Kass Naidoo

Seven days of high emotion

2007-04-10 12:37

Kass Naidoo

I first heard about Bob Woolmer's book in the foyer of a hotel in Port Elizabeth last summer. Waiting for a fellow commentator, I got talking to Bob, who was waiting to board the team bus.

He began telling me about the book he and Professor Tim Noakes were writing about coaching, and how excited he was to finally be able to share his cricket philosophy with people.

I wonder what he'd think about the theories now flying around about his supposed knowledge of match-fixing, and his aim to write a warts-and-all book, rumoured to be the cause of his murder.

Some who claim to know him are adamant that match-fixing is the cause; other friends and colleagues say "If Bob had any info, he'd have gone straight to the ICC."

Everyone agrees on the tragedy of it, and a terribly sad week will taint the memory of this World Cup forever with this unimaginable act, and his terrible loss.

Disappointed

Such was the gravity of Bob's death that Saturday's match between South Africa and Australia almost crept up on us unnoticed.

I was disappointed that we lost: I think two points were there for the taking. Even though South Africa's bowling attack was vulnerable on such a flat track, they had the batsmen for the chase.

Many things didn't go our way.

AB de Villiers was extraordinarily run out at a crucial time, Graeme Smith suffered the most visually disturbing case of cramps ever broadcast live on international TV, and Jacques Kallis came in and struggled in a delayed power-play. Things went from bad to worse.

Power-plays must be exploited, and 'brave' decisions may have to be made, especially if a wicket falls early. Kallis may be forced to move down the order, with Gibbs promoted.

The scintillating opening stand between De Villiers and Smith against Australia reaffirms SA's potential for batting dominance at this World Cup.

Dangerous

Much has been said about a lack variety in the bowling department. But unless the selectors decide to sacrifice a batsman to give Robin Peterson a go, that argument is a waste of time.

Wednesday's Super Eights clash with Sri Lanka is going to be a tester. Chasing against the Sri Lankans with Muttiah Muralitharan and a few useful spinners could prove dangerous.

The island team is virtually unplayable in the middle overs, and rotating the strike is a nightmare.

But then, batting at 09:30 on a new track against the lively and dangerous Lasith Malinga is also likely to test our top order.

The weather could also play a factor: Thunderstorms are predicted in Guyana for the next week.

  • Kass Naidoo is editor of gsport... for Girls!

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