In and Out: In search of three-way glory

2014-08-25 11:00

One-day cricket is like a gift from someone who doesn’t care much for you: cheap and forgettable.

Maybe it’s just the purist in me, but the tacky colours, lights and music that go with the white-ball game often make one yearn for those more gentle sessions of high drama wrapped up in polite white clothing, served with a side of vicious red leather.

Alas, we’re going to have to wait. The next time we see the number one test team in action, they’ll be up against the easy-going Windies in the debilitating December heat, when Christmas cheer is about, and braais and beer make watching the repetitiveness of dead batting somewhat of a holiday in itself Like watching waves crash against the shore or staring blankly into the vast, starry bushveld sky.

Until then, all we can do is fantasise and be content with test cricket’s unremarkable cousin.

So before we take the gift that is the triangular series involving Zimbabwe, Australia and our boys back to the store, as it were, let’s pause to consider the promising prospect of some one-day action.

Three-ways are like the Holy Grail of one-day cricket. They don’t come around very often. In fact, “one day” is usually the response you get when you ask when the next one will roll around. It’s like having your cake and eating it, and then watching that cake eat another cake.

Australia’s Big Johnson – Mitchell to you and me - will no doubt be front and centre of the Aussie attack.

The paceman split the Proteas in two the last time the teams met, showing no mercy as he tore down the middle and banged the ball into uncomfortable areas. South Africa limped away from a few of those encounters wondering what happened to them. They choked - hard.

For South Africa, perhaps it’s payback time. They’ve had a good few matches against Zimbabwe leading up to the triangular. Granted, it was against Zimbabwe – a team considered the Proteas’ “younger brothers” – but our boys still put in some pro performances.

For example, apart from top-scoring in the series, Quinton de Kock became the first South African to reach 1?000 ODI runs in 21 matches, which put him tied at the top overall with the likes of the great Viv Richards.

Heading into the triangular series, coach Russell Domingo will be pleased with his one-day team’s performance thus far. He’s managed to blood new players and take a few sideliners for a test drive, with success.

So they can take a lot of confidence from the series against Zimbabwe into the triangular. And when it comes to three-ways, confidence can go a long way.

With a bit of luck on the back of the raw talent our boys have, coupled with the fighting spirit Zimbabwe have shown, Australia could find themselves in the middle of a sub-Saharan spit-roast, albeit not quite in the swinging summer.

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