England in SA
Proteas send Gibbs a SOS
Herschelle Gibbs (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg – The South African cricket team on Sunday sent a SOS to Herschelle Gibbs.
This follows a poor batting performance in Sunday’s second one-day international, which ended in a seven-wicket defeat for the Proteas.
Gibbs, 35, who could not make the SA squad for the first three one-day matches in the series of five, will join up with the team in Cape Town on Wednesday as replacement for Jacques Kallis.
Kallis will miss the rest of the series because of injury and may also be sidelined for the first Test from December 18.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith said that the injury had thrown a spanner in the works.
South Africa could only post 250/9 and struggled to get the better of a weak English bowling attack on a good SuperSport Park track.
“We don’t have any excuses and were simply beaten by a better English team. We should have scored at least 30 more runs. After that the wicket started playing that much easier in their innings,” said Smith.
“Jacques leaves a huge void. Not just because he is the world’s leading all-rounder, but also because he has the experience of about 300 games. Without that the rest of us have to put up our hands and we could not do it.”
Smith said that it was back to the drawing board before the teams meet again at Newlands on Friday.
“We have a number of young players that will have to meet difficult challenges over the next few weeks. We realise it won’t be easy. If anyone still wondered whether this would be a competitive series, they now have their answer.”
Smith was full of praise for Paul Collingwood, who trumped the Proteas with his fifth one-day century and a partnership of 162 runs with Jonathan Trott.
“He’s an outstanding player that clearly enjoys playing against us. He is always 100% committed and that is something we lacked.”
Smith is not concerned about the fact that England has now won their last six one-day games against South Africa.
“I have not thought about it much as every game is unique,” he said.
“There are still a number of games left in the series and we’ll train hard when we get to Cape Town.”
Gibbs has scored 8060 runs in 245 games for South Africa. However, in his 23 previous games he could only manage 635 runs at an average of 28.86.