We are still with the conundrum whether Graene Smith and Jacqtes kaliis
December 06, 2013, 19:51:28
Sjould play in ODI's and 20T cricket. Whenever they played together and Smith opens the batting - we have lost the recent ODI's - bar one where the Pakistan batting collapsed and they could not score 184 runs resulting in a win by the Proteas by 1 run.
The reason for the poor batting was largely the fault of a collapse by the opening batsmen. Kallis was not in the squad for the away leg of the Pakistan series and Smith was sent home injured after the second ODI and Quinton de Kock opened the batting in the remaining ODI's
Although Amla also wen out once with a low score in the three ODI's De Kock made a total of 189 runs in the three ODI's and the Proteas won with ease. He scored at a very fast rate and reduced the pressure on the lower order batsmen by scoring quickly and getting enough runs to make the team competitive.
Back in SA - where one would assume that the Proteas would win with ease - and they lost the series. The question is why did it happen? The only change to the team was that Kallis and Smith were back in the team. In the first two ODI's both Smith and Kallis played and Smith failed with the bat. In the third ODI Smith was dropped and the improvement was immediately in evidence - the Proteas won the match.
Arrive the Indian team - the number 1 ranked ODI team in the world - and on Thursday the Proteas included Kallis in the team and left out Smith. De Kock opened the batting. He made 135 runs off 121 balls and together with Amla contributed massively to the later onslaught by AD and Duminy resulting in a win by 141 runs by the Proteas - the second biggest win ever by the Proteas over India. Although Kallis did not bat well at all (he made 11 runs from 16 balls) - his bowling was not too bad and he took one wicket in the process.
De Kock has a peculiar issue though. Although he played in 14 ODI's thus far and is batting average is 38 - he has never made between 50 runs and 99 runs in any of the ODI's he played in. He made two centuries though - scoring 112 runs in one ODI and 145 runs in his latest match. It seems he scored in the two ODI's at a run rate of 5,5 rpo up to the 5o runs he made - but then goes wild and score at rate of over 7 rpo between 50 runs and the scores he finally achieved. On Wednesday he made 38 runs off the last 21 balls he faced - scoring at nearly 11 rpo.
After his recent performances I do not think that the selectors will dare to select Smith ahead of him for ODI's again - the public will roast them alive. So Smith can kiss his selection for the ODI team and 20Twenty teams good bye.
There is a problem though. De Kock is only 20 years old and my fried Mozart will not find the change acceptable. Incidentally he is the youngest SA player ever to make a century in ODI's.