Proteas pin hope on spinners

2011-02-22 07:38

Eduan Roos

Delhi – The South African camp has so much faith in its spinners at the Cricket World Cup that Johan Botha, Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir could all play against the West Indies.

The Proteas take on the Windies on Thursday in their first group match of the tournament and, according to Botha, his team’s highly-rated pace attack may play second fiddle for once.

“It’s very exciting that we are in the position for the first time to be able to pick three spinners in the same team,” said Botha.

“But it didn’t just happen overnight. Robin, Imran and myself worked very hard to get to this point.”

Botha and company trained for the first time in the Indian capital on Monday after about a week in Bangalore. While heavy rain delayed their session for an extended period, the touring side still trained for about four hours at the airport base.

“After a rest period of about two weeks it was necessary to prepare properly for our first game,” said Botha.

“The wicket here will probably have a lot less bounce than in Bangalore, but then a much bigger responsibility rests on the shoulders of our spinners to be able to turn the ball a lot more.

“We will have a more attacking role here and have to take wickets, whereas in South Africa we look to limit the runs.”

That may well mean that one of Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe have to watch the action from the sidelines in the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

“All three of us bowl well in the power plays and because we complete our overs very quickly, 10 or 15 overs pass the batsmen by in the blink of an eye. The number of spinners we choose will depend on the conditions, the wicket and our opponents. But it’s fantastic to have that option.”

Botha says that the Proteas’ recent success in the home one-day series against India had given the spin-trio’s confidence a further boost.

It also suits South Africa that they are not considered the favourites this year.

“We were the favourites in 2003 and 2007, and it put the guys under immense pressure. This time all the attention is focused on India, Sri Lanka and Australia.”

He said that the Proteas already have their plans together for the match against the Windies, a team they have lost to twice before in the tournament (in 1996 and 2003).

“We are fully aware that they have a number of match-winners, but we will be ready for them,” said Botha.


  • george.traut - 2011-02-22 07:57

    I may just be over reacting or misinterpreting, but from the quotes and information given here and over the morning news. The way in which Botha speaks, makes it sound like he knows that he is assured of his place and that the other 2 spinners are just extras. I don't like that. In my eyes, Botha is nr3 in line for our specialised spinner position. And his batting ability (or lack thereof) should not be rewarded with anything higher than nr8!

      Hanjo - 2011-02-22 08:04

      yes, Hopefully the selectors share your views

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-22 08:17

      right on...

      Zolani - 2011-02-22 08:37

      you can watch the words out of Bothas mouth on He is good on the subcontinent, there is a reason the IPL paid ten million rand for him. I dont rate him mutch on our pitches though

      Viwe - 2011-02-22 08:56

      He's the vice-captain... His place kinda has to be guaranteed, doesn't it?

  • paulmandlankosi - 2011-02-22 08:02


      Lord Haw-Haw - 2011-02-22 09:21

      This is not a Bafana article, get lost idiot

      Valis - 2011-02-22 09:28


      kingswing69 - 2011-02-22 09:48

      a**hole , your bafana bafana team play like b1tches ,

      Zolani - 2011-02-22 10:20

      I also think this guy is an idiot, but why make assumptions, that soccer is a Black sport. I for one support all SA team's and wear the shirt on Fridays, Soccer, cricket, Rugby etc. I support Arsenal, in Premiere league, The Stormers in Super 15, the Lions in Cricket, and Orlando pirates in PSL. Rajasthan royals in the IPL. List goes on.

      Zolani - 2011-02-22 10:23

      I also think this guy is an idiot, but why make assumptions, that soccer is a Black sport. I for one support all SA team's and wear the shirt on Fridays, Soccer, cricket, Rugby etc. I support Arsenal, in Premiere league, The Stormers in Super 15, the Lions in Cricket, and Orlando pirates in PSL. Rajasthan royals in the IPL. List goes on.

      Flinger - 2011-02-22 10:45

      Soccer is SA is a black the camera, i know a few white football players around Gauteng that will put your favorite bafana players to shame....pity they will never get the chance.

      JustinD - 2011-02-22 10:46


      Rajty - 2011-02-22 11:57

      Why do you assume that Paul is a bafana supporter...and why do you feel the need to slate them. Is it the perceived black connection????That makes you all racists.....

      Will2.0 - 2011-02-22 13:02

      Paul's comment is that of a doos, but not much different than a lot of white guys' opinion now, is it? And then slating my, nay, our Bafana in response is just as douchy. Jesus, we must be the most immature society on earth.

  • Hanjo - 2011-02-22 08:04

    we have Faf and Duminy in the team who can also bowl spin, do we really need 5 spin options?? Preferably Botha or Petersen, or both should be dropped, our quicks, steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe will do damage, look at the Aussie pace attack yesterday, I still think , if Kallis bowls, he should be our 4th seam option, with 3 spin bowlers in Tahir, Faf and Duminy

  • Kyle - 2011-02-22 08:11

    Ridiculous headline!!!

  • Rowan - 2011-02-22 08:16

    I will be very happy to see SA have the boldness to pick 3 spinners for a match. Especially a match against better opposition than the WI. I'm not sure if we have that amount of confidence in our spin but I feel it is going to be needed to play 3 bowlers - 3 pace, three spin

      Jim - 2011-02-22 08:47

      Careful Rowan, the WI may just bite our backsides.

  • Ivan - 2011-02-22 08:27

    In the first 4 matches of the CWC 51 wickets were taken. 16 of those by spinners and 35 by fast or medium fast bowlers. Where are these fabled turning pitches of the subcontinent? I agree with Hanjo that we dont need 5 spinners in one game and definitely not at the expense of pacemen like Steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe. Play at least two of them in conjuction with a true spinner like Tahir or Peterson and let the backup spinners bring up the rear. We cant afford not to play our fast bowlers. Look at the damage that Aus did with their pace attack.

  • ballhead - 2011-02-22 08:28

    We should go with two spinners, and chucker Botha shouldn't be one of them

  • Alex - 2011-02-22 08:29

    So most people are doubting the selection of a spin based bowling attack, but where has fast bowling got us in previous world cups! i leave it at that

      poorwhite - 2011-02-22 08:34

      so Alex you think spin will win the world cup??? cricket is not only about bowling you chop! It's about the team and batsmen as well as a decent captain who can make the right decisions.....ask Shaun pollock about 2003! Look at the stats so far....only 16/51 wickets due to spin.....I leave it at that!

  • alessandroz067 - 2011-02-22 08:52

    Three spinners? That's dof... This is the most balanced team i feel: Biff, Amla, Kallis, AB, JP, Faf, Ingram/Van Wyk, Tahir, Steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe.

      Zolani - 2011-02-22 10:31

      from the look of your team you clearly have some Brains, so why make such a daft, racist statement below. about, Botha only beeing vice captain because of his skin colour ??

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-22 12:00

      cos it's true...

      Thunukenenxe - 2011-02-22 15:42

      I thunk it's a well balanced team, but i will choose Van Wyk over Ingram for his gud fielding.

  • Zandberg - 2011-02-22 09:24

    Yes it might be that pace so so far has reigned supreme, but in all honesty, when last did the Canadians or Zimbabwe face proper pace bowling. When the stronger teams start playing each other it it will be a different story. The pitches are also still fresh. Also remember that both Peterson and Tahir turns the ball away from right handers, Botha turns it in. So dropping Botha for Tahir and Peterson deprives you of that variation. Sure Duminy can fill in for Botha, but not as a bowler that will give you 10 overs. Luckily we have selectors, who I am sure will get the praise / blame for whatever they think is the best option. All I can say is GOOD LUCK BOYS!!!

  • Barry - 2011-02-22 09:36

    Good on you Johan and you must be one of the best otherwise you would not be considered as vise captain. So go boys most of us stand by you dont worry about the couple of doubters.

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-22 09:57

      one of the best? lol... this is not a comedy forum. I think you meant "vice" captain. He's vice captain because he's white not becuase he can play (bowling average above 40 and batting average below 20). That's all, bye!

      Will2.0 - 2011-02-22 13:06

      Vice captain because he's white? That is the dumbest thing I've heard today...and I had a three hour meeting with government this morning.

      alessandroz067 - 2011-02-22 13:45

      @Will2.0: Don't make yourself feel important laaity. Of course that's the truth, you and everyone else knows it but will not admit it. Why else is he vice? Is it because of his great throwing ability or his pathetic batting?

      Will2.0 - 2011-02-22 16:11

      Okay, if you say it twice then it must be so. I apologise for staring myself blind against logic.

  • trindian786 - 2011-02-22 10:15

    WI will win by 100 runs .. sa chokers will loose like 96 / 03 wcup gayle will score 100+

      Zolani - 2011-02-22 10:26

      Ok big Mouth, put your money on your words BET NOW on the Cricket World Cup Tournament, match & LIVE fixed odds at bet365

      Wow! - 2011-02-22 10:28

      Smokin again????

  • koolaid - 2011-02-22 10:39

    West Indies to win this one with ease.

      Parko - 2011-02-22 10:53

      If that happens I wonder what the excuses will be ?

      DeonL - 2011-02-22 10:59

      I disagree, they are better off in 20/20 games but don't have enough all rounders. If we get Chris G early we should win.

  • JustinD - 2011-02-22 10:47

    Playing 3 spinners would be great but if only 2 then Botha and Tahir.

  • scott - 2011-02-22 11:22

    ROBIN PETERSON IS SO INNOCUOUS, HE IS JUST WAITING TO BE WACKED! shouldv been replaced by a power-hitter.

      Licikityspit - 2011-02-22 14:59

      Again with the petersen thing, from the past few matches he looks a far better bet than our Vice captain and the dude can actually bat, i do agree however that we needed a power hitter but as it stands we dont have one, So come Thursday I will be supporting our boys regardless of who takes the field.

  • Chris - 2011-02-22 14:57

    i think we should not get carried away with the spin options..lets leave them as options..steyn..morkel & lofty have to play.botha for the spin.kallis need not bowl as he will be to busy piling on the runs..suppose it all depends how many lft handers the wi have ?

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