A note to Andrew Hudson

2013-03-06 11:15
Andrew Hudson (Gallo Images)
South Africa are basking in the sunlight regarding our 5 day cricket squad and the test results of late. But I think that we should be realistic in our celebrations. We played against a very poor Australian side in Oz and were very fortunate to get out of jail in that series. Look at the series, India verse Australia been played at the moment, the Australians to a man except for Clerk haven't got a cooking clue what they are trying to do. On the home front we crushed New Zealand who arrived here in total disarray. And then South Africa went onto destroy a poor Pakistan side who had no answer to our pace attack on sub standard test pitches.
We have been very fortunate to bowl the opposition out for very mediocre scores of late aided and abetted by bad pitches and the selection after the toss, to bat or to bowl, further to the South African pace attack has been able to defend a lot of very mediocre totals from our own batsmen. On the odd occasion when we have done well in our batting department, the same names have come to the fore time and again, Amla and AB on a regular basis, the others have chipped in here and there, but need to be more consistent. I mentioned the sub par pitches, in my opinion there is no contest when a batsmen has to face a ball at 140 plus and it is turning sideways. The Newlands wicket on day one of a test is just a lottery, the batting side don't even total 75 in the first innings of a test there,  then South Africa go on win by a million runs and we pat ourselves on the back, come on.
Some of our players are coming to the end of their careers and the draw down on their ability will become obvious. In my opinion the selectors should take the following steps to see that this side retains its status as a competitive side on the world stage. Firstly de Villiers should not be wicketkeeper, he has 16 centuries to his name 50% are 150 plus, proving he can bat for protracted periods, move him to the number 4 spot now and Kallis down to 5 until he calls it a day. Also AB bats very well with Amla. I know AB has been great behind the stumps, but South Africa are been short sighted in this matter. Faf should be given more time to establish himself in the team and learn his trade before moving him up the order. Sure he has made a great start to his career, but don't destroy it now, work slowly with him, he has the technique to develop into into a great number 5 and a future Captain. Elgar unfortunately lacks the basic techniques of an international batsmen, and he will get exposed by decent bowlers, too much across the line. As a matter of fact this type of batting is now an epidemic in our style of play and most of the top order are adopting it and suffering the consequences. How many innings were not snuffed out by this seemingly  bad habit that has crept into the team. NB GARRY KIRSTEN.
Bring young De kock in now as wicketkeeper/ batsmen, he is another Adam Gilchrist in the making and will be able to open the batting  in time when Smith goes. The bowling department is a worry because Smith has to keep turning to Steyn with the new ball, the others have not been that wonderful. Sure Philander has produced the goods at Newlands, but he is going to have to learn to be more consistent away from home. He needs to model himself on Peter Siddle, shed a few kgs get properly fit and be prepared to come hard at the batsmen for longer periods. Abbot did well at Centurion on a sub standard pitch, so time will tell regarding him. One swallow does not make a summer. Morkel seems to have lost the ability to deliver wicket taking balls an absolute waste of the new ball bowling, shotgun stuff, no real line and length, no thought process just run in and bang it in rubbish. The day will come when the opposition decide that they are going to hang around at the crease then we have got trouble. (Pakistan 2nd innings at Newlands, was an example, momentarily). Don't overwork Steyn, he has still another few seasons in him if looked after. Kallis as well, nurse him until the others step up to the plate. JP fit will help in the spinning department, and a good lower order bat.
My team going forward for next 2 years. I have put my teams in for the various formats of the game. The selectors must balance experience with youth and pick young guys to play with the tried and tested until the youngsters can put up their hands and take responsibility.
1. Smith,                                                Bat/ Capt          50 overs
2. Peterson,                                          Bat                    50 overs       20 overs
3. Amla,                                                 Bat                    50 overs       20 overs
4. AB de Villiers,                                  Bat                    50 overs       20 overs
5. Kallis,                                               Bat/bowl
6. du Plessis,                                       Bat/ V Capt      50 overs       20 0vers
7. De Kock.                                          Keeper/bat      50 overs       20 overs
8. Duminy,                                           Bat/ bowl          50 overs       20 overs
9. Philander,                                       Bat/bowl           50 0vers       20 overs
10. Steyn,                                           Bowl
11. Morkel, Abbot? and others?      Bowl              
In my opinion, this would be a great side, batting to number 9 , 3 all-round players a keeper/bat and 5 front line bowlers, gives me a team of 18 cricketrs, wow. Who has something better to offer.  Please pass on to Andrew Hudson.
Jan Spies, Komatipoort.
Just another Mampara.

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