Every test is decided.....

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Dec 31, 2019, 01:13

by one or two outstanding achievements and the last one was no different. Faf has been singing the praises of the attack and so he should be after a great display as a unit. The line and length was generally superb from all of the bowlers. MOM Quinnie took 8 catches in total and scored 95 runs in the first innings. But what about Faf's own wonderful contribution? He needed to bowl 10 overs before the new ball and he opted to go with Maharaj. A risky proposition with a feisty Stokes and Root at the crease. In Maharaj's first over Stokes belted him adding a further 12 runs in that over,  the captain showed his disappointment but instead of replacing Maharaj he stuck with him, a game-changing decision in that in his second over Maharaj took Stokes's wicket. Faf had held his nerve and backed his bowler. The fall of that valuable wicket in that moment of the game was a defining moment as to the outcome of the game. And then again soon after, what about Faf backing young Nortje with the new ball as opposed to his star and seasoned bowler, Vernon Philander? Another masterstroke as Norje removed Root. Surely, Faf should have been the MOM?

But wait on, shouldn't Nortje have been MOM perhaps? Useless as a batman he came on as the nightwatchman, faced a barrage of short pitched ugly stuff from Archer, stretched out his stay to the next day, formed an invaluable 91 run partnership with Van Der Dussen and making 40 runs of his own. Remember we're talking tailender here playing in only his 4th Test. And with that Nortje exemplified what is needed in the Protea camp......guts and determination. No folks, they've got it wrong, even without counting his scalps as a bowler he is my MOM.

Dec 31, 2019, 02:04

Proteas: Understated Pretorius shows value of Test all-rounder

Centurion - While man-of-the-match Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje finished the first Test against England at Centurion as the obvious South African heroes, there was another superb performance in the form of debutant all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius

His returns perhaps didn't make for the most glamorous reading, but they were incredibly important given the match situations at the time. 

Pretorius' knock of 33 in South Africa's first innings saw him share in an 87-run stand for the sixth-wicket with De Kock (95), taking the Proteas from a worrying 111/5 to 198/6 as they batted their side back into a position of control. 

It was with the ball, though, where Pretorius was most impressive. 

Operating as the fourth seamer in the attack, the 30-year-old carded figures of 1/23 (8) and then 1/26 (16)

It meant that, throughout the Test match, Pretorius went at just a little over two runs per over and that is part of the reason that captain Faf du Plessis was so pleased with his efforts. 

Having a consistently performing all-rounder is not a luxury the Proteas have always had in their Test ranks. 

The likes of Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren have all been fielded by the Proteas in recent years with varying degrees of success, but there has perhaps not been the importance placed on the role that there is now. 

New head coach Mark Boucher has openly stated that he values all-rounders, while Du Plessis confirmed on Sunday that it was a tactic he was looking to explore more on the journey ahead. 

"We've been thinking about that for a while," he said at SuperSport Park. 

"It's just so much easier for me to control different bowlers if you do have an all-rounder in your side.

"It is something moving forward, in South Africa, that is very important having a guy that can bowl you 10 or 15 overs and can score runs.

"Dwaine domestically has batted the best out of all the all-rounders and scored the most runs and the stats are there to prove that he has probably been the best allrounder.

"In this game he was brilliant. He bowled his 10 to 15 overs going at 1.5 or 2 ... it's exactly what we needed as a team.

"In the past, even on wickets that didn't spin, I would have to go to Kesh and luckily he has produced. But on a wicket like this that is more suited to seam bowlers.

"As a team we are much more balanced with something like that and now it's about growing more all-rounders in the country."

The other option with the current squad is Phehlukwayo, but consistency in his batting has been a problem. 

Du Plessis, though, insists that work is being done on the 23-year-old all the time. 

"That's why Andy is also here trying to improve his game and work with some really good batting coaches," said Du Plessis.

"His bowling is good enough to be a Test player and batting is still about getting him to know how to score runs.

"He is still very young, and he hasn't played a lot of first-class cricket but he'll get there. It's just about putting some great minds around him and then he'll grow."

Dec 31, 2019, 21:44

My DSTV conked out and i couldn't watch the final two days.

Will have a keen eye on the second test though.

It's nice to see skilled young guys coming through though. Rabada has been a success and it's just a shame that we wait until some guys are in their late 20s before they get a shot. If he's 20 with batting average of 40 at first class level I'd pick him over a 29 year old that's taken ten seasons to get his first class average up to 50.

...because the younger guys has more time to learn and after a season or two in the first class games he'll have learnt as much as what he's gonna learn there. Get him onto the big stage while his mind is still fresh and before he's too accustomed to the pace first class cricket. 

Hopefully he takes to it and by 23 he's settled into international cricket and ready to give you 12 or 13 years at the highest level.

Dec 31, 2019, 22:41

"If he's 20 with batting average of 40 at first class level I'd pick him over a 29 year old that's taken ten seasons to get his first class average up to 50."

And that's exactly what Mike, Saffex and I have been saying all along, directly or indirectly. Glad to see one more on the same page.

Dec 31, 2019, 22:49

Unlike Mike, I keep him around after he turns 30 :D

Dec 31, 2019, 23:34

Pretorious is a bog ordinary as they come

What irritates me is that they bang on about Andile needing to be better in the batting department when exactly the same applies to Pretorious

At least Andile has won us an ODI game or two with his batting as the lad has fight in him

Let’s compare them in ODI’s as both have played over 20

Pretorious is 30 turning 31 soon

He has played 22 ODI’s taken 29wkts at an average of 28

His batting average is 15

Andile is 23 turning 24 soon

He has played 52 ODI’s taken 65wkts at an average of 29

His batting average is 32

I know which all rounder I would be investing in, the one that is twice the bat

Dec 31, 2019, 23:49

"What irritates me is that they bang on about Andile needing to be better in the batting department when exactly the same applies to Pretorious"

Ummmm Interesting....I hear you....kinda like 6 of one etc etc but that said I'm not convinced Andile is quite ready for test cricket same as Ngidi.

Jan 01, 2020, 00:20

Of the all rounders we have at our disposal Andile is the best equipped and the same applies to Ngidi as a bowler

Unfortunately Ngidi has serious physical issues. That big body just can’t cope with the demands of fast bowling

Let’s hope he can overcome that

Jan 01, 2020, 01:00

I'd like to see another seamster come along in the shape of a Philander, Shaun Pollock or a Dale Steyn, someone who can swing the ball both ways. It will provide additional variety to an attack that is steeped in pace only.

Jan 01, 2020, 01:07

Agreed we need variety

Rabada is the complete package, Ngidi looked very good but his progress keeps getting interrupted. Nortje is quick and showed hints of swing with the older ball

But all 3 are similar - we need a new Vern but......

Jan 01, 2020, 06:59

I think much is being sad about the bowlers and little about the batsmen,   The Boxing Day test indicates that that is where out main problem in fact is,   We desperately need fresh blood there and there are players available.   

We only have De Kock as a top 10 batsman - the rest are just not up to standard anymore and those include both Du Plessis and Elgar,   Hamza  was put in at 3 - but effectively was an opening batsman in both innings - he needs the opening batsman to last longer.   There is something seriously amiss in the top storey of Markram - he needs to get over his disaster in the recent India series and get to play decent cricket - of which he was capable of in 2018 and early 2019,   

Both Elgar and Du Plessis are showing signs of serious decline in eye-hand co-ordination and that will only worsen in future.    

I still think younger players needs to come in as soon as possible,    Maybe that would happen in the upcoming ODI and T20I games against England,  My first choice batsmen  in that series will include Verreine, Janneman Malan and Van Tonder  - with Breetzke as an outsider as well.                            

Jan 01, 2020, 07:24

"I think much is being said about the bowlers and little about the batsmen,..."

See my post "Houston we have a problem...."

Jan 01, 2020, 11:08


A very happy and prosperous 2020.   

I was referring to the present thread and not other ones.   I am actually looking forward to what comes out in future squads.

Jan 01, 2020, 12:05

My vote for a fourth bowler goes to Andile.

While we have keeper that bats as well as Quintie, we can afford to play 3 all out bowlers. 

Ngidi is too inaccurate for me. All the downsides of Morkel with none/little of the upsides. 

If Andile and Pretorius can hold down the first and second change spots with Maharaj or potentially a third front line steamer in the mix where needed.

But of stretch but Andile reminds me a bit if Klusner. 

And its always a plus when a guy can play all three formats. 

Jan 01, 2020, 15:16


It appears as if the situation normally demands three fast bowlers a spinner and an all-rounder.   However - with the present weakness in batting preference is necessary to have a batting all-rounder  and not a bowling one.   

Once the batting issue are dealt with to an acceptable level it may be possible to look again at a bowling all-rounder afresh.   When Philander is gone  we will have to look at a few bowlers again - there are a few like for instance Sipamla that could be considered o let wiat and see what happens..        

Jan 01, 2020, 20:09

No a fit Ngidi is a must he is up there with Rabada as a prospect. Ngidi is a strike bowler whereas Andile is your 5th bowler in the equation

My 5 bowlers would be Rabada, Ngidi, Nortje, Maharaj and Andile

Id have Mulder and Sipamla as back up all rounder and seamer

Jan 01, 2020, 21:01


My bowling order would be.






Jan 01, 2020, 21:08

Plum we would get our arses kicked

Two strike bowlers and a spinner with 2 back up bowlers

Pretorious is useless

Ngidi is twice the bowler

Need 3 strike bowlers and a spinner with one back up like Andile

Jan 01, 2020, 22:02

In this series the batting looks like it needs bolstering.

Ngidi, Rabada and Nortje is a very long tail considering the woes up the order.

Jan 01, 2020, 22:10

Yes but we need to sort our bats out with specialist bats one to six with an all rounder at 7

Adding a second all rounder to bolster the batting would seriously leave us short in the bowling department

Jan 02, 2020, 01:59

I have specialist bats to 5, De Kock at 6, then Maharaja, Andile, Pretorius, Rabada, Nortje.

Keeping mind that the two all rounders offer variety in attack, which I prefer to having just another 140km guy steaming in. 

Not that Ngidi gets up much beyond 135km. Part of his issue really. He requires the care(shorter spells) of a true quick but without actually being that fast. Still young though, maybe things will change.

Swing becomes useful when conditions don't favor pace. So I'll take Andile and Pretorius instead.

Wouldn't mind a leftie that sends it down at 140km though. His natural shape would offer just about enough variation.

Jan 02, 2020, 03:39

Why not get specialist batsmen to do what they're selected to do........bat. Painting over the cracks won't work. And if they continue to fail then replace them with new specialist batsmen. 

Jan 02, 2020, 09:04


In the past year Elgar did what failed batsmen  do - make one good score and fail in 5 por 6 innings,   I will give him two more shorts and replace him then,  

Markram also failed in India and in the first English test - but he is young and can overcome failure.   I do not think Markram has a real physical problem - I think there is something amiss in his top storey - which coaching could correct.

Hamza batted in 6 innings and did well in 3 - I reckon that scoring 35 plus runs as ding well for a newbie.   However, he is just not good enough as an opener and that was what he did in the past test,   He deserves further investment. 

Du Plessis is seemingly the same  problem as Elgar has at present and I am afraid after the present test series they must really reconsider him as Proteas captain unless he  shows drastic improvement.   I am afraid both him and Elgar has eye-hand co-ordination problems noticeable in aging players and that never are corrected.

I do not think the problem will be solved by getting Pieter Malan, Seconds and even Van der Dussen into the team.  Even though Van der Dussen looked good in the second innings in the England test they are likely to fail sooner rather than later, 

I think the answer is what happened in the case of Kallis and Smith as youngsters,   Bring ion younger players and build them into good long term top players,   Granted Kallis lasted longer than Smith, bit reducing tests to four days - likely to happen soon - would have made Kallis a batting liability - his strike rate of circa 45 would have been way too low to cater for such a new format.    Would have been regarded as a batting all-rounder coming in at 7 in the eent of fopur-day tests, 

There are players around that would be better future investment and I am strongly in favour of rather start playing the younger players asap and develop a strong batting line-up for the future, 


Jan 02, 2020, 10:46

Mike, you are repeating what's been said ad infinitum, however, in the case of Markram I agree the problem is upstairs, I'm not convinced the problem can be corrected through coaching.

Jan 02, 2020, 14:34

Problem now days is that many top 5  batters only play tests.

I'd prefer if they at least played the 50 over format as well since it keeps them at international standard all season. T20 is a different besat and for my money it could/should have it's own team. 

Jan 02, 2020, 14:38

Plum bottom line is Pretorious is fucking useless - I need not say anymore

Jan 02, 2020, 15:02

So there is talk now to scrap 5 day tests altogether, in favour of 4 day tests....by 2023

Jan 02, 2020, 16:02

In light of the fact that they got 80,000 on the first day of play in Perth it's a bit sad but if that's the way forward then I'm for it.

Jan 02, 2020, 17:56

Lol Saffex

Let's see how the lad gets on. 

Jan 02, 2020, 19:43

I’ve seen more than enough of the lad to conclude he is an average bowler and an inconsistent bat and he comes across as a timid thing

Give me the fight Andile has in his belly

Jan 02, 2020, 23:46

Oh look there's no mistake, Pretorius is bog ordinary, I've said as much in the past.....even blind Freddy knows that, but Dave, give him some credit, he did bowl well in the last test in the second innings. Ag I know on a different wicket on a different day he'll be hopelessly exposed but it is what it is. Hard to believe that after all these years we've not produced a top-class Allrounder, well not the kind we used to.

Jan 03, 2020, 00:14

Yeah he can hold up an end with his boring line and pace. I’m surprised he his not targeted more given he does not really move it like Vern does.

Yep we have had nothing since Kallis and Pollock, before that is was Big Mac, Clive Rice etc

Mulder is meant to be the real deal but I’ve seen very little to suggest that

Jan 03, 2020, 00:25

"Yep we have had nothing since Kallis and Pollock,"...or Klusener.

Forget Wiaam Mulder.......from what I've seen of him thus far he is even worse than our mate Pretorius.

Jan 03, 2020, 00:44

I was going to include Zulu but did not as he was our ODI king and did not feature much in tests but yes he was class

Mulder is talked up a lot but I’m yet to see even a glimpse but I put him ahead of Pretorious because I think Pretorious is that shit

Jan 03, 2020, 02:00

Fair enough.....it's not worth splitting hairs on Mulder. Time will prove one of us right or wrong.

Jan 03, 2020, 02:04

We are in agreement on Mulder - to date he has done zero

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