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The great story about the Proteas

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Jan 05, 2019, 10:02

It is only day three of the second test against Pakistan and the Proteas have a lead of 205 on the Pakistanis.   There are some comments needed on the performances of the batters in the first and second tests

Faf du Plessis

After a duck on both innings in the Pretoria tests on a difficult pitch he managed to score 103 runs off 225 balls on an equally difficult pitch in Cape Town.   He showed grit and determination and there can be no doubt that he made  major contribution to the second test thus far. 

Hashim Amla

The show thus far is a problem.   Th situation thus far is as follows in the test innings played are as follows:-

                             Score      -      Balls        strike rate

Pretoria test               8                  16               50

                               63                145               42,5

Cape Town               24                  64               37,5

There was lots of praise for Amla after the second innings in the Pretoria test having recovered his form - but Amla as nearly out twice because of poor fielding by the Pakistanis,   Be it as it may in the innings thus far Amla made 95 runs off 225 balls for a strike rate of  42,2.

I think in view of his performance against Australia where in three tests he had the following results it may be time for seriously considering his departure from the test scene:-

                             Score      -      Balls        strike rate

Durban test               0                   3                  0

                                8                 19               42,1

Port Elizabeth           56               148              37,8

                               27                 42              64,3

Cape Town               31                 87              35,6

                               31                 80              38,8

Johannesburg           27                 81               33,3

                               16                 48               33,3

In the four tests he effort was as follows:-

Total runs scored       -         196

Average per innings   -          24,5

Strike rate                -          38,6

Amla used to have a career batting average of 53,3  - but over the last year the average slipped to 47,6 - a massive downward trend due largely in part the latest test series.

It would perhaps be better if he retires from test cricket himself since it seems as if he is on a downward slide which seems to be irreversible.

The situation is that he was shockingly poor in the recent Mzanzi series and he was not offered a contract in the IPL, He is poor in both formats of the shortened game and going into the WC series later this year would not be advisable.   If I was Gibson I would keep Amla in the squad for the upcoming ODI's - but blood Raymond van Tonder as a replacement.  A person cannot take a youngster (20 years old) like Van Tonder into a WC series without prior experience on international level.    

Quinton de Kock

This guy has been criticized for being erratic - yet he against Pakistan scored in two innings played against Pakistan scored  104 runs facing 130 balls  for a strike rate of 80.

In comparison he scored more runs in two innings than Amla did in three with a strike rate nearly double of that of Amla.   Still a very valuable player in all formats of the game.

Duanne Viljoen

This guy is a phenomenon - in the three innings he bowled against Pakistan he took 15 wickets out of  potential 30.  The rest were spread between Rabada and Steyn.   He was also excellent in the shortened version of the game and to my mind a must for the ODI series to come and the WC     

Jan 05, 2019, 10:32

Amla has never averages 53.3

Just saying

Jan 05, 2019, 12:36


Amla was at one stage the number 1 batsman in the world and I am sure that was when he had  an over 53 average at that stage.  It started slipping in 2017 when he went out of the top 10 batsman to just about 50,1 and is now 47,6, 

I have warned more than a year ago that he is developing an eye-hand co-ordination problem and that comes with age and is irreversible,   

Jan 05, 2019, 21:17

Amla almost always had an above 50 average, but let it slip below in the last 18 months.

Jan 06, 2019, 12:23

A three average drop in 18 months is bad news.  Such a  drop by a younger player can be overcome  but at Amla's age it is just not possible.


Jan 07, 2019, 14:41

Mike just a couple of things -

Some very good observations, firstly. I hope you enjoyed the tests.

Duanne Olivier certaintly is a fine talent and with him, Ngidi and Rabada all relatively young we have a good future attack.

Steyn rolled back the years, and even at only 60% of what he was previously he is still absolutely world class. Class operator, even better person.

De Kock showed some promising signs, which is great, his downturn was a bit worrying but he's young and talented and hopefully he's back on the right path.

Surely you don't mean Raynard Van Tonder?! He's played 11 List  A games, averaging only 25, what have I not seen that you have?

Jan 07, 2019, 15:52


The guy is only 2- years of age nd very promising.   In the Under 19 world championships last year he was picked as the cap[attain of the championship team.   I hink he is beimng used wrongly by the teams by selecting him s an opener.   When eh played at 3 he is a vastly better player. 

I rate him on par with Markram as a batter and one of the potential team captains in future.

My personal view is that neither Du Plessis nor Amla would be available for test selection in future.   Even Elgar is not an absolute certainty in future.   That leaves some massive gaps in the batting line-up and one will have to look at players outside of the main group. in future and they will have to start developing new players to fill the gaps.

So what will we have left?   Markram, De Kock, Bavuma, De Bruin and who else?   There  is a guy called Subayr Hamza in the squad - so we may see what he is capable of in the test starting on Friday.  

I do not think your stats in respect of Van Tonder is really comprehensive  and they are as follows:-

First-class 16 28 4 927 250* 38.62 1721 53.86 2 5 120 6 9 0
List A 11 11 0 285 63 25.90 408 69.85 0 3 29 4 4 0
T20s 5 3 0 48 26 16.00 41 117.07 0 0 2 1 2 0

I like very much what I see iro Frist class cricket stats from this 20 year-old.   


Jan 08, 2019, 00:11

Mike - 

If you're considering Van Tonder for a World Cup place then the only stats that matter are his List A stats, it's all well and good doing okay (and that's all an average of 38.6 is) in First Class but the World Cup is List-A cricket.

Not to mention there's player who have actually put together concerted good runs in a professional cricket and not just age group level,  few examples are:

Janneman Malan

List A292931301170*50.03151785.76381323390

Leus Du Plooy 

List A333181136148*49.39139381.55278713190

Pieter Malan

List A8685133414169*47.41451175.6891633240401

Jan 08, 2019, 04:10

I like those stats 'Deddy.

Jan 08, 2019, 08:29

Maybe I was not clear about what I wrote about  above.   I dealt in the main with test cricket, not with ODI's or the WC itself,    I do not think Amla should play ODI's anymore - his  hand-eye co-ordination is gone, 

When discussing ODI's and the WC there are players I did not refer to - players like David Miller for example.    I am merely thinking about future players - specializing in test cricket.   Some test players are not successful in shorter versions of the game   Others are shorter-version specialists,

There are players who can play both versions of the game as batsman.   SA frequently in the past made mistakes when it comes to recognizing that difference and we ended up too frequently with slow paced batsman playing.   

In any event = it is now the time to start hunting for replacement players for the golden oldies.  AB realized that he has problems in that he lost interest in playing on international level,   He is an example which others should follow.   

I think that Gibson is an exiting coach insofar as bowlers are concerned and hope to see more of  Nortje in future,   He brought player like Ngidi through and  his usage of Olivier I the last two tests was very good.   Is the latter an ODI player - not sure about that.

I am not really impressed by Pieter Marais - he is already 29 years old and to start using him at that age is just not in,     However, Du Plooy and  Janneman  Malan may also feature in future - whether on test level as well remains a question mark.

Be it s it may SA often in the past in the WCC lost in crucial games they should never have lost.   Will the "young lions" make a difference to that?      


Jan 11, 2019, 07:54

I can't see anything wrong with Deddy's list of players and I'm surprised to see that they haven't made the ODI squad, the selectors have chosen a nearly 30yr old instead in Rassie Van Dussen:ermm:

Jan 11, 2019, 09:26

Test Cricket

The younger generation includes Janneman Malan and Leus du Plooy and are both 23 years old,

I think by next year both Amla and Du Plessis would be out of international cricket and the worry always was about replacements.   In the medium term I am thinking that Van Tonder (20 years old), Malan and Du Plooy might come to the fore as tests replacements.

I think Van der Dussen has a proven record and was in the recent Mzanzi series the top batsman.  However as you said he is already very near to 30 years old - so is Pieter Malan.   He is more of a shortened version player than he is as a test player.


For the next five years  I can see the following batting line-up:-

De Kock



Du Plooy

Van Tonder



Unfortunately all 6 batsman are Whites and that would not be acceptable.  Bavuma can come into the picture - but his strike rate is far too low for ODI's.   Hendriks are also a possibility- but he flopped badly in internationals in the past - he is no youngster either,- being 28 years old already.

There was an all-rounder in the Under 19 team last year - a real good bighitting batsman  who can also come into the picture.            


Jan 11, 2019, 11:30

Cheers Denny, hope you're well!

Mike - if you're good enough, you're old enough and if you're good enough you're young enough.

Mike Hussey was 30 when he made his test debut for Australia, and Matthew Hayden played 2 test before he was called back when he was 30 years old - imagine if back then one of the selectors discounted one of them due to age?

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