|THE A TEAM FEATURED IN THE TIMES|
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
SOUTH AFRICA'S BRAINLESS CRICKET
Facing their first serious hurdle at the Cricket World Cup, the Proteas as they s
how got called after previously being the Springboks, had to make 308 to beat .
It was a formidable task but not impossible. India
They had almost a cricket team of expert coaches and consultants to advise them so you would have expected, at the very least, that they would have done nothing stupid.
That’s where you would have been wrong, terribly wrong.
They batted as if most of them had not got a brain between them.
Opener Quinton de Kock started with a wild swing at a ball that could easily have had him caught behind the wicket. After a few innocuous shots he sent a soft one into the hands of the opposition and was gone for seven.
Mr Reliable Hashim Amla, one of the best batsmen in the world in all formats, skied a short ball onto the leg side where he was caught on the boundary for 22. S
of his experience should have seen that trap a mile off.
Faf du Plessis, in at three, who has been out of form lately, played sensibly with wickets falling around him. At 55 off 71 balls he had a brain storm, ran down the pitch and gave the Indians an easy catch.
JP Duminy, who made a century in the previous match admittedly against lowly
, played possibly the most
brainless shot of all. With his score at only six he decided on the most risky
shot in cricket – a reverse sweep. As a left hander he was playing the shot as
if he was right handed. Zimbabwe
The result was the last of the Proteas' recognised batsmen was back in the pavilion.
David Miller, one of the top six, who had c
ome in just before Duminy,
followed his captain’s bad example and was run out for 22.
That was effectively the end of the Proteas scoring because the last five players, you couldn’t call them batsmen as the c
ommentators do, made a total of only 28 runs.
selectors expect to win a world cup with so many players who can’t bat I don’t
know. They badly need at least one good all rounder who can bat and bowl
reasonably well. South Africa
As it was in this game they relied on Wayne Parnell to fulfil this role. His bowling was hammered for 85 runs at almost 10 an over, nearly twice as many as the next worst bowler. His solitary wicket didn’t alter the fact that his figures were shocking.
He made 17 not out off 28 balls when the game was already lost. But if he is the best all rounder the Proteas have got it will take a miracle for them to win the Cup.
To cap this match of brainless play the Proteas were fined 10% of their match fee with captain De Villiers being penalised 20% for badly overrunning the three and a half hours allowed for a side fielding to c
The Proteas' 130 thrashing was by far their worst performance at a World Cup and the first time they have ever been beaten by more than 100 runs.
So what was the point of all those advisers? Where were they when the Proteas batsmen lost their minds?
Where were they when the Proteas, named after a hardy wild flower, faded so badly?
the Head Coach Russell D omingo they had
fielding coach Adrian Birrell; specialist bowling coach Allan Donald;
specialist spin bowling coach Claude Henderson as well as former South African
batsman Gary Kirsten who was the coach of the World Cup winning Indian team
four years ago. He was there as the batting consultant.
You would think they had enough experts to keep any team on a winning high. But no they had to add retired Australian batting star Mike Hussey as the finishing consultant, whatever that is.
My suggestion is that this think tank team should play in the next match with s
ome of the best of the Proteas to make up the
numbers and we’ll see if they are any good on the field because in the Indian
game they were as useless off it as the Proteas were on it.
Watch out for the
West Indies on Friday Proteas. You
might have beaten them easily shortly before the World Cup started, but if
Chris Gayle and s ome of their other
hard hitting batsmen get going there will be no ro om
for any more mindless cricket.
Your avid cricket fan
Jon, who would very much like to see De Villier’s prediction that “We’ll win the World Cup” turned into fact. But on the showing during the
match it will be very much
against the run of play unless there is a superhuman improvement. India