Posts tagged with SA:

South Africa Team Missing JP Duminy

The South Africa Cricket team missed JP Duminy a lot in the recent 5-match ODI series against Australia. They were beaten in the last three games of that series in a row and they ended up losing the series 1-4. It was a blow to South Africa’s World Cup preparations. The World Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand and South Africa was believed to be the best equipped overseas team for those conditions. But, now, after their comprehensive defeat there, people might start thinking differently. Duminy’s presence in the South Africa set up would have made a lot of difference in the series. South Africa often lost the plot in the middle overs and that’s because they did not have any experienced player batting at 5 or 6. Farhaan Behardein and David Miller are newer to international cricket. They have also played quite a few games, but, if compared to Duminy, they are not that wily. Behardein scored 60 odd playing at SCG, but, if that knock is barred, he was extremely ordinary and so was Miller. It was not only about Duminy, the batsman. Duminy, the bowler, would also have benefitted South Africa. The 30-year old right arm off spinner would have been handy as the 6th bowler for the Proteas, stopping the boundaries and also, chipping in with a wicket or two. He has got a golden arm; he has been a partnership breaker in the past. Duminy was actually in the original One Day squad that South Africa had picked for this tour, but, he sustained an injury playing in the T20s, in which he was the captain, and thus, he had to make his way back home. He would be back before the World Cup though. Read more...

STARTS TOMORROW

The first match of the test series between South Africa and Australia is going to start from tomorrow at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. The cricket lovers from all countries will have their eyes on this series. Both the teams have performed fantastically well in this form of the game off late and a close fight is expected to be seen between them. Some great bowlers will be in action during the series. So, the matches might be low scoring. Since the South Africans are playing in their backyard, one must have to admit that they would be the favourites going into the battle, but, the Kangaroos have shown in whatever cricket they have played this season that they are slowly becoming a lethal unit again. So, the hosts should be a bit careful. There was a picture of the Centurion pitch being posted on the official twitter account of Cricket Australia earlier today and it was looking terrifyingly green. So, a 3-day finish is well and truly on the cards. Australia would probably be playing a debutant tomorrow as one of their senior players Shane Watson is unfit. Although there is Shaun Marsh in the squad who has already played a few test matches, but, he hadn’t had a great time in the Sheffield Shield back home. So, it’s very much possible that the team management ignores him and gives the nod to the uncapped player Alex Doolan. Phillip Hughes is the strongest contender for the no. 6 spot, but, he would have to do well straightaway. This might be the make or break tour for him. Another failure and his test career might be done and dusted. It would also be interesting to see whom South Africa replaces Jacques Kallis with. The legendary all rounder had retired after the test series against India. Read more...

SQUAD ANNOUNCED

The South African squad has been announced for the test series against Pakistan which will be played in United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month. Graeme Smith has been included in the squad despite the question marks over his fitness. Smith had injured his ankle while representing Surrey in county cricket a few months back. He had to go through surgery because of that. He hasn’t regained 100% fitness yet, but, he is expected to do that before the start of the tour. Dale Steyn is also back after missing the Sri Lanka tour due to side strain. The conditions in UAE will be quite helpful for the spinners and keeping that in mind, the South African selectors have included two specialist spinners in the squad i.e. Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir. Thami Tsolekile has also found a spot in the squad, but, he is not expected to get any playing opportunity on the tour as AB de Villiers is expected to continue keeping wickets for the Proteas. Smith was present in the press conference in which the squad was announced. He said, “We haven’t played test cricket since quite a while. Also, we are going to a place where conditions will be unfamiliar. So, we need to prepare well.” When asked about his fitness, Smith said, “The recovery is going well and I think I will get fit in time.” South Africa has to play a 5-match ODI series as well on the tour and the squad for that series has been announced as well. Steyn and Smith are in that squad too, but, Jacques Kallis’ name is not there. Kallis had recently made a statement that he wants to continue playing in the ODIs till the 2015 World Cup. After that, there were speculations that he might be included in the South African squad for the ODI series against Pakistan, but, that didn’t happen. Read more...

SA LOSE OUT

The South Africa cricket team has been defeated by Pakistan in its first super 8 match in the World T20 Championship at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Pakistan won the match by 2 wickets. It was a close match and South Africa was cruising towards victory at one point of time, but, the Proteas bowlers didn’t manage to hit the right kind of length in the death overs. That was the main reason why South Africa lost the match. Earlier, the skipper of South Africa, AB De Villiers, won the toss and decided to bat first. The Pakistani team made a very good start to the match and got the all important wicket of Hashim Amla in the second over. It was a slower delivery from Arafat and Amla was deceived completely. He tried to drive the ball through covers, but, he had to check his shot at the last moment and he ended up hitting the ball straight into the hands of the fielder standing at extra cover. Levi also departed soon. He tried to reverse sweep Ajmal. The ball was too full to sweep. Levi missed the ball and was clean bowled. After losing those two wickets, the Proteas batsmen started playing cautiously and as a result, the run rate slowed down. JP Duminy and AB De Villiers hit some sixes towards the end, but, even after that, South Africa managed to put only 133 runs on the board in 20 overs. Duminy was the top scorer for South Africa. The elegant left hander scored 48 runs off 38 balls. The Pakistani team started well in reply and Imran Nazir played some wonderful pull shots. But, when the spinners were introduced into the attack, the Pakistani batsmen started struggling. Peterson bowled beautifully and he deceived both Hafeez and Jamshed in the air. Botha also got into the act by knocking over Kamran Akmal. In the last 5 overs, 58 runs were needed and it seemed that South Africa would win the match easily. But, that wasn’t the case to be. Umar Gul came to bat at no. 9 and he stunned the South African bowlers by hitting some lusty blows. He hit 3 sixes and scored 32 valuable runs off just 17 balls. He got out in the 19th over, but, he had done his job before that. Umar Akmal and Saeed Ajmal scored the remaining nine runs in the last over and saw their team home. Pakistan will take on India in its next match on Sunday at the same venue. Read more...

KALLIS STILL INFLUENTIAL

Not many players have dominated the world of cricket so consistently over the last decade and half or even more than the mercurial South African all round cricketer Jacques Kallis. In the perspective of cricket in New Zealand, he is one those players termed as BV or Before Vettori as an homage to the longevity of the legendary all round player. Having made his debut in Test cricket in 1995, Kallis managed to mould his game with the demands of time and became a multitasking all round cricketer that every team wished they had. Kallis not only is one of the best batsmen in world cricket with almost 60 tons to his name in all formats of the game, he is one of those few players who can match his batting performances with the ball in his hand, having scalped more than 300 international wickets and being the long time leader of the bowling attack for South Africa. Jacques Kallis, according to many of the popular players of this generation and the past, is the best all rounder ever to have played the game and although age has slowed him down a little, he is still an important part of the South African squad. He is also an invaluable asset in Twenty 20 cricket as well as he showed over the last few seasons with the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Kallis will return to the South African fold ahead of the team’s departure for New Zealand where they play in the Test and One Day Internationals and Jacques Kallis can be the one player that holds the key for The Proteas during the hectic schedule in one of the toughest places to play cricket at any time of the year, let alone during March. Read more...