AB a big boost for SA - Boeta

2011-11-07 22:02

Cape Town -  Former Protea batsman Boeta Dippenaar says AB de Villiers’s return from injury will be a major boost for South Africa ahead of their two-Test series against Australia, starting at Newlands on Wednesday.

De Villiers missed the T20 and ODI series' against Australia due to a broken hand but is expected to play in the first Test after playing in a 1 Day Cup match for the Titans against the Knights on Sunday.

“He (De Villiers) is a world-class player and his presence in the South African team will be huge boost for morale,” Dippenaar, who played 38 Tests for South Africa, told

“He is not just a world-class batsman but a world-class fielder."

The Knights batsman also feels there's not much to choose between the two sides.

“One cannot help but feel the anticipation building up to what will be a great Test series. I believe both teams are very equally matched and at the end of the day the series will be decided in one crucial session,” he said.

Dippenaar feels the variety within the squad gives coach Gary Kirsten a lot of options when it comes to selection.

“The squad is a very strong one and allows Gary a lot of room to pick his side based on tactical needs.

“It looks like the biggest battle in the squad is between (left-arm spinner) Paul Harris and (leg-spinner) Imran Tahir and I believe it will come down to a tactical decision.

“If Gary is looking for a spinner that has more of an attacking nature, Imran might well be his first choice, but if Gary is looking for someone that will tie one end up then Paul Harris might be his first choice,” he concluded.


  • granville.paulse - 2011-11-08 08:26

    Was hierdie ou in aanpassingsklas?? Tahir must play. Full stop!!!. Surely Paul Harris has played his last test...........

  • Paul - 2011-11-08 08:31

    Always great to hear Boeta's opinion. A fine player, a student of the game and a real gentleman. Granville, don't let your emotions get in the way of common sense. Tahir will play IF it suits the team's strategy. Get it?

  • granville.paulse - 2011-11-08 08:41

    Paul lets put it this way. Would you agree that Dale Steyn has been our best wicket taking bowler over the last 3 years? Would you agree that Dale Steyn is not on top of his game at the moment? With that in mind, do you not agree that we will need a wicket taking spinner as opposed to a guy that can come left arm over the wicket and pitch the ball outside the right handers' leg-stump ie. bowl a negative line. Let's just think about it for a second.

      Paul - 2011-11-08 13:39

      Yes Granville, I do agree with you. However, there are too many ifs and buts that we are not aware of and are not privvy to. Twenty wickets wins a Test, no arguments, but if the pitch doesn't turn, for example, we're better off with Harris who has proven his containing and pressure-building prowess. A leggy can never ever do the same job on a non-turning pitch. The Aussies love it on their pads. Believe me I'd love to see Tahir mesmerize the arrogant Aussies with his craft. Tahir, by the way, has had a dip in form lately. Hopefully he's turned it around with the bowling coaches. If Steyn isn't on song he should not play. Period. I'm all for Philander playing because he's on form. He knows the Newlands track and he won't have typical rookie nerves. If you ask me, Steyn is still struggling with his elbow (just my opinion). I'd rather play the local lad who is the leading wicket taker in SA at the moment. Agree?

      granville.paulse - 2011-11-08 13:55

      Paul - Steyn must play and will play regardless of recent form. He like many fast bowlers need to bowl plenty overs just to get back into his groove. You must admit that there is no chance of him not playing. Also we don't need Tahir to turn the ball square. A couple of inches either way is enough (probably a couple of inches more than Harris can). And lets face it, if the pitch does not turn, what is the point of having Harris there. If the pitch turns, play Tahir. If the pitch does not turn that much, play the bowler that can turn it viz. Tahir. Muralitharan and Warne played regardless of the pitch produced. We finally find ourselves in the possession of a quality spinner, so lets not stare a gift horse in the mouth.

  • Paul - 2011-11-08 14:49

    I like your thinking, Granville, but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. We just don't have all the facts. Tahir recently got whacked in the SuperSport Series, and my concern is that the Oz lads are no mugs with the williow. Re Steyn -- I've been involved in this game for almost 40 years as player and coach and I can tell you that only an idiot will play a strike bowler in a five dayer against the likes of Ponting, Clarke and Hussey if he's short of form and confidence. And I don't rate Alan Donald or Gary Kirsten as idiots. Not in the least. So if you see him playing tomorrow expect him to bowl 145+ and with his usual venom. If he's not at least 95% ready they'll hold him back for the Wanderers. Time will tell. Who knows, maybe Gazza and Co are playing a huge con trick on the Aussies, much like John Mitchell did with WP and the Sharks in the Currie Cup... Anyway, there's much to look forward to, right?

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