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pink-ball-test-match

Adelaide in Pink & New Coach and Captain

At the time of writing, the Proteas were 165/7 at dinner, after Faf won the toss and elected to bat. Before you say “Oh dear, we are in trouble”, bear in mind the nature of day/night tests which tend not to deliver the high scores we are used to in normal day tests.

The first test of this nature was in November last year, also at the Adelaide oval, with Australia winning a close contest by 3 wickets within 3 days against New Zealand. There is limited information regarding this type of day night format but so far the evidence is that:

  • Scores are likely to be much lower – expect scores around 200 to be quite formidable
  • Average innings would be around 60-70 overs.

In my opinion the team batting first will have an advantage (how much is unclear but more than in day cricket) as the team batting second will be starting their innings under lights facing approx. 20 odd overs. This is the more difficult option, starting an innings with the ball moving around more significantly than in the daytime.

Losing wickets means basically that the side batting second will be playing catch-up and feeling the scoreboard pressure. Having said that, we all know that an aggressive David Warner could place the pressure right back on the Proteas within that 20 overs.

My feeling about this format is they should introduce it in its own format – a 4 innings game in three days with a first innings limit of a maximum of 45 overs. This will engage the skills of twenty-twenty, one-day cricket as well as the strategy of 5-day test cricket.

The commercial viability is one to get excited about.

 

New Coach and Captain by Paul Kruger

It is indeed a sad state of affairs when Springbok fans pay more attention to possible successors to the men leading our national rugby side than the result of the test match against Wales this weekend.

It is perhaps an indication of a deeper despondency. Rugby was the one cure for the misery that could befall one after a whole week of negative news about how the country is run. There was a time when I subscribed to the thought that the first five days after the weekend were the longest. Not any longer.

Take for example the botched attempt to prosecute the Minister of Finance.

Where else in the world would a case like this hug the headlines, when an alleged attempt to poison the President has been dragging on for two years or longer, without any apparent haste to resolve the matter? Yet, a decision, based on formal legal opinion, is persecuted with the fervour of a Jack Russel spying a bitch in heat in his own backyard.

It appears almost a fait accompli that Allister Coetzee will be axed after Saturday’s game. Names that crop up as possible successors include Jake White, Johan Ackerman and even John Mitchell if we were to follow the route of countries like Ireland and Wales in opting for a New Zealand coach.

In typical SA fashion, there is also a conspiracy theory that Coetzee was set up to fail, and was only selected to appease the Minister of Sport. These theorists point to the support team he was given as evidence of their thinking. Now that it appears he will not make the grade, the door should be open for Rassie Eramus to be called on to save us.

Coetzee’s tenure was marked by a number of temporary appointments, including the captain and assistants to the assistant coaches for the end of year tour.

Finding a replacement for Adriaan Strauss will not be easy. Pat Lambie is not sure of his place, with Handré Pollard in the wings, provided he does not pick up yet another injury. Then you have Elton Jantjes who warrants consideration, despite not making the grade thus far.

I think you cannot go far wrong with picking Warren Whiteley. He is very much in the mould of a Francois Pienaar, has seen some action, and proved his worth and value. The Lions seem to be a far better side with him in the team.

Whatever happens, we cannot afford to not make use of the rare talent that we have. Allowing Brendan Venter to be engaged by Italy six months before the Springboks thought of doing so, just smacks of poor planning.

If we are going to use Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, even in an advisory capacity, then, for the sake of all that is sacred in SA rugby, please do it in time.

Ons behoort die pas aan te gee, nie die hartpilletjies nie!

I’m just a sweet transvestite

Faf du Plessis will play the role of Frankenfurter in cricket’s new production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show after his stunning audition for the part in the second test against Australia.

The Aussies have since come out in defence of Faf, saying that they never blew the whistle, which some appear to think may have been the case.

The New Zealand Herald reports:

Australia admitted to using the same sweet ball-shining tactics that have left South African captain Faf du Plessis feeling like a scapegoat of world cricket.

While du Plessis insists he’s no cheat, Australian captain Steve Smith says his team adopt the same controversial tactic – using sweet-enhanced saliva to shine the ball.

“I make it very clear that we haven’t come out and said anything about Faf or about how he was shining the ball,” Smith told reporters on Wednesday.

“We, along with every other team around the world, shine the ball the same way.”

 

 

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