You are browsing the archive for 2012 December.

Rob Houwing’s Post Isolations TestXV

December 14, 2012 in cricket

Original Article : http://www.sport24.co.za/Cricket/Proteas/1992-2012-SAs-best-Test-XI-20121213

 

A few things to note :

Although A spinner is key in your team, I feel Morne Morkel missed out here, but who would you replace him with? To be honest I would rather go to battle with Morke than Adams. thoughts?

 

1 Graeme Smith (capt) – 105 caps, 2002 to present: 8,569 runs at 49.53

Remarkable longevity as a successful captain, coupled with growing reputation for being a “slayer” of beaten, rival skippers. Also such a big, steel-jawed presence at the crease, with a penchant for really weighty innings, even if not the finest batsman aesthetically that you will ever see.

2 Gary Kirsten – 101 caps, 1993 to 2004: 7,289 runs at 45.27

Another whose stroke-play wasn’t necessarily even the best in his own family … but he’s never minded that sort of tag. Kirsten was an intelligent, gritty and industrious opener who knew his strengths and weaknesses and played accordingly. Responsible for some famous match-saving actions, too.

3 Hashim Amla – 65 caps, 2004 to present: 5,323 runs at 50.69

Part of a new age of dominators at the crease; an absolute joy to watch with his wristy enterprise and increasingly mastery of just about all other aspects of batsmanship. Significantly unflappable, and just gets more and more consistent.

4 Jacques Kallis – 158 caps, 1995 to present: 12,980 runs at 56.92 and 282 wickets at 32.57

Little need to say anything, eh? Legend of the game, and an unparalleled, priceless part of the Test-team furniture for some 17 years, and counting …

5 Daryll Cullinan – 70 caps, 1993 to 2001: 4,554 runs at 44.21

A singular man, but there have been many other singular, high-calibre cricketers. You want “easy on the eye”? Well then, watch DJ Cullinan in full cry, especially if the road is not littered with the stones of a certain Australian leg-spinner who, it must be said, mesmerised many others too. Remember also that he lost some potentially vintage years to isolation. Those stats are more than half decent, nevertheless …

6 AB de Villiers – 80 caps, 2004 to present: 5,894 runs at 49.11

Considering the calibre of those above him in this order, there’s a good chance this team will be “pushing on” by the time De Villiers takes guard … and going hard is his forte! Dazzlingly versatile sportsman, often evident in his enterprising, varied approach to swift accumulation of runs. Not bad to have a No 6 averaging just a tad under 50, yes?

7 Mark Boucher (wkt) – 147 caps, 1997 to 2012: 5,515 runs at 30.30 and 555 dismissals

His batting fell away a fair bit in later years, but Boucher was always a no-fuss, ultra-reliable, record-smashing gloveman and at the peak of his powers also a scrapper of note at the crease. A mischievous thought might be to ask De Villiers to ‘keep in this XI, freeing up other selection opportunities, but forget it … Boucher offered 15 years of mostly exemplary service. Besides, who else is there to enthusiastically say “ooh, I like it!” when a Proteas spinner bowls another straight one?

8 Shaun Pollock – 108 caps, 1995 to 2008: 3,781 runs at 32.31 and 421 wickets at 23.11

Just look at his numbers … which Test team wouldn’t want someone of Polly’s stature at No 8? Apart from being capable of either
gutsing it out for an occasional Test century after top-order failure or giving it a hearty smack before a declaration, his bowling was initially swift and penetrative and in later career eternally cunning and parsimonious.

9 Dale Steyn – 60 caps, 2004 to present: 299 wickets at 23.79

He has been the planet’s top-ranked Test bowler for some time … say no more? The Phalaborwa Express is richly respected the world over for his ability to land the ball regularly in the corridor of uncertainty while simultaneously nipping it away lethally from the right-hander. At his best when manic-eyed and in irresistible rhythm.

10 Paul Adams – 45 caps, 1995 to 2004: 134 wickets at 32.87

Spin bowling: perhaps the one area of obvious limitation for South Africa in the last two decades. But who will ever forget the sensational arrival in the mid-90s of the frog in a blender? “Gogga” was a quirky, appealing character in more ways than just his bowling action, and for a while a glorious possessor of X-factor. You always want a slow bowler in your ideal Test side, and he is a comfortable enough choice, based on both superior average and strike rate to others tried.

11 Allan Donald – 72 caps, 1992 to 2002: 330 wickets at 22.25

“White Lightning” is one of the leading shock bowlers, in the most fulsome sense, of all time and would be an unlikely omission from a South African team throughout its Test history, never mind just since ’92.

 

Cricket or Rugby

December 7, 2012 in cricket, Rugby

 

If by some strange reason you were given a choice which you had to make of choosing Rugby or Cricket what would it be?

 

It’s harsh question but If you had to chose which sport would you drop? Springboks or Proteas?

Me? I would have to chose cricket, if you had asked me 2 years ago I would have said rugby any day. so whats changed?

 

I don’t think it’s because we have the best cricket team on the planet no it’s not that,

 

PS : Seems Biff is becoming so good at destroying opposition captains career’s that Ross Taylor’s been sacked before the series has even started.

Protea Myths and going Forward

December 6, 2012 in cricket

Since the Protea’s Recent series win over Australia in Australia there have been a few comments on certain aspects of the team, some positive but to my surprise a few negative comments have been made too. So the reason for my post is to give my opinion on some of those comments, and given that I watch, eat, sleep, play, breathe and talk cricket some of my opinions might be useful.

 

1. Graeme Smith didn’t use Tahir properly hence his career ended.

Ok yes, sure, Biff went up to Tahir and said “here my boy, here’s the ball, this little red thing, see how many runs you can conceded in an over, the more you concede the better you are and hey while you at it, don’t take any wickets, you’ll be dropped if you do”  and Tahir didn’t bloody disappoint did he? did exactly what his captain asked of him.

2. Ab Can’t bat when he has the Gloves

Yip we all know cricketers are superstitious sometimes. but AB takes the cake hey? Those damn wicket keeping gloves have some magical power which turn a brilliant batsmen into jelly, Give it up, the guy went through a bad patch of form all cricketers do, keeping wicket has nothing to do with it.

3. Jacques Kallis is getting old.

Ya think? The guy wears a wig for Fu**s sakes of course he is getting old, he can’t bowl anymore, Kallis has another 2 or 3 years in him max (if not less) will he leave a big hole? Yes the size of the one in Kimberly

4. Morgan Deane is Smoking hot

Yes she is

 

My Team for NZ and P

 

Graeme Smith (Cap) Alviro Pietersen Hashim Amla Jacques Kallis Ab de Villiers Faf du Plessis JP Duminy Robbin Petersen Vernon Philander Dale Steyn Morne Morkel

 

A few observations:

Our openers – Smith is probably the most prolific opener of his time and should be around for another 5 or 6 years if he wants to. he has in the past talked about stepping down as the captain so he can pump up his already brilliant average( 49.53) but has sine put that suggestion to bed saying “as long as I feel I can contribute as a captain, there is no reason to walk away” Smith is also on the verge of captaining his 100th test. nobody in  the History of cricket can say that. wow. Alviro is a top batsmen, one just feels he has a habit of throwing his wicket away once he is set. hopefully he works on that and we start seeing some big hundreds, all in all our opening pair average over 45 which is pretty good and they are becoming a settled unit.

The Three Musketeers:

Amla, Kallis and AB provide a sensational top order and if by some chance our openers fail these guys are more than reliable however I think it’s time we start looking for a long term replacement for Kallis, his time is coming and we can’t ignore that as much as we would love to

Middle/lower order:

With faf, JP and Robby P there, we have more than enough batting power down the order and Phillander being the all rounder that he is can also score a good 50 or 60.

Bowlers:

For me it was such a relief to watch Robby P in the action and I honestly don’t want to see Tahir near the side again (at least not for these two home series’) It’s a perfect balance. The speed and accuracy of Steyn, the Bounce and power of Morkel, The seam of Phillander and the mystery and intelligence of Robin P

 

Cheers

Cricinfo’s Protea ratings

December 4, 2012 in cricket

 Hashim Amla was on 99 at stumps, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Perth, December 1, 2012
Hashim Amla (377 runs at 62.83)  9/10

 

Two sides of Hashim Amlawere on display in this series: the one who can survive a series of streaky shots and chances and still score a century and the one who incorporates flair and flamboyance to achieve the same thing. Amla’s hundred in Brisbane helped South Africa build a foundation in the match but it was his innings in Perth that took the series away from Australia. In a frenzied second afternoon, his scoring rate was at times above seven an over as he and Graeme Smith batted the morale out of Australia’s attack. He fell four short of a double-ton and will end the year as second on the run charts behind Michael Clarke, but he has a Test mace to go with it, unlike the Australian.

Faf du Plessis (293 runs at 146.50) 9/10

For the second successive tour, a South African debutant has been the catalyst for creating history. Du Plessis showed immense presence of mind when he batted out more than four sessions against a talkative Australian side to save the Adelaide Test. There, he also became the first South African to score a half-century and a hundred on debut. With South Africa again in trouble in Perth, du Plessis knuckled down to post 78 and his knock was the reason the team had a first-innings lead. Beyond a solid technique, it was his temperament that stood tall. When South Africa held their post-match fines’ meeting, du Plessis was named their man of the series because of the impact he had. Few would disagree.


Graeme Smith (255 runs at 42.50, 10 catches) 8/10

Likely to be judged South Africa’s best captain, Smith led the team to a second successive series win in Australia by example. His only hundred came in Adelaide, after South Africa had conceded 550, and the recovery by du Plessis in the match saved Smith’s record of always winning after scoring a century. He also contributed a meaty 84 in Perth in a towering stand with Amla. His slip catching was unmatched as he pouched wickets from all angles and there was only one instance in which he let one through, with the ball going between him and Jacques Kallis. While the numbers speak of his ability to perform, the trophy tells the story of his work as captain. Smith continues to inspire the team to new heights. Having taken them to No.1 in the world, he also played a significant role in defending the crown.

Morne Morkel (14 wickets at 28.50) 8/10

The highest wicket-taker of the series, South Africa’s most loved big baby has grown up. Morkel‘s control was better than ever before, his cleverness in the using the short ball and varying his lengths was seen, and he was rewarded in every match. Despite taking wickets off no-balls in Brisbane, he was South Africa’s best bowler there and in Adelaide, where he was also the most economical in the second innings. He was overshadowed by Dale Steyn in Perth but still displayed exemplary ability to make batsmen feel awkward. It seems that Morkel now understands his own capabilities better, and they were aptly displayed on conditions that suited him.

Jacques Kallis (339 runs at 56.50, 2 wickets at 24.50, 5 catches) 7.5/10

In the shadows of Ricky Ponting’s retirement, talk has drifted to Kallis and the legacy he will leave when one day he too plays his last. Widely acknowledged as being among the best batsmen and all-rounders in the world, Kallis proved his worth in Australia again. His century in Brisbane was the perfect complement to Amla’s, and his 58 and 46 in Adelaide was the stuff of legend. Battling a hamstring strain, Kallis did his bit to save the match even while clearly in pain. It was also in that match that his worth as a bowler was underlined. He turned around the South African effort with two wickets before pulling up. Kallis could not bowl in Perth and only scored 39 runs, but without him South Africa may not have gone to Perth with a chance to win the series.


AB de Villiers (276 runs at 55.20, 8 catches, 1 stumping) 7/10

He left it late but when AB de Villiers returned as the batsmen we knew, it was spectacular. After struggling with the bat in Brisbane, he showed signs that he was coming back in Adelaide when he partnered du Plessis in an epic match-saving effort. For 220 balls, de Villiers showed enormous restraint as he concentrated on safety first. By the next Test in Perth, he was ready to explode, and once he had found his front foot again, he did. His innings was a fireworks display of reverse paddles and cheeky cuts but it is worth remembering that it came after the least amount of overs spent in the field. De Villiers’ keeping has also been considered adequate and he upped that a gear too. He was nifty behind the stumps, efficient in his catching and pulled off the stumping that dismissed Michael Clarke in Perth.

Dale Steyn (12 wickets at 30.83) 7/10

 

Dale Steyn gestures after claiming Michael Hussey's wicket, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day, December 3, 2012

Dale Steyn saved his best for the final Test

Having provided an entrée with a fiery spell in the warm-up match at the SCG, Steyn served cold food until Perth. He did not get his pace up and did not have the success he normally does as the go-to man. He was aggressive in the lead-up to the final Test and took it out on the field. On the second morning, Steyn decimated the Australian top-order to turn the match and the series South Africa’s way. He found swing, and bowled with speeds in the early 140s throughout, and when Steyn builds up a head of steam that hot, batsmen can only fear. He saved the best for the last and ended the series one wicket short of 300.


Alviro Petersen (200 runs at 33.33, 1 catch)6.5/10

The lowest scorer in the top six, Petersen did not have a defining innings on the tour, although he looked well set for one twice. His 64 in Brisbane was a glimpse into his promise which ended in a soft dismissal, and his 54 in Adelaide was cut short by a needless run-out. The quality is evident but the ability to convert affected him in this series. He also took a stunning catch on the boundary to deliver one of the best entries in the scorebook, c Petersen b Peterson.


Robin Peterson (6 wickets at 28.50) 5/10

Having thought he would do nothing but carry drinks on this tour, Robin Peterson was surprised with a Test recall. It came after four years on the fringe, and it showed a more mature player who has obviously benefitted from the experience of being around the side. He contributed sensibly with the bat in the first innings in Perth and claimed three wickets in each innings with the ball. Some of the time, that was based on luck. Peterson was expensive, but he had the runs at his disposal to be, and showed his lack of fear in flighting the ball. His game-plan of drawing Michael Clarke forward paid off and he also accounted for Ricky Ponting’s last dismissal as a Test batsman.


Vernon Philander (4 wickets at 49.75)  5/10

Philander had to wait until the Perth Test to get his first wicket of the series. In Brisbane, he was as ordinary as the rest of the attack, and the second highest no-ball offender. It looked as though batsmen were learning to leave him better and his usual fourth-stump channel was not working. A back injury kept him out of Adelaide but he returned to Perth to find swing and create havoc with Steyn on the second morning. Both Ponting and Shane Watson were added to his tally of big scalps in that innings, and he had an impact with the new ball in the second innings too. It’s been a long time coming, but this series was the gliding back to earth for Philander.
Rory Kleinveldt (4 wickets at 60.75, 1 catch) 4.5/10

As part of a four-pronged pace attack in Brisbane, Kleinveldt was the weak link on debut. He was nervous and it showed. He overstepped 12 times and was wasteful due to an over-reliance on the short ball. He would not have played in Adelaide if not for Philander’s injury and proved an opportunity for him to give a better account of himself. Kleinveldt took the first three Australian wickets and demonstrated his ability to extract bounce and produce seam movement.


Jacques Rudolph (74 runs at 18.50) 3/10

Having struggled to settle in at the top of the order a year ago, Rudolph is now battling to do the same in the middle order. A technical fault is stunting his progress as he struggled with offspin in this series. He was out all four times to Nathan Lyon in the first two Tests, to take his tally to seven in the last eight innings. Rudolph was dropped for the Perth match.


Dean Elgar (1 match, 0 runs, 1 catch)  1/10

In the match after du Plessis debuted for South Africa, Elgar was handed his first cap. He could not have had a more contrasting maiden appearance. He was worked over by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings by three pitched-up deliveries and then fell to the pull shot off the short ball and trapped lbw by the same bowler in the second, having been barraged with bouncers on that occasion. His only mark on the game was the catch he took at deep square leg to dismiss Ed Cowan, a well-judged one taken over his head.


Imran Tahir (1 match, 0 wickets, 260 runs) 0/10

It’s not often that at the culmination of a series, a player has performed so poorly that he does not deserve a rating at all. It’s probably even rarer that a player on the winning side has to endure this embarrassment. But, for Tahir, there is no escaping it. He was amateur in the only Test he played in Adelaide, persisting with the full toss and short ball even though he got tonked. To make it worse, he overstepped seven times and took a wicket with one of them. Tahir was sent home early in the hope that he would be able to do soul searching and restore confidence. After a showing like that, he may need to.

The best Proteas team of all time

December 3, 2012 in cricket

I’m speechless, words can’t describe how I feel being such an avid Proteas supporter, wow what a series, what a team, what players, what a coach and what a fine captain. Smith’s South Africa are number 1 and there they shall stay.

 

 

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