Second test against England - Boucher gave indication of team

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Dec 30, 2019, 19:47

As far as I can make out of his comments Bavuma is not fully recovered from injury and he indicated that he does not want to throw him under the bus since there was media criticism of Bavuma recently and to play him under those circumstances could eb to the detriment of the player,   

He would prefer that Van der Dussen remains in the team, especially uin view of his seond innings batting in the first test, 

In view of the injury to Markram Pieter Malan would open the batting since he amnd seconds are the nly players with opening batsmen experience.

So the team will be as follows:-

Elgar, Malan, Hamza, Van der Dussen, Du Plessis, De Kock, Pretorius, Philander, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje

I think there were clear problems identified in the first test,   The two opening batsmen contributed 44 runs in the test and I believe that Malan and Elgar will be no better in the second test,   Even Mozart had a rare lucid interval  and made the statement that we need opening batsmen and that remains a problem.   

Hamza showed some class in he first innings and he does seem to get another chance to prove that he belongs.   Van der Dussen is the better of the present middle order batsmen in the side and he deserves another chance.  

Du Plessis was not up to standard and I believe he will have to be replaced before we will have a more reliable batting line-up.  

One cannot leave out the tenth ranked batsmen De Kock out of the team I assume.  

It may be advisable to have a spinner in the team since the Newlands pitch may be to the advantage of spin bowling especially later on in the test, 



Dec 31, 2019, 00:00

They’ve picked the wrong Malan as far as I am concerned.

Janneman is a much more promising prospect. And he has age on his side.

Im glad Pieter is getting a chance, it would have really sent the wrong message had they moved RVD up the order and pushed K Petersen into the starting 11.

KG seems to have found some spark. How great a cricketing nation are we that we still manage to field bowlers like Nortje, even with the likes of Abbot and Olivier gone.

Which other country has depth like that? Only Aus would come close.

Dec 31, 2019, 00:04

My starting 11 would be:


J Malan



F du Plessis





Rub Harder


Dec 31, 2019, 00:06

If all were fit and all were available, including Kolpakkers...

J Malan









Rub Harder


Dec 31, 2019, 00:07

... notice no place for Little Bavuma...

Dec 31, 2019, 00:22


I got the impression reading through Bouch's comments that even if Bavuma is fit he's not guaranteed a start.......interesting.

Dec 31, 2019, 16:45


I think the squad selected was for the first two tests only as far as I can remember,  There may be changed in the third test.    I am not sure about Elgar - he seems to be going backwards,   I think there may be some changes coming up like Janneman Malan, Van Tonder and Verreine.  There will be three ODI's and 2 T20I after the test series and I would be surprised if the latter three are not in the squad.      

We need some strong batters to partner De Kock if he is to bat at 6 and we cannot have another 111/5 and 72/4 if we really want to be competitive,

We cannot keep relying on De Kock only to save the innings,  He must have back-up and none of the present openers are coming to the party,   Hamza is not an opening batsman - in the past two test innings he had to come in in the first over,   

Dec 31, 2019, 19:32

Maharaj is much better than Harmer

Markram far better than Malan

It’s pathetic that 30 year old Pieter Malan is in the squad ahead of his 23 year old younger brother Janneman who has a first class average of 53,

Dec 31, 2019, 21:28


I've always had a few odd theories regarding batting order. Ja, I know, the conventional wisdom is to give your best guys the most time at the wicket.

My thinking is like this. One generally loses at least one opener early. I feel you are better off playing your two best all-rounders at 1 and 2. Kind of permanent nightwatchmen, their sole job is to leave as much as possible and survive for 10 overs. Just covering off stump, and playing only straight.

It's actually strange that there isn't a type of batter, especially in test cricket that specialises in this. Usually, that role is just given to a bowling all-rounder and only before an extended break in play. He just tries to block the shit out of everything but even at international level, it's not really a trained position. For me, you should have two guys in the side that have spent thousands of hours facing a bowling machine, focussed just on pure defensive play. Leaving literally everything on line and length, becoming masters of efficient defence. The straighter balls being defended or potentially nudged for the single.  

Every ball that they survive means it'll be easier for your best batters once they come in. In limited overs you want your best players to have as much time as possible. Somehow, nobody considers that in tests you want your best guys having as much time on the soft ball as possible. That'll maximise your side's scoring potential.

Problem is that openers are expected to see off the new ball and to score runs. Often when they get out it's because they're trying to score against the newer ball. 

It's not fool proof but it is something I've thought about.

Dec 31, 2019, 23:20

" I am not sure about Elgar..."

I am.....he is a lost cause as far as the Proteas go. That said he'll probably now score a ton but therein lies the problem, a lack of consistency.

Dec 31, 2019, 23:26

Plum its an interesting concept but I think in reality regardless of how many hours you spent facing a bowling machine leaving balls etc they would be exposed at test level by the best bowlers out there using a new ball.

Opening bats are specialists in that position and if we find that at least 1 wicket goes down within the first 10 overs on average you will probably find than on average both those all rounders opening will have been removed within the 10 overs

Dec 31, 2019, 23:27

Agreed Denny at 32 he has failed to really make the impact required - move on I say

Dec 31, 2019, 23:44

"Maharaj is much better than Harmer"

Actually, it's a no brainer, he is world class.....the money man. 

Dec 31, 2019, 23:46

You're probably right. 

Even at relatively high levels it's quite surprising to see how vague opening batsmen's idea there off-stump's location is. And it's because they have the responsibility of scoring so their attentions are focused on complete batting. 

For example, have a look at how often, even at test level, they get out playing a defensive shot a foot or more outside of off when the ball hasn't swung or hasn't threatened the stump line from the bowlers hand. Every time you see that, it's a failure in passive defence.

And its weird because in baseball, the the batter can pick good or bad ball on inches. Granted the ball doesn't bounce.

I'm fully aware that I'm simplifying it too much :)

Dec 31, 2019, 23:57

I think the difference is that with the influence of ODI’s and T20 the game has moved on. The days of patience and really building an innings have gone.

That passive defence is a bat caught between the defending and attacking. Everything about traditional test cricket tells the bat to defend the ball, but unfortunately he has the T20 bug in his head which is shouting ‘hit it’. The bat is caught between

Gone are the days that tests last 5 days

Jan 01, 2020, 07:14

The other problem is that tests will soon be reduced to  four days -  England is now supporting the suggestion - and in that case strike rates by batsmen will become more important.   Dave also mentioned it and I support him in that approach.

I would actually think that tests should be 4 days and if a day or two is rained out - it should be made up by adding one or even two days to ensure that there is effectively a four day test played.           

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