Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Proteas are back to their winning ways

I previously blogged how the South African cricket team found itself in a precarious position after losing the home Test series to England, and appearing to lack confidence. I can now safely say that the Proteas are back to their old ways (beating opponents comprehensively in all facets of the game, while playing with belief in their abilities).

Yes, the Test series losses to India and England prove that our Test squad is not what it used to be. But after winning our last five limited overs matches against England – three One Day Internationals, and two T20s, to win those series – things are definitely looking better. We will play against Australia next, in three T20s starting on 4 March. To be honest, I do not think we will win, as Australia look very good at the moment, but we must not let this get us down. We have done well to recover from where we were. After that, we will compete in the T20 World Cup.

Proteas fans can celebrate now that the team is winning again.
I took interest in a recent Graeme Pollock column. The SA batting legend said that room must be made available for Quinton de Kock in the T20 squad, event though we won the T20 series against England without him. I wholeheartedly agree with this. A slight injury kept de Kock out of the T20 series, and because of it, I felt nervous looking at our batting line up before each game. De Kock is a confident, talented and aggressive opening batsmen, with sublime timing and shot selection.

Pollock believes that de Kock is better than David Miller and Rilee Rossouw, and to fit de Kock in the side, one of those two would have to sit out. With this, I concur, although it would be a hard decision. Both have played well for South Africa in limited overs.

Another difficulty would be in deciding which opening pair to go with – with AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock all able and available. De Kock and AB are both explosive players who play extravagant shots. They have not opened together before, but there is a first time for everything. I think our management should try it out. Hashim appears to be more subdued, but can still score at a good rate with clever stroke play.

 I will end off with de Kock's batting statistics as of 23 February, courtesy of espncricinfo.com:

Batting and fielding averages
List A969443601138*40.01384893.581311402571159