Does run drought begin at home?

2013-11-17 14:00

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Is the Proteas inability to go big in ODI’s linked to the low scores witnessed in the domestic circuit, asks Khanyiso Tshwaku.

South African pitches have not and will not be the highways that masqueraded as pitches in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series between Australia and India in India, even though South Africa has played host to some high-scoring matches, especially at the Wanderers in Joburg.

In the five completed matches out of the seven scheduled, the lowest score was 298.

On two occasions, India overhauled totals in excess of 350 while Australia mowed down a 300-plus total like it was a walk in the park.

Last week, the Proteas passed 250 in an ODI for the first time since they made 300 in a failed chase against India in the ICC Champions Trophy.

It was a feat they reproduced twice in succession against a Pakistan team that hasn’t been able to overhaul a 250-plus total since February 2011.

Proteas test opening batsman Alviro Petersen said the ODI batting woes can’t be tied in with the domestic game because the List A tournament is now being played earlier in the season than the December/January schedule.

“For the better part of my career, we’ve played List A cricket over the holiday period with the four-day game being played now.

It’s different now but why there are lower scores in the past two seasons, I’m not too sure,” Petersen said.

“But high scores depend on where and when you play because early season tracks in India are better to bat on. They are harder and the ball comes on much easier.”

The fact that the Proteas have been able to defend most of their subpar totals has been down to their bowling more than anything else.

It’s a trend that stretches down to the domestic one-day tournament, the Momentum One Day Cup, which has admittedly been played on early season pitches that have not been batsman-friendly.

Yesterday’s final between the Cape Cobras and the Titans was washed out after incessant rain in Cape Town on Friday and Saturday, the scheduled days for the final.

Before that, the previous 45- and 40-over tournaments were played in December when the pitches flattened out.

But that was also the case last season with only 13 combined 300-plus totals.

Australia’s Ryobi Cup, played along the same lines, saw 15 300-plus totals in four fewer matches.

Petersen said the gulf between international and franchise cricket also has to be put into perspective as international teams get to play on differently prepared tracks.

He made an example of the Wanderers, which has seen low Momentum One Day Cup scores yet early this year saw the Proteas and Pakistan both post totals in excess of 300.

“Should the Proteas rock up at the Wanderers, [weather] permitting, they will often post 300-plus. It happened the last two times they played there,” Petersen said.

“I don’t think we should read much into what happens at domestic level and compare it with what the national team does.”

Ryobi One-Day Cup collated scores since 2012

2012/13

300-plus:

seven

250-plus: 13 200-249: 15

40-199: 10

2013/14

300-plus: seven

250-plus: 13

200-249: 15

40-199: 12

MomentumOne-Day Cup collated scores since 2011

2011/12

300-plus: nine

250-plus: 21

200-249: 11

40-199: nine

2012/13

300-plus: six

250-plus: 15

200-249: 18

40-199: 12

2013/14

300-plus:

four

250-plus: 11

200-249: 25

90-199: 10

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