Colin Bryden

Speed between the stumps

2012-09-25 15:29
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (File)
Playing cricket for South Africa in the Gary Kirsten era seems to be more fun than it was in the not so distant past. A pre-season camp at a luxury golf estate, clambering about in the Alps, optional practices - and now a couple of days off at a beach resort.
 
So far it’s worked rather well, with the objective being to ensure the players go into each big game mentally fresh. The beach break in Sri Lanka seemed particularly well timed, with the team having six days between the end of the group phase and the start of the business end of the ICC World Twenty20 with their first Super Eights match on Friday. Two days in Bentota still allowed plenty of time to prepare for what could be five matches in Colombo if the Proteas win at least two of their three Super Eights games and then go on to reach the final.
 
The performances in the first two matches were highly impressive, with the bowlers in excellent form. On pitches with more pace and bounce than might have been expected, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel have been more than a handful, while Jacques Kallis has been excellent in a seam support role.
 
If the pitches get lower and slower from frequent use at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, the spin of Johan Botha and Robin Peterson will be crucially important.
 
Although the batsmen haven’t had too much of a chance to play a proper innings, with the exception of Richard Levi and Hashim Amla against Zimbabwe, the urgency in the seven-over hit-out against Sri Lanka was indicative of a team determined to take every opportunity available to them. One player whose form is questionable is Albie Morkel, who seems to be getting by on reputation and experience, which could yet be valuable.
 
One aspect which possibly hasn’t attracted as much comment as it deserves has been the running between wickets. Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy, to name just three, are like lightning down the pitch and the total against Sri Lanka was several runs in credit simply because of the way the batsmen turned ones into twos. In the matches that I have seen, no other team has run as well between the stumps as South Africa.
 
It may be a small detail - and in the end it is still most likely that big innings or a devastating spell of bowling will be decisive - but in a tight game those extra runs could be important.

Colin Bryden is back on his couch watching the one-day games after reporting live on the Test series in England.

Disclaimer:
Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which sporting event are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.