CWC: Beefy backs Proteas

2011-03-14 13:12

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – South Africa earned some lofty global laurels on Monday for their thrilling Cricket World Cup victory over India in Nagpur at the weekend.

The triumph also led to a few prominent experts upgrading the Proteas’ chances of claiming the hitherto elusive trophy for the first time.

Writing in his column in The Times of India, England legend Sir Ian Botham, for instance, said: “This World Cup is about sides that have the bowling to take wickets -- so that makes Australia and South Africa the two most dangerous sides.

“In my book, India were never the favourites for the World Cup.

“(They) should have won that game. But the fact that India again did not bat out the overs shows there are some frailties in that Indian batting lineup (too).”

Cricinfo’s Sharda Ugra, remaining rather more upbeat about India, noted: “The match was what it was meant to be: a contest between the World Cup’s two strongest contenders who had just spent the better part of the southern hemisphere summer banging heads.

“When they met again in Nagpur, in India’s biggest game of this World Cup so far, the head-banging continued. It was a riveting contest, filled with incident, individuals falling and rising within the space of a few overs, teams rising and falling and rising within hours.

“Beaten by England when they should have won, triumphant in Nagpur when they could have lost, South Africa have risen. India, who have talked about raising their tempo, finding their rhythm, gaining momentum, have fallen.

“They were tripped not by the familiar frailties that had come up against the weaker teams, but against a newer, more threatening anxiety. That when India are up against one of the best and most varied bowling attacks in the World Cup, their strongest suit could suddenly go shabby.

“Nine for 29 (the toppling of India’s last nine wickets against the Proteas after a tearaway start – Sport24) is a coded message sent out by the Indian batsmen to all other frontline teams in the World Cup to take a close look at India’s flaws. That the fortress could be breached.”

Meanwhile columnist Simon Hughes of the UK’s Daily Telegraph, once a seam bowler for Northern Transvaal in the old Currie Cup, offered an interesting suggestion as to where the difference between the two sides ultimately lay on Saturday: “South Africa’s superior fitness and muscularity finally capitalised on India’s earlier negligence with the bat.”

It was a significant comment because at the 2007 World Cup, in the Caribbean, the Proteas found themselves targets of suggestions that fitness levels in their ranks were unsatisfactory after bouts of cramping by some players.

And fitness trainer Adrian le Roux resigned after the tournament, noting in a controversial report that “use of alcohol within the national team is a problem”.

Have some lessons been learned in 2011, perhaps?


  • marco - 2011-03-14 13:25

    “use of alcohol within the national team is a problem” I blame Gibbs's influence for that.Klomp dronkgatte partytime goers it was in the Caribbean back in 2007.His tell-all autobiography To the Point said it all.Still despite his frustrating on-field inconsistencies and his messy and very public personal troubles that have tracked him through the years he remains one of South African cricket’s best-loved sons.

      CharlSkeptic - 2011-03-14 13:30

      Gibbs is a has-been who is at home, where he belongs. He should refrain from tweeting about any of what's happening with the Proteas at the WC.

      resentphil - 2011-03-14 13:46

      Gibbs is an SA cricketing legend. Everyone is entitled to express their views, but Charl, if you believe that isnt his right, then by your own logic, you should not be criticizing someone who has far more authority to comment on South African cricket.

      jeremy - 2011-03-14 14:03

      Correct me if I'm wrong - but I don't remember Hersch cramping up. He was so fit he could play through his hangovers. And isn't he one of only two players in any World Cup to hit six sixes in one over?

      Gorilla - 2011-03-14 14:27

      Umm. I seem to remember Gibbs never underperformed in the field or with the bat, and was always there for the big occasion, so take your negativity and insults somewhere else. Further to that. I seem to remember a certain England captain who was booted off his team for boozing.

      JohnyBlue - 2011-03-14 14:45

      Gibbs has got more talent than than any of the current Protea players, just imagine what a player he would have been sober!!

      Edmund - 2011-03-14 14:55

      Indeed.. in the last match the commentators wanted to compliment Kallis on his ave in world cups or something similar BUT.. Gibbs was 1st and Kallis 2nd on that list! They soon were talking about how great Gibbs's record was ;-)

      Adams - 2011-03-14 15:34

      @ Jeremy - Sorry pal you are wrong Gibbs cramped up on the sub continent with his score round the 90s, went off the field and we lost the game!

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-03-14 18:18

      A wasted talent. Gibbs was better at rugby at school. Should have stuck with rugby.

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-03-14 13:30

    Hahahaha Hersch is a beaut bro!!!!! He influenced errbody and then made them look like a bunch of dronkies in his book!!!Still SA's leading run getter in Cricket World Cup history and has played far less matches than Kallis who is number 2

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-03-14 18:27

      Counts for nothing after dropping the world cup in 99.

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-14 14:17

    "...This World Cup is about sides that have the bowling to take wickets -- so that makes Australia and South Africa the two most dangerous sides..." Australia?? They just battled to bowl out Kenya yesterday FFS Beefy. Are you having too much racing cabbage with your brinjals?

  • Snotty - 2011-03-14 14:20

    guys in spite of all the crap Gibbs has been up to over the years nobody can take away the fact that he was an ace player in the team does anyone remember the

  • Ryanbrew - 2011-03-14 14:22

    To date SA are teh only side to have bowled out their opposition in all their matches....

  • Jack - 2011-03-14 14:28

    Memories are short concerning 2007. We simply had no bowling attack at the time. Remember the game against Australia? They tore our attack to shreds. No-one could realistically believe we had a chance. 1999 was the only year where we looked as if we could win it. This side has balance in that all the required bowling styles are present. I still think the middle order is brittle, and the difference between the India game and the England game was a bit of luck going our way. Nothing wrong with luck when it goes for you, not against you. I believe we will meet India again in the final. Australia has no world-class legspin capability, and their batting is also a little fragile in the middle order.

      JohnyBlue - 2011-03-14 14:50

      me thinks you are giving the Australian team to much credit....

      Kdub - 2011-03-14 15:23

      the difference between the England game and the Indian game was the dreadful pitch that SA had to bat second on. Still believe that on a fair pitch we would destroy England.

  • JohnyBlue - 2011-03-14 14:49

    Is there some sort of quota system in play that we are not aware of that actually keeps Smith in the team. On merit he should have been axed years ago.

      MadMatt_88 - 2011-03-14 15:56

      Yep. Representative of the demographic... there is always one idiot.

  • Alwyn - 2011-03-14 15:04

    We should not get ahead of ourselves,the tournament is a long way from over

  • Patty - 2011-03-14 16:32

    There is a difference between Supporters and Fans Some people need to decide what they are. Why cant people just say well played Proteas and leave it at that

      saliem - 2011-03-14 16:49

      Okees Patty... well played Proteas - nuf said :-)

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-03-14 18:28

      Well said Patty.

  • poolcleaner - 2011-03-14 16:38

    Gibbs is and always will be a legend no matter how many madams he has banged, joints he has smoked or dops he has had to drink the guy is pure bloody entertainment and has BMT something that our present team could still work on. Go Proteas!

      saliem - 2011-03-14 17:00

      Correct bro... he is still a joy to watch WHEN he is in the mood. Pure genius who I will remember for many happy- and some insane moments.

  • Willie - 2011-03-14 17:09

    I had the privilege to attend the game in Nagpur on Saturday and I can with all honesty say, the majority of the Indian spectators congratulated us after SA has pulled this one through! Yes, we did take a lot of "sledging" from them but you know what, it is really nice to be in a position to be the last one to "sledge" without almost saying a word "Look at the Scoreboard guys!" What a story it tells! WELL DONE to the Proteas!! To Graham and the Protea team what a very nice gesture to call all our SA supporters together, bring the Protea team to us after the presentation ceremony to show your appreciation for our support! The echo's of "Sholoza" and "Ole/Ole" and the” National Anthem” are still echoing through the hills and valleys of Nagpur! A pity it was not shown on TV! Go Proteas!!!

      Brendon - 2011-03-14 23:25

      Willie, we saw you on the tv for most of our innings mate!) Must have been a great experience) Tell that Harbajan Singh to leave our A.B alone!

      Jakestefer - 2011-03-15 00:11

      Awesome willie, that must have been an amazing experience.

  • Sayitasitis - 2011-03-24 23:20

    The fish rots from the head folks..............think about it.

  • Sayitasitis - 2011-03-24 23:24

    Gibbs is a joke, and always will be. He should go and look up what EQ means. Our sportsman should be role models for our kids. Go watch any school sport and you will see a copy and paste of what goes on at the national level. Swearing, spitting, jewelry for Africa etc etc. I blame nobody but the parents. Some parents are not able to manage themselves, let alone raise and manage kids. Everything starts at home folks. Think about it.....

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