The most important lesson we can take from the one-day series against the Black Caps is the there is no replacement for experience. Blooding the youth is vital to the sustainability of a successful team, but only if approached in the right way. Unfortunately, the resting of players, injuries and a untimely ban found the Protea team wanting on this front.
Graeme Smith did superbly; he formed solid partnerships at the top of the innings from which the middle order should have seen the games home quite comfortably. I was impressed with his game – he seemed in a good “space” and really focused and determined in his approach. Although talented, the middle order was just not up to the task and literally got “squeezed” out of the games by a New Zealand team that knew how to build and apply pressure.
Of even greater concern to me was the one day bowling unit – the death bowling was appalling! With no excuse of inexperience here, the bowling coach, Allan Donald, should be hugely concerned. Players also need to take responsibility. With the likes of Morkel, Steyn & Tsotsobe in the side, the team should be able to deal with the final overs much better than they have. The lengths bowled, and the field placings, didn’t quite add up and quite possibly there was a communication problem between skipper and bowler. Never the less, all three those bowlers are experienced enough to execute a plan better – if there was such a plan, I must add.
The year ahead is full of one-day matches, and a team’s success is always measured in trophies and not rankings. I sincerely hope the Proteas give themselves the best possible chance of winning one. The return of Kallis and one or two others will be a massive bonus to the one-day side. To complicate things further, Kirsten is still undecided regarding AB and the keeping role.
The ODI team is definitely not as “polished” as the Test team in terms of leadership, strategy and execution. The ODI series against Pakistan will possibly provide some direction.
Koning Rugby is amper terug
– by Paul Kruger
Ons nasionale sokkerspan verdien op die oomblik elkeen van ons se steun, en die manier waarop hulle onder erge druk reageer het, spreek boekdele van die gees wat aan die ontwikkel is in die span. Gisteraand se terugveg poging is bewys hiervan. Met ‘n afrigter wat so besield is soos die spelers, koester ek nogal hoop vir hul volgende kragmeting.
Die Leeus se stief behandeling deur die rugby owerhede het vir hulle heelwat nuwe ondersteuners gewerf. Die Aspoestertjies van SA rugby het, myns insiens, ook seker gemaak hulle verdwyn nie van die radarskerm net omdat hulle nie meer Super rugby kan speel nie. Daar is ‘n klomp baie interessante wedstryde vir hulle geskeduleer dié jaar. Hul B-span (sonder leenspelers aan ander provinsies) het Saterdag teen die Cheetahs gewys hoe sterk motiveerder trots kan wees. Dis ook ‘n pluimpie vir Johan Ackermann, wat uit die skaduwee van John Mitchell beweeg het.
Bernard Harris writes:
Looking forward to the (nonsensically long) rugby season. Super 15 + 12 Tests – the crowd that govern Rugby are as idiotic as FAIS! Just as a matter of interest, do you start to get Rugby burnout like I do after 6/7 months? Two months of Super Rugby is about the maximum I can swallow with maybe 6 Tests. I would be intrigued to see what type of reaction other ardent fans are having.
Well, what do you think?
Sterkte vir ‘n lekker week, ou Grote.