Gibbs recall is a step back for SA

2009-11-24 00:00

SOUTH Africa have responded to Sunday’s dismal ODI performance by going back to the talented Mr Gibbs.

Quite what Herschelle Gibbs has done between being dropped and his recall is not clear, but the message that it sends is that there are those players who always have the door open.

Gibbs was rightly dropped, as his lack of footwork has now been exposed by his advancing years.

What the national selectors have against the likes of Morné van Wyk is truly baffling. But there seems to be a system whereby those who perform at franchise level are given one swift chance, then dropped as soon as they fail, never to return.

Van Wyk has been in unbelievable form this season, and yet he is consigned to the backwaters of Bloemfontein. Gibbs scored a wonderful century against the Dolphins in the MTN40 recently, but Van Wyk has plundered three!

Perhaps the highlights reel of the ‘438 game’ that were shown on Friday night took Mike Procter and company back down memory lane, but that was a long time ago.

South African cricket’s supposed riches of embarassments will soon become a rich source of embarassment if they persist with selecting from a select pool of players.

The move to phase out Makhaya Ntini was a practical decision, but the selectors need to be just as ruthless to others who are nearing the end of their careers.

Much like José Mourinho’s Chelsea, the Proteas seem to have untouchables in their squad.

And it is ridiculous.

Another example of selection dithering is the use of two all-rounders. Albie Morkel’s usefulness with the bat sees him now batting six, while Ryan McLaren’s bowling has seen him slot into the attack. But it needs to be one or the other. Morkel’s bowling has been treated mercilessly for months now, and McLaren’s batting is not quite as explosive.

South Africa has now lost six on the trot to England, which is remarkable considering the distinct blandness of the English line-up.

That is if you excuse the spattering of South African flavour in the top-order.

The return of Wayne Parnell should balance out the attack, but Friday’s must-win game should not have seen Gibbs’s career receive yet another lifeline.

The Proteas need to move with the times, and past glories should be exactly that.

The 2011 World Cup is around the corner, and the pool of options needs to be expanded now if the Proteas hope to shake off their latest tag — predictable.

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