Champions League T20
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Proteas need change: Jacobs
Cape Town – Warriors captain Davey Jacobs has shot himself to the top of the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 batting leaderboard – and simultaneously called for a “fresh approach” in the national side.
In a nutshell, Jacobs wants “in” for the Proteas, who have not yet set the world alight in the game’s newest format … and makes no bones about it.
The 27-year-old from Klerksdorp came out firing on the Cricinfo website, where he was described as “young and thirsty”.
Jacobs claimed: “I am ready now to play for South Africa. I know I will be successful.
“It (would) be amazing for me, of course, but it will be massive for them as well because of what I can bring onto the table.
“I am pushing for it now. They do need some fresh approach. Especially in T20 and in ODIs they need (that). And change. I know I can provide that.”
Clearly Jacobs, whose lightning innings of 59 off 39 balls and two acrobatic outfield catches played a pivotal role in his team earning their second win on the trot at St George’s Park against the Victoria Bushrangers on Monday night, is also buoyed by the fact that franchise team-mate Johan Botha was recently appointed Graeme Smith’s successor as T20 national captain.
“Johan Botha is my vice-captain here. I am looking forward to (being) his T20 vice-captain at the national side,” he was quoted as saying, clearly not quite done in the self-confidence department.
Certainly Jacobs could do no wrong in the keenly-awaited clash of the Aussie and South African champion T20 sides, where he took his tournament tally to 85 runs (strike rate just under 150) after also smacking 26 against Wayamba.
Against the Bushrangers, Jacobs got to his half-century while his seasoned opening partner Ashwell Prince was still on a mere 12, and that was no poor reflection on the latter – Jacobs just found the “middle” superbly and monopolised the strike as a result while their alliance saw 81 runs posted in fewer than 10 overs.
It was a good time for Jacobs to impress personally – the Victoria side contains pretty close to the nucleus of the Australia T20 line-up and he was particularly severe upfront on highly-touted left-arm spearhead Dirk Nannes and his strike partner Shane Harwood.
His lead-from-the-front, walk-the-talk style seems to have rubbed off on the entire Warriors side, who dominated both limited-overs landscapes domestically under his command in 2009/10.
Jacobs averages a touch over 30 in the non-international T20 arena, with a top score of 71 not out and strike rate of 121.
“I don’t wait for things to happen; I make them happen,” is another self-confessed aspect of his make-up.
If he continues to match word with thunderous deed in the Champions League, Jacobs will certainly be a crucial step closer to Proteas recognition.
The Warriors next play New Zealand’s Central Stags, again before their buzzing home faithful, on Saturday.