Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Unprecedented Century

I was in two minds about blogging about the key players in the Pakistan team on tour in South Africa, or blogging about this. In the end, as a patriotic South African, and a huge Proteas fan (in case you haven't noticed yet), it had to be Graeme Smith's 100th test match as captain, a mark that no one has yet achieved in the history of cricket.

He is the most experienced test captain. On Friday 1 Feb 2013, day one of the first of three test matches, and provided everything goes well until then, Graeme Smith will captain his 100th test match on his 32nd birthday.

A giant jersey was made for Smith showing all the tests he has captained. Fans also got to write messages on it for him. Picture taken from
It goes without saying that the captain has done very great things for South Africa. He's led from the front. He became the youngest South African captain when he took over from Shaun Pollock in April 2003. He was 22 and had only played 8 tests before then. The results were slow to come but in his third and fourth tests as captain he scored double hundreds. 277 at Edgbaston and 259 at Lords to draw the five test match series against England. 

When he does well, the Proteas usually do well. He symbolizes South African determination and a never say die attitude. He made 90 against Australia in the 438 game in 2006. Who can forget when he went out to bat  at number 11 against Australia with a broken hand, trying to save a redundant 3rd and final test match in 2009 at the SCG? A story about that can be read here 

Thank you for serving SA cricket and fans so well Grame Smith. Please continue.

His Batting and fielding averages from
List A25024415915514139.9714661300
He has captained in 47 test victories. Right now (at 99 tests as captain) he's won 47.47% of his tests as captain. I suspect that those numbers will rise.
Image taken from

Tuesday, 08 January 2013

Glenn McGrath in hall of fame

Glenn McGrath was recently inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Here's the story:

Growing up I watched Glenn McGrath bowl. He was incredible. He helped Australia win many tests and ODIs. At the time I believed Shaun Pollock was the only pace bowler of the same calibre in the world. McGrath was always a bit better though. I loved watching him bowl. At the time he was the best pace bowler in the world, and has been the best since.

A legendary bowler. Glenn McGrath, now 42 years old. Picture taken from

Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn and Mohammad Asif are and were all brilliant. But Glenn McGrath was the best. McGrath was accurate, deceived the batsmen, and moved the bowl a lot. The best thing about McGrath though was his confidence. He always backed himself to get the batsman out. He was extremely economical and at the same time took tons of wickets.

Glenn McGrath
He was the leading wicket taker of the 2007 world cup, which Australia won. Picture taken from
Glenn McGrath dons a pink hat to mark the McGrath Foundation day at the SCG Test.
With his late wife Jane, Glenn co-founded the McGrath Foundation to support Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families through the provision of McGrath Breast Care Nurses. He is now Chairman of the foundation. The foundation's website: Picture taken from

According to ESPN cricinfo:

His Bowling averages
List A30515808100044637/157/1521.603.7934.11570

His Batting and fielding averages (less important)
List A3058043124113.3527045.9200480

Saturday, 05 January 2013

What to expect in the second SA - NZ test

In a two test match series between South Africa and New Zealand South Africa won the first match at Newlands, Cape Town, rather easily thanks to a dismal performance by the New Zealand batsmen. NZ were bowled out for 45 in their first innings. Yes that is correct, 45, with Vernon Philander getting the first 5 wickets and finishing with 5-7 in six overs. Kane Williamson was the only batsmen to get double figures. He made 13 runs. 

South Africa followed it up with an excellent 347/8 declared. Alviro Petersen made a very good 106. New Zealand batted quite well in their second innings making 275. Their star in their make-up effort was Dean Brownlie who scored 109 runs, making his first test century. In the end South Africa won by an innings and 27 runs. Philander received the man of the match. The game saw Jacques Kallis reach 13 000 test runs and Dale Steyn reach 300 test wickets. 

Kallis is now the fourth leading test run scorer of all time and Steyn is the fourth leading South African test wicket taker of all time - if you're into records, which I am.

Vernon Philander took 5 wickets for 7 runs in New Zealand's first innings. Picture taken from 
What I would expect in the second and last test: Firstly I believe there is almost no chance of another South African bowler getting 5-7. I believe that the New Zealanders will work hard on all forms of their game in the break and I don't think South Africa will be able to bowl them out for less than 100 in either of New Zealand's innings, and probably not less than 150 in either. 

I think that the South Africans will find it tougher against a more determined New Zealand bowling attack, as well as more resolute fielders, (the NZ batsmen, without saying, will improve). Nevertheless I think the South African team will strive all the more and put in the effort needed to win the second test. The Proteas will most likely bat well, bowl well and field well and beat New Zealand. This is not certainty though, you never know what might happen.

I don't expect the South African team to change. New Zealand must be wishing they had Daniel Vettori, Timothy Southee and Ross Taylor. I do expect the Black Caps to make one or two changes though, mostly to their batting line up. 

On a side-note, since the Proteas are in such a good position in this test series and look like they are going to win the next game; and since they only have 3 really good experienced fast bowlers, maybe it would be prudent to give a chance to a new, possibly young, fast bowler. But that would mean one of the three super stars would have to sit out. Who would you drop? and who would you put in? I'm not saying anything, just putting that out there.

New Zealand's batsman Doug Bracewell is
Doug Bracewell was bowled by Dale Steyn in NZ's first innings, giving Steyn his 300th test wicket. Image taken from