Youth talent must be tracked

2013-06-30 14:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

South Africa’s rugby success at the Under-20 level is a template cricket and football could do well to follow, writes Khanyiso Tshwaku.

Virat Kohli has had two hands in India’s ICC trophy victories in the past two years – the 2011 World Cup and the recently concluded Champions Trophy.

But he learnt the art of performing under pressure at a young age, having won the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup as captain.

Entrusted with the responsibility at senior level, he took to it like a duck to water.

On that searing April night in Mumbai two years ago, he walked in at 31/2 against a rampaging Lasith Malinga.

Kolhi’s 35 may look insignificant when seen alongside Gautam Gambhir’s 97 and MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 91.

With Gambhir’s weakness against express pace and the moving ball, Kohli nullified the Malinga threat and allowed Gambhir to milk the spinners and provide the platform for Dhoni’s helicopter finish.

It was the same scenario at a different setting in Edgbaston last Sunday, when Kohli walked in at 19/1 with James Anderson and Stuart Broad swinging the ball on a string.

Again, he crafted a crucial innings that not only stabilised India but set them on their way to a match-winning total.

South African cricket does not have that kind of winning experience to fall on, even though they have made two Under-19 World Cup finals.

History will have it that each team that has won an ICC tournament since 1999 has had winning roots cultivated at junior level or a trophy win at some level.

The only team to buck this trend was the West Indies Champions Trophy-winning team of 2004.

South Africa’s 1998 Champions Trophy-winning team had players who were gold medal winners at the Commonwealth Games earlier that year.

Rugby has a similar development structure to cricket in that development is tracked from Under-13 level upwards.

What rugby has done right, despite its horrible transformation track record, is converting its junior success into World Cup glory.

The Junior World Championships, in its various guises, may have only started in 2002 and 2004 respectively, but World Cup winners, except for England in 2003, have had players who tasted success at the junior level.

It took New Zealand a longer time to get their players to adjust to the demands of international knockout rugby but there had to come a time where their domination of Under-20 rugby bore fruit.

It was the same for Springbok rugby prior to their Paris triumph in 2007.

The lessons are there for South African cricket and whether they adhere to them will determine their ICC success.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.