Mission to Perth
The SA tour to Australia is one which always sparks controversy, showcases new talent and results in a mass number of injuries. This has certainly been a series in which has lived up to its reputation. We had 3 major injuries affect the Proteas (Vernon Philander, JP Duminy and of course the most notable addition to the injury club – Jacque Kallis.
Imran Tahir was always a questionable addition to the team. An erratic leg spinner, with a pedigree of 14 years in first class cricket in multiple nations you would expect him to bring a significant amount of experience to the party. Regrettably, Tahir bowled a total of 7 no balls and was bludgeoned by the Australian top order for close to 260 runs of 37 overs. Adelaide is one of the most unusual wickets in the world being completely flat for the first few days and cracking in the latter stages. Shane Warne was certainly the best example of achieving fantastic results on a wicket that does not turn…. So with that said, the big question – why on earth did we pick Tahir? More importantly, why did we select Tahir over Robin Peterson. Any notable cricketing fanatic from South Africa would tell you, having a leg spinning was never one of our core strengths considering that our last successful leg spinning guru was none other than Paul “Gogga” Adams. Imran is a good bowler however, clearly needs to go back to the clinic for further analysis. Again, I am going to go old school here, with a limited run up, you should be bowling no balls!
Rudy to organize drinks…
This sounds really harsh doesn’t it? Well let’s look at the facts. I happened to be at Lords watching SA vs England on day 4. Hash shined like a megastar scoring his 16th test ton. Jacques Rudolph on the other hand looked promising as he made it to 42 before playing a rash shot of the bowling of Graeme Swann. I cannot stress enough how optimistic I was after seeing that innings. However, the wheels came off suddenly resulting his next 5 appearances scoring no more than 85 runs altogether. The fact that the SA brains trust insisted on Rudolph coming in well down the order, is a clear indication that he as well as the team lacked confidence in his ability. Granted, Rudolph had a successful tour of New Zealand earlier this year…. But then again, who hasn’t? (scoring 169 runs in 4 appearances).
Take the gloves from AB
The SA team management is clearly deluded in thinking that AB de Villiers can match the exploits of his keeper-batsmen counterparts in the form of Gilchrist, Sangakara and Dhoni (I will even throw in Alec Stewart and Andy Flower). AB is clearly out of form. This is attributed to too much time on his knees as well as being the most active on the field next to the bowler. Mickey Arthur’s establishment were correct a few years back maintaining that Boucher needs to keep the gloves in an effort to allow AB to maintain his batting prowess. AB, is undoubtedly the most talented batsmen in the team possessing a wide array of strokes. However, what sets Hash and Jakes apart from our beloved keeper, is that they are confident in a limited number of strokes, mentally stable at the crease and always remains calm no matter what the situation. We all know what Mr de Villiers in capable off with the bat, we just need to facilitate it. Give the gloves to Thami (The man has been waiting for 8 years for this shot).
Suggested changes to the Adelaide team
- Tsoelikele should come in as Keeper, replacing Rudolph. This will bump both AB and Faf up the order.
- Robin Perterson to come in for Imran Tahir – enough said. We will gain another batsman in this exchange.
- Should Kallis be declared comprehensively unfit to play, they should consider Dean Elgar in his place, resulting in his debut. There is talk at the moment of Ryan Mclaren taking his place. Personally, I believe that they need an extra batsman as we always seem to be considerably short against the mammoth Aussie totals.
- Vernon Philander to return and should replace Rory Kleinveldt. Now, I must say that I was really impressed with Rory’s last innings where he picked up 3 big sticks (Cowan, Warner and Quiney). He bowled very well at the left handers and put SA in a much more desirable position by applying pressure to an in form, Michael Clarke.