Sunday, 09 February 2014

Three players who should not be in SA squad

Whenever a Proteas squad is announced I consider whether we have selected the best squad out of what is available. Usually I only think one or two changes should have been made, but now I am unhappy with the selection.

The Proteas squad to play Australia in the three tests starting on Wednesday in Centurion:

Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, and Thami Tsolekile.

For me three of these players should not be in the test squad.

Thami Tsolekile (33)

iol spt feb13 Tsolekile
Tsolekile bats in the lower order for the Lions. Image taken from

While he is a good wicketkeeper, he is old and is an average if not poor batsman.
Wicketkeeping is very important in cricket because the guy behind the stumps has to be able to catch a ball and whip the bails off quickly if need be. 
But a guy who is at least decent at that, while being able to bat well, is a better option.
Mark Boucher was a world-class wicketkeeper but also a finisher with the bat. 
Sangakarra, Gilchrist and Prior were also good wicketkeeper-batsmen.
The best sides always had wicketkeepers who could bat a little, and Tsolekile's first-class average of 30.26 is not impressive.

I think Quinton de Kock would have been a better choice. 

Rory Kleinveldt (30)

I have seen him bowl, get hit for a few boundaries, and still not change his line and length. Image taken from
To be brutally honest, he is the worst bowler I have seen bowl for SA since Roger Telemachus.
He has average speed, little movement and petty strategy.
He can bat a little but otherwise is a mediocre player.
Hi test bowling average is 42.20 and in ODIs it is 37.33. 
His first-class bowling average is not even that good (29.09).

Abbott should be in the squad instead of Kleinveldt.

Wayne Parnell (24)

To his advantage Parnell is a left arm seamer. But just because you are left handed does not mean you should be selected. Image taken from 

Parnell and Ryan McLaren are the allrounders selected to replace Kallis.
I understand that our batting is deep with Philander and Peterson so perhaps an allrounder will ensure all bowlers have breaks while a strong batting order is maintained.
Nevertheless the choice to replace Kallis with an allrounder is illogical to me.
With Duminy helping the bowlers, we can afford to have seven good batsmen.

They should bring in de Kock or Elgar at seven instead, but if the Proteas insist on playing an allrounder, they should play McLaren instead of Parnell. 
McLaren is better in both departments.
Parnell should be replaced with de Kock or Stiaan van Zyl; or McLaren if an allrounder is the preferred option.

There are also three T20s after the three tests.