fans, coaches & selectors should allow them to do: Settle in!! Especially with a rookie like Faf because he’s not going to be our hero all the time – something that a quality batting team like the Proteas doesn’t need a lot of anyways – there are going to be tough times because as brilliant as the 2 weeks was he just had, it’s still just 2 weeks.
Also, there’s been lots of rumours going around that Kallis will not bowl against NZ and Pakistan & that’s fine coz like the panel conferred on Supersport’s Inside Edge, we should have enough in our bowling attack to get 20 wickets against those 2 sides without needing JK to bowl. But I hope the selectors are thinking beyond that. By that I mean: What happens when Kallis the Batsman is no longer there? & make no mistake people, that time is approaching. Who will occupy that crucial nr. 4 spot? AB? JP? Faf? Elgar? Do the selectors even have an idea because I would hate to see what’s happening to Australia at the moment with the loss of Ponting happen to us.
And let’s not forget that unlike Punter & probably-soon-to-retire Tendulkar (the other two 12 000+ run getters), Kallis is also widely regarded the best all-rounder of his generation, so that will make our loss even more difficult & more complicated than that of the Ozzies & India. Look I’m not saying chopping & changing needs to be done now, Not at all, we’ve got a nr.1 test ranking wave we’ll need to ride the crap out of. But have a waterproof watch to check the clock every now & then.