Bosman ups his T20 value

2009-11-16 13:23

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Loots Bosman has dramatically reinvented himself as a Twenty20 player, courtesy of his two-game weekend rampage for South Africa against England.

The 32-year-old, making up lost ground after a fairly lengthy period bedevilled by injuries and other drawbacks, will have made scouts at this format sit up and take notice of his big-hitting abilities anew, you can be sure.

Remember that Bosman, who has found a fresh franchise home in 2009/10 with the Dolphins, was an initial draft pick for Mumbai Indians in the cash-flush Indian Premier League (with a value of US$175,000) although the star-studded outfit released him from his contract - after no activity for them - this year.

It is hard to imagine, following successive, hurricane knocks of 58 off 31 balls and then 94 off 45 balls against a punch-drunk England attack, that the stocky right-hander will not earn a fresh salvo of inquiring IPL phone calls - whether from Mumbai or elsewhere.

He is also now a deserved, “dead cert” for the Proteas squad for the next ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean next year and, if he markets himself shrewdly and keeps smacking the ball “long”, might earn himself some particularly lucrative twilight years in the T20 arena worldwide.

I stress T20 because I firmly believe that this environment, almost exclusively, is where Bosman’s future lies.

SABC commentator Neil Johnson, roving rope-side with the microphone after Sunday’s 170-run alliance in 13 jaw-dropping overs between Bosman and captain Graeme Smith, got carried away enough to ask Bosman how he felt “going into the ODIs” that immediately follow the shared T20 tussles.

Of course Bosman has not been picked for the South African squad for the first three (of five) ODIs, and there will doubtless now be some indignation among enthusiasts who possibly do not respect the key difference between the 20-over and 50-overs codes.

Yet the selectors have probably got their Bosman call right, even as they did not have the benefit of witnessing his Wanderers and Centurion tornado against the English.

The Kimberley-hailing player looks as though he has added a few handy off-side strings to his stroke-playing bow, yet essentially he remains a happy-go-lucky slogger, zealously seeking out “cow corner” and nearby areas by instinct, and tailor-made for Twenty20.

I fancy, too, that he likes the ball coming on a bit, as tends to happen on gun-barrel-straight Highveld belters, and will have to make adjustments anyway for the global T20 jamboree in the West Indies.

Fuller ODIs call for a noticeably more refined and circumspect approach, especially if there is some conventional swing about early and then the reverse brand as the ball gets progressively scuffed and muddied, and Bosman may just be too impulsive to make the change.

Revealingly, he has been tried already … and found generally wanting. In 12 internationals at the 50-overs game, he sports a modest 204 runs at 20.40, helped by 88 against Zimbabwe on Potchefstroom’s often paradise-like pitch. His last six scores are 22, 6, 0, 4, 2 and 0.

I would be tickled pink if he proved me wrong, and does claw his way back for a successful second wind in ODIs.

He has admirably promised, in the England-bashing afterglow, to “go back and get runs for my franchise” rather than gripe about his non-selection for South Africa’s initial ODI assault.

And maybe there is a new maturity about Bosman’s game, all-round: his last first-class appearance before the proverbial three men and a dog and no blaring music is pretty instructive.

Playing against a full-strength Titans attack (Messrs Steyn, Harris, two Morkels and more) at SuperSport Park in late October, he reined in his natural aggression to register 45 off 112 deliveries and then 53 off 125 in a keenly-contested draw.

But my gut feel remains: leave Bosman, I say, to revel and prosper at what he is good at (very good at: 257 runs in six T20 internationals at 51.40 and a dazzling strike rate of 170.19 tells you as much).

Let him join the burgeoning crop of belters earning worldwide “oohs” and “aahs” almost entirely at the very shortest, hippest form of the game …


  • StuartW - 2009-11-16 13:50

    People can say what they want about his inclusion in the team, but I think he proved everybody wrong with his two knocks....well played Loots....

  • Dale - 2009-11-16 13:51

    Agreed about keeping Bosman as a T20 specialist. Perhaps we should have a dedicated T20 side, similar to our Sevens rugby squad ... we have plenty of players that would do us proud, look at the success of the Sixes team.

  • Fikile - 2009-11-16 14:16

    Congrats Loots very well done you have showed that fat fart mickey arthur that u can play. Abdullah also showed him his worth in this format of the game. Must get rid of MB. we can have a more balanced side if MB is dropped. I will say it again 5 overs of Loots, is better than 20 overs of kallis in 20/20.

  • Madoda - 2009-11-16 14:33

    Rob i disagree with you,Loots needs to be given another chance in ODI. We need runs up in the top order.Smith is blowing hot and cold although he's often hot and he needs an opening partner.Most of our ODI top order batsmen play like test players.I believe that coaches can make what they want of a player.Mould Loots and put him on a ODI level.

  • Sasha - 2009-11-16 14:34

    His knock on Sunday was absolutely beautiful to watch - way to go, Loots!

  • Riaan - 2009-11-16 14:38

    If he can do this in a T20, why not include him in the 50 over game, he will be like a run maker monster in the first 15 overs?

  • Nick Armstrong - 2009-11-16 14:38

    I've been calling for years for Loots' inclusion in the team - T20 AND ODI's. He can play in both - his role would be the same. Unlike the nauseatingly boring Boeta Dippenaar and Neil McKenzie who were given so many chances - and who waste time and balls scoring, for example, 11 off 35 balls and then getting out - Loots, if he fails - won't waste many balls. If he comes off - we win. Get rid of that useless myth in the team - Mark Boucher (give the gloves to AB) - and we create the position for Loots. End of story. But - there's too many 'mates' in the team - a protected 'inner-clique' - of Graeme Smith; Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher - all 'buddies' of Mickey Arthur... Well done Loots! Welcome back mate! :)

  • Riaan - 2009-11-16 14:40

    If he can do this in a T20, why not include him in the 50 over game, he will be like a run making monster in the first 15 overs? Only problem then is who do you leave out?

  • Shaq - 2009-11-16 14:49

    @Dale...I could'nt agree with you more. I think a dedicated T20 squad is the way to go with people like Bosman, Morne van Wyk, Vaughn v Jaarsveld, Kleinveldt, henry davids, puttick etc... it would provide for sum awsome hitting!!

  • Jerry Motshoane - 2009-11-16 15:27

    please send me the news

  • Mo - 2009-11-16 15:45

    Mickey keeps his buds too close to him.where did this Mclaren chap come from? we should rather invest in our tried and tested rather then those who threaten us with seems players of colour still get a raw deal.

  • Tim - 2009-11-16 16:00

    just hit 94 off 45 balls in ODI's and that'll be fine... no need to adjust his game. pick the man who's in form.

  • Mo - 2009-11-16 16:16

    Mickey keeps his buds too close to him.where did this Mclaren chap come from? we should rather invest in our tried and tested rather then those who threaten us with seems players of colour still get a raw deal.

  • Gerald - 2009-11-16 16:39

    Loots will be found wanting the moment there is movement or anything but a flat belter. He will also prove to be rather hit and miss I think. All great and dandy while he is coming off but expect a few under 20 scores if he plays ODIs, your odd big knock, losing his wicket when he should be moving on etc. T20 suit him fine and no need to push him where his technique and style won't let him go.

  • Eienne - 2009-11-16 18:43

    With movement and swing Bosman wont make it up the order, why not drop Boucher, give AB the gloves and bat Bosman at 5 or and Morkel at 6

  • Glen - 2009-11-16 19:42

    Loots you go boy.The last time i was so excited about a knock,it was watching Gibbs in that 438 game.I was gutted that Loots missed out on a 100,and Smithy too!Selections are always going to be a thorn,but give credit where its due.If you go horses for courses,Loots should have a go on the highveld in ODI's,coastal stick to Kallis or Amla.Thanks the boys for saving the weekend of sport.CHEERS!

  • Harry - 2009-11-16 22:33

    Well done Loots...what is said in opinions before is correct and I fully agrees with it...Loots will not find himself in the ODI team as long as it depends on Mickey Arthur and the inner-clique...I think his 25 of 6 balls is better than 25 of 60 balls...Then again, I might be wrong taken fron a selectors point of view...the way we look at the problem is the problem...

  • @ Mo - 2009-11-17 11:29

    Actually, Ryan McLaren has been playing exceptionally well for his franchise in the domestic series, and definitely deserved his place. In my opinion, Abdullah should've been included last year already, but at least he's getting a chance now. I'm concerned that we aren't building enough for the future - too many players near retirement age and not enough young guys with international experience to replace them!

  • Sabata - 2009-11-17 14:48

    give my a buddy a chance and he will remove everyones doubts for sure and as for Mclaren and Bosman they are both Kimberley guys same as me, so KIMBERLEY FTW!!!

  • cricket fan - 2009-11-17 15:05

    I agree with some of the guys, Loots should be given a chance in the ODI's.Why not drop Albie Morkel ,he's been out of form for a while and give Loots a chance or is it still a player of colour saga???

  • Thomas - 2009-11-17 21:31

    I sallute Loots for playing very well in our last game with England, thanx Bosman. we are proud of ur perfomance, keep it up man

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