Colin Bryden

The invisible Proteas

2010-04-09 08:18
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (File)
Colin Bryden

IPL Three has hardly been a stage of glory for South African players.

The only good news is that, on IPL form, South Africa are unlikely to be over-burdened by expectation when they play in the World Twenty20 in the West Indies later this month.

With the exception of Jacques Kallis, South Africans have been almost invisible in the current Indian Premier League.

At this rate, our players will be severely short of match practice when they make yet another attempt to win an ICC tournament.

Kallis is the only South African who has been a constant selection for his team – and he has had a wonderful campaign as an opening batsman for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Albie Morkel and Herschelle Gibbs started as regulars for the Chennai and Deccan teams respectively but lost their places when the IPL was boosted by an influx of Australians and New Zealanders.

AB de Villiers scored just 107 runs in six innings and got dropped by the Delhi Daredevils, while JP Duminy, at the time of writing, hadn’t stepped on the field once for the Mumbai Indians to justify his near-million dollar fee.

Two key fast bowlers, Morne Morkel and Charl Langeveldt, have seldom played but Dale Steyn has had a reasonable amount of game time without being a match-winner.

With slow bowling having a considerable influence on T20 cricket it is worrying that Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha have had one game between them.

Graeme Smith played just two games before returning home injured and Mark Boucher has been sidelined since the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor became available for Bangalore.

Rusty Theron has gained some recognition with the struggling Punjab side, while Loots Bosman and Rory Kleinveldt did not land IPL contracts.

The travails of our players in India may prove a minor blessing, however.

So often, the hype ahead of a South African team heading off to a world event has been unrealistic.

This time, even the most optimistic South African pundit would be hard-pressed to justify making the Proteas the favourites – but our players will surely be hungry.

Colin Bryden is a former cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times and current editor of the Mutual & Federal South African Cricket Annual

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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