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Proteas Amla v Markram v Hendricks ... who is going to CWC?

Forum » Cricket » Proteas Amla v Markram v Hendricks ... who is going to CWC?

Mar 13, 2019, 07:52

Cape Town - Hashim Amla has no guarantees of going to the 2019 World Cup. Neither does Aiden Markram, and neither does Reeza Hendricks


It is one of the biggest selection conundrums facing the Proteas brains trust as they look to wrap up preparations for the tournament and settle on a 15-man squad that will seek to make history in England. 

There are just two ODIs against Sri Lanka remaining before the big calls must be made, and CSA selection convenor Linda Zondi told Sport24 on Monday that he is having "sleepless nights". 

At present, it is difficult to separate those three players. 

Hendricks, until recently, seemed to be ahead in the race. A lean run of form, however, has seen him amass just 70 runs in his last 5 ODI innings.

That leaves him with a career average of 27.93 that is moving in the wrong direction at a time when he needs to be cementing his World Cup spot. 

It cost Hendricks his place in the squad for the final two Sri Lanka ODIs, but he has since been recalled with the news that Amla will now miss those matches as he devotes his time to his critically ill father.

Quinton de Kock is in superb form and will open the innings in England, but there is no longer any certainty as to who his partner will be at the top of the order. 


The plan was always for Amla to fill that role, but recent developments mean that South Africans still can't be sure. 

It is not an ideal situation to be in, but it is understandable given the grave concerns over Amla's form. 

He has been nowhere near his fluent, commanding best in recent months and the brutal truth is that critics and experts have started questioning whether or not his eyes are starting to fail him. 

Now 35, Amla struggled in the Sri Lankan Test series where he was beaten for pace and movement, seemingly late to react. 

A safe pair of hands in the slips throughout his career, Amla has also started putting down catches more regularly, which further suggests that he is not picking the ball up as quickly as he used to. 

But, despite all of that, what Amla does have is experience and a world class record that sees him average 49.74 in ODI cricket at a strike rate of just under 90.


That pedigree is impossible to ignore. 


"It's a very big decision to make and it is giving me sleepless nights," Zondi told Sport24 over the phone on Monday. 


"Hash is a player with a superb record and we know exactly what he has done, but we will make the call that gives us the best chance of winning the World Cup."


Zondi added that Amla's lack of mobility in the field would also be taken into consideration. 


"We have to think about these things and fielding is a crucial part of the game," he said.

It all comes down to either backing a player based on what he has done in the past, or what you think he can offer in the future.

 

Of the three batsmen in question, Markram is in the best current form. 

Left out of the squad at the start of the Sri Lanka series, Markram went back to the Titans where he made a series of massive statements. 

His successive knocks of 169 (129)139 (127) and 85 (43) in the One Day Cup ensured that he quickly forced his way back into the ODI mix. 

In all those innings, Markram showed exactly why he is rated so highly. His shot-making range is seemingly limitless, and he has a natural power that allows him to clear the ropes with ease. 


Zondi, though, wants Markram to transfer that form onto the international stage. 

"He was given a long run in the ODI side and never really made it," he said.

"He scored a lot of 30s and 40s and was looking very good, and now he has gone back to domestic cricket and earned another opportunity. Let's see how he goes, whether he gets one or two games (against Sri Lanka), and we will go from there."

Zondi also pointed to Markram's struggles against spin bowling so far in ODI cricket. 


"How these guys play spin is very important when you consider that most sides we play at the World Cup will have at least two spinners," he said.

"He (Markram) has battled against spin bowling so far, and Sri Lanka do have spinners, so we'll be watching that."

There is, of course, scope for all three players to be selected in the touring squad to the World Cup, but it is almost impossible to see them all featuring in the same starting XI


Markram is flexible and can move up and down the order, where Hendricks and Amla are relatively rigid in that they must open or bat at No 3. 

It was never supposed to go this way. 

One of the only certainties just a few months ago was that De Kock and Amla would be South Africa's openers. 

That is no longer the case, and Amla could now find himself overlooked for the first time in over a decade. 

"This is why I don't sleep," Zondi added.

"These are difficult decisions, but we have to make them."


Mar 13, 2019, 08:21

Denny

I will have a look at the game today -  I think if Amla fiddles around and score runs  but at an unacceptable strike he should not be considered at all,

Hendriks is already not in the squad and I do not think he would be considered for the WC

The other player I am going to look out for today is Duminy,   He did not play for 5 months and in his comeback Momentum Cup game he was out for a duck and his bowling was poor as well,   He was better in the second game - but it was against weak bowling and his own bowling was not anything to go by.

What bothers me is what the hell Shamsi is doing in the squad,    He is totally useless and should be playing bar cricket,

The other player to watch out for today is Dale Steyn - if he struggle to take wickets - like he did in the Pakistani series I would not consider him for the WC.

      

  

Mar 13, 2019, 12:18

The situation is comical, there's been enough time to prepare.......did they only just discover there's a WC around the corner!?

Mar 13, 2019, 12:30

:D:D:D Looks like that!!!!!

It seems as if for too long the idea was to play established players in the WC and the wheels came off that when -

*    AB  announced his retirement;

*    Amla's performances start taking a dive;

*    Duminy went off injured,

I would say they wished for Amla's overcoming the situation and hope Duminy would be back from injury and performed. 


Mar 13, 2019, 12:37

I can't believe this Zondi character whoever he is, talking about sleepless nights....ag shame my heart bleeds. The writing was on the wall a long time ago only now for him to knee jerk.

How hard did he want someone to yell...Houston we have a problem!

Mar 13, 2019, 12:40

I would say they wished for Amla's overcoming the situation and hope Duminy would be back from injury and performed. 

They onto a hiding for nothing with those two as you know. Duminy with his half trackers and that nogal in a WC......Cry me a river!

They'd be better off picking the best from the Domestic to fill needed positions.

Mar 13, 2019, 12:50

The Protea  team  for today is really funny:-

1  Reeza Hendriks

2  Quinton de Kock

3  Aiden Markram

4   Faf du Plessis

5   David Miller

6   JP  Duminy

7   Andile Phehlukwayo

8   Dale Steyn

9   Anrich Nortje

10  Lungi Ngidi

11  Tabraiz Shamsi

Hendriks was not in the squad originally announced and Amla is not playing.   Do not know what is going on with Amla,   He did not play in the latest 2 Momentm Cup games on family grounds,    If he is not in the final ODI against Sri Lanka  then there is no way he should eb selected for the Proteas team for the WC.     

Mar 13, 2019, 12:56

Amla was never going to play, not in today's game or the next, his father is in a critical condition healthwise.

Hendricks, I would say comes in for Amla.

Rabada needs a rest.

Shamsi....ag Foeitog, mind you, laughably he has his followers on here.

But we know don't we Mike

ROFLMAO emoticon (Laughing Emoticons)



Mar 14, 2019, 09:29

Denny

Thanks for the info on Amla - It was stated that he was out due to ill-health of somebody inhis family - I did not know it was his father.   One can only hope for the best in that case,

I agree that the time has caught up with the WC squad story,  As to Amla - he will have no game time from now to the end of May - since he will not play in T20I games against Sri Lanka and is not in the  IPL either,   In other words he will be out of the game for about 3 months,  That leaves serious question marks about whether he should be in the WC squad anyway, since he did not cover himself in glory over the last three months anyweay, 

As to Duminy he did well enough in his batting in the last Momentum Cup game after he made a duck in his first Momentum Cup game returning from injury and yesterday he did reasonably well in the ODI against Sri Lanka.   However, his bowling is non-existent nonsense in all games played after return from injury.    You posted that joke about Shamsi's bowling - the name Shamsi could as well has been Duminy.

The one problem badly exposed yesterday was again Hendricks as opening batsman.   I also got the impression that De Kock needs a rest.- he did not look particularly enthusiastic yesterday and is off to play for Mumbai in the IPL next. week.   It is unlikely that he would get any time off in the IPL as well.

I would have dropped Hendricks after another fiasco yesterday and called up one or both of  the  Malan brothers for the last  ODI.     Maybe one of them or even both would show in the upcoming T20I games against Sri Lanka the way forward.    Under those circumstances I would rest De Kock and on Saturday opens the batting with Markram and one of the Malans       .  

      

 
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