Crucial tourney for ‘flop’ Levi

2012-10-09 17:31

Cape Town - Assuming he is given decent opportunities by the Mumbai Indians, Richard Levi must use the Champions League Twenty20 tournament to reassure critics of his suitability to play in the best company.

Although the SA-staged 2012 event is a step down from the international combat just witnessed at the ICC World Twenty20, it nevertheless boasts many of the very best short-format cricketers on the planet, so national selectors and coaches will still examine it with interest.

Burly Proteas top-order customer Levi has some rebuilding to do to a slightly tattered reputation: inevitably there is a swelling school of thought that he is a “one-knock wonder” for his country after that hurricane innings of 117 not out in just his second match for South Africa against New Zealand at Hamilton in February.

Unfortunately Levi has managed only 114 runs in 10 other T20 innings for the Proteas, including single-figure dismissals in six of his last seven knocks.

Not too surprisingly, the currently luckless 24-year-old was a prime candidate for a “Flops XI” selected by Cricinfo after the World T20, where South Africa again failed to even reach the semi-finals after losing all three of their Super Eights matches.

In their explanation of his presence, the website noted: “Having replaced Graeme Smith in the squad, largely on the basis of (that 117 not out) ... Levi’s lack of subtlety meant that, save for a facile 50 against Zimbabwe, he never threatened a repeat.

“Unable to rotate the strike effectively, Levi’s default option - the hoick to the leg-side - proved embarrassingly ineffective.”

If it is any consolation for Cape Cobras favourite Levi, he was in pretty esteemed company for the XI who “failed to live up to the hype” in Sri Lanka; the rest of the Cricinfo line-up was as follows: Gautam Gambhir (India), Hashim Amla (SA), Jonny Bairstow (Eng), Kamran Akmal (Pak), Kieron Pollard (WI), Shahid Afridi (Pak), Andre Russell (WI), Umar Gul (Pak), Tim Southee (NZ), Brad Hogg (Aus).

The imaginary 12th man named was Albie Morkel, another South African who could do with a strong Champions League for his long-time IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.

Morkel is supposedly a power-hitting equivalent to Levi lower down the Proteas’ T20 order, and it must be of concern to the selectors that he, too, is struggling for significant scores.

Still, if it is going to be suggested that known clean strikers like Levi and Morkel should be jettisoned from the national set-up, alternatives have to be found - and if anything South Africa are a little wanting for natural boundary-hitters, particularly in this post-Herschelle Gibbs era.

With their national team statuses possibly in doubt, both men could use the Champions League as a platform to stave off doubters through weight of personal performance.

Levi’s Mumbai Indians open their account against the Highveld Lions on Sunday, part of a double-header at the Wanderers which also features Morkel’s Super Kings up against the Sydney Sixers.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-10-09 17:52

    Unfortunately that innings' will be his downfall..... Much like Afridi , he will chase that innings' for the rest of his cricket career unfortunately unlike Afridi, Levi is no World class bowler.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-10-09 19:29

      now it doesn't matter because the bowling he will be facing won't be of the same standard as an international team. it will be easier to make hundreds now than it was against world top class bowling units.

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 09:00

      HaHA boom, jou snaakse ding

  • Sige Gorabeb - 2012-10-09 18:03

    How about playing springbok rugby Levi were you play with big balls.

  • tertius.devereaux.1 - 2012-10-09 19:17

    Hy speel in di hys n choker lol

  • UNITY - 2012-10-09 19:30

    Albie has made his money in IPL...also known to be a selectors misery..wen not picked! Levi needs to start of with T20 and maybe earn his way into ODIs, the problem is some player click with talent from U19 world cup ,and some never ..look at virat kohli shining example of young talent that earned his spot in the side and respect internationally through his performance..sometimes its either u have it in you as a player or you don't!!!!!

  • john.knipe.10 - 2012-10-10 08:47

    The whole Proteas team should be the "flop 11". Levi is a prime example of how cricketing authorities hang on to a one hit wonder.

  • Hansie.Crook - 2012-10-10 09:05

    To me the "Flops XI" and the "TOT XI" are similar...... They are both made out of GOOD players. The only difference is the players in the "TOT XI" performed when it mattered while the players in the "Flops XI" never rose to the occassion.... To be in the Flops XI means you are good and a lot was expected from you but you didnt deliver... Im more worried about the players that never made the Flops or the TOT team. This means that nothing was expected from them and they didnt disappoint because they did nothing... LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!!

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 11:45

      Hansie, would you like to get an application form to join the KINGS???

      luke.watskots - 2012-10-10 12:44

      Its easy, just say Cheeky is king in a public place!!!!!!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-10 13:38

    You would not say Gul could make the list after he "Gulled" us out. It is a shame we never tried a spinner or 2 against him.

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