If you’re a Protea fan, you’re probably as irritated as the rest of us. But when will the selectors stop picking players based on their names?
I can’t remember looking at a South African cricket scorecard and being more despondent. We’re in such a dire situation. Even before a ball was bowled, I looked at the two sides, and what immediately stood out was that England had Stuart Broad batting at 10. Broad averages 23 and has a highest score of 169. At 10, we had Dane Piedt, who has only batted three times in Tests, but none the less, averages 6. Lets go up to our number 8, Kyle Abbott. He’s also new to the Test scene, but averages 6 too. Steyn at nine averages 14 from his 100 innings. So, if our top order are out of form and struggling, our lower order is as worthless as our currency.
The next infuriating thing, is the selection of the side. How long are the panel of selectors going to continue to hang onto the dead wood in the side, and more so, how long are they going to keep ignoring the players performing in franchise cricket?
Stiaan van Zyl was hugely talented in domestic cricket and I was shouting for years for the Protea’s to give him a chance, but he’s not an international opener. He is averaging just 35. Take away his 101* on debut, and that average is far lower. Faf du Plessis is another one who needs to go play franchise cricket, he was supposed to be our new Kallis, in terms of the rock at number three. He started off well, but in 2015, averages 17. That is simply not good enough. He started so well down at seven, why not find a place for him at five or six? Lastly, JP Duminy, again, I’m a big fan of Koppe, but he hasn’t been comfortable ever since he returned from injury. In 2015, he averaged 10. TEN. ONE-ZERO. T.E.N! For some reason he isn’t been bowled in this Test. Now obviously we don’t know if he has a shoulder injury or not, but if he doesn’t – why is he in the side. What country has a specialist batsman at seven averaging 10?
Loads of talk has been doing to rounds that AB de Villiers needs a rest, which is my next issue with the selectors. He is our golden egg, our Messi, our Bradman, why shorten his career? We need to let him bat, score runs, get a sponsor from Johnson&Johnson’s and wrap him in cotton wool for the next five or six years.
People say that our franchise cricket is weak and we don’t have depth, but I disagree. I think there’s quite a few players that are waiting to get a call up, but I don’t think the selectors have the balls to drop their favourites, like Amla, Faf or JP. Stephen Cook averages 40 (63 in 2014/2015 season) in First Class cricket, scored 53* against the England XI and has passed 50 again today in a 4-day game.
Quinton de Kock is knocking so hard on the Protea’s door, I have a scene in my head, straight out of The Shining, but instead it’s Quinny smashing the door down with his Gunn&Moore. “Heeeeere’s Quinny”. The Titans were 97/4 (sounds familiar), when De Kock scored 117 from 133 deliveries earlier this week. He’s the obvious pick to bat at seven and take the gloves off De Villiers.
Rilee Rossouw is the other player I want to see given a go. He averages 45 in First Class cricket, has an aggressive nature to his game and would be the perfect addition to the Protea’s side.
I just wish the selectors would have the guts to shake things up. Rilee is 26, Quinton is 23, Kagiso Rabada is 20. Don’t be scared of their age. Being young means they’re fearless – put them in our side, they’ll be together for a decade at least. The time is now… out with the old, in with the new.