After this sensational match, and three games into the Protea’s series against our bitter rivals. What have we learnt?
Things are maybe not as bad as what we all believe they are. Many people, me included, have been talking about the death of SA cricket for the past six months or more. The side looks young, inexperienced and not “world class” enough to dominate world cricket. Alas, Andile Phehlukwayo seems a bright prospect. To me, he is still very raw and needs a lot of guidance but that will come with time. When we got the total down to a run a ball on Wednesday, he still wanted to slog instead of getting singles and feeding the strike to Miller. Trying to reverse sweep (successfully) with two runs needed was madness too. Glad it worked out in the end, but it wasn’t the smartest thing to do and could have ended badly. This will all come with experience. Rabada is young too, but is growing up fast. Quinny is still a kid with the world at his feet, a kid with the ability to become a wicketkeeper/batsman with the class of Sangakkara or Gilcrest. While Rilee, Miller, and Pretorius are all 27 years old. So that’s easily six players that are young and have the quality to win us games.
Miller needs to face more deliveries. I feel like I’ve been saying this forever, but he really does need to bat higher up the order. In the same way that AB opens in T20’s for us so that he can face the most deliveries, David Miller can’t continue to bat six or seven and be expected to come in with a handful of overs to go, and fail in the pursuit of runs. And when he fails, we demand that he be dropped when he doesn’t score 50 off these overs. The KingXl picked up on this years ago and batted Miller at three. He scored endless runs for them. Now let’s do the same. Faf and JP have both scored runs recently, but I believe Miller could take either one of their places in the top five. I can’t think of a top five in world cricket better than Hash, Quinny, Rilee, AB and Miller. Those are great players and more importantly… explosive cricketers.
We need to stop fearing these damn Aussies. We’ve chased down 435 against them and now we’ve chased down 371. Seven of the highest eight ODI totals that have been chased down are now against Australia. So why do we fear them? I’d happily have lost the “438 game” and the one last night for one of their World Cups. Lets not fear them in 2019, when we are bound to meet them in a semi final or final. Lets build a side with these youngsters, a fearless side, a team that knows what it’s like to thrash the Aussies.
Lets get behind our boys and hope they can become world beaters. It’s not all doom and gloom, guys. And yes, the Aussies didn’t have Starc or Hazlewood, well…. we didn’t have AB and Hash for the first two.