Cricket is my sport of choice and I can sit and watch every single ball of an entire 5 day test, but now the question arises, will there be a full 5 days of cricket or will afternoon highveld rain disrupt what is set up to be an epic battle? I personally hope the rain will stay away and we will see some good cricket! This is my quick team that I would select for this epic battle (in Batting Order):
1. Graeme Smith
2. Ashwell Prince
3. AB de Villiers
4. Jaques Kallis (?)/Hashim Amla
5. JP Duminy
6. Alviro Peterson
7. Mark Boucher
8. Ryan McLaren
9. Paul Harris
10. Dale Steyn/Friedel de Wet
11. Wayne Parnel
Now I know most will be sitting there thinking, “is this guy whacked, where in Morné, or Makhaya?”. My answer is simple, Friedel de Wet has proved himself in the domestic tournament and feel he deserves a chance to represent his country. At the same time I will not be disapointed if he is left out of the first test to get some more experience on the field in the form of Morkel or Makhaya? but I do feel that he has the maturity to handle the pressure of this battle. Secondly most are even saying, “lets take McLaren out and put Makhaya or Morkel in his place?”. Well, as I have said before, I feel McLaren is a bowler with a dynamic that will use the pitch to his advantage, where Makhaya has no slower ball (although he does in the nets) I feel that McLaren will be a better option because of this.
Then the choice between Steyn and Friedel is a difficult one, because Steyn, like Kallis, must be fully fit, we cannot have him taking a chance and injuring himself further in this game and then being out for the rest of the series. We would rather have him in the side when 100%.
Then obviously I have put a question mark with Jaques, and this is for the purpose of if he is injured or not? We should not take the chance of injurying him even more, and I feel that he is more important to get completely fit rather than have a full range of injuries all the time. So if he is not 100%, Hashim must stand in at number 4 or go up to open and drop AB to 4 and Ashwell to 3.
I feel that the squad is a strong squad and any selection will be a good one, this is just what I would do, but I would not be suprised if Dale Steyn is in and not Friedel and if Morné is in and not McLaren.
I do feel that any team we choose from this squad will have the ability to win a test against England, but I don’t think any game is going to be an easy walk in the park game, and I feel we need to be on our toes to beat this side.
I look forward to the tests and I hope to go and watch day 3 at Newlands, I will sit near the savages of the Barmy Army, just to hear them silenced by the Proteas.