On Thursday, I had to swallow my words when JP Duminy and the tail-enders batted South Africa to a match-winning first innings total. This was followed by the bowlers, spearheaded by Dale Steyn, proving that seamers can win matches on the sub-continent.
While it is early days yet, it appears that our habit of getting out of the blocks slowly has now been addressed. What I found particularly heartening is that this victory came as a result of a team effort, rather than relying on Steyn, De Villiers and Amla only.
What more can be said about Dale Steyn? His record on the sub-continent is simply in a class of its own, and proof of just how competitive the man is. Morné Morkel has certainly also acquired some much needed aggro – he actually swore at an opposing batsman after removing him, which resulted in Billy Bowden having a quiet fatherly chat with the giant bowler.
Can we afford to keep Imran Tahir in the side for the second and last test, or will the selectors pick rookie Dane Tiedt? If they do omit Tahir, it may be an indication of a less rigid approach under Amla as captain.
Oh, and the fact that the new captain scored only 33 runs in the test in NOT statistical evidence that his new responsibility affects his batting negativly.
Sharks Monster Highlanders
I cannot recall ever seeing a scrum being demolished the way the Sharks did on a few occasions on Saturday. It was obviously a planned tactic, and won the match for the home side. Full credit must go to young Thomas du Toit for proving that you need not be a “hardebaard” to compete at this level. He is yet another arrow in the quiver of young stars waiting rather impatiently for their time in the spotlight currently occupied by older players.
Heyneke Meyer hoef nie meer wakker te lê oor sy reserwe skrumskakel nie. Charl McLeod het weer bewys dat hy nie tans sy gelyke het onder die spelers wat Super 15 speel nie. Voor hy op die veld verskyn het, het swak taktiese skopwerk byna daartoe gelei dat die Sharks verloor.
So van ouer spelers gepraat: my kollega Deon du Toit stel Vrydag voor dat ons ‘n ere-titel vir die baie ervare Springbokke moet kry. Sy voorstel is dat ouens soos Schalk Burger in die toekoms eerder Blesbokke genoem word.
The Green Open
A few weeks ago, Rory McIlroy made the headlines for the wrong reasons after calling off his wedding. Yesterday, all of this was forgotten as he won the most prestigious trophy in golf by two shots. He is the only player after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to hold three major titles at the ripe old age of 25.
I doubt whether he will be able to emulate the feats of the other two, but at least he is in excellent company.