Petersen and Smith the way forward?

2013-10-19 05:58

15 matches without defeat is pretty impressive. What is not impressive is losing to Pakistan, who in all honesty, were not so great themselves(although they did play well and exploited the lack of cricket by the Proteas). Alviro Petersen and Greame Smith both failed to make any meaningful contributions to the scorecard. This raises the question; Who do we drop? Smith or Petersen?

Misbah led his troops well and scored a century on the path to victory. This is what the South African captain failed to do in this particular match. The pressure must have been immense with the loss of Petersen coming early on both ocassions. With Smith's contribution of 47 runs in the entire match, one feels he should have built a partnership with his fellow team mates. On the other hand you have Alviro who has been in horrible form and continuing this form by scoring a mere 20 runs in the entire match. When we look at the previous 10 innings that both batsman have played, you quickly gather that Smith's contributions are quite bigger. Smith scored 3 half centuries while Petersen has only scored one ton with no other score passing the 30 run mark after that.

A positive for Smith is that he is still team captain when it comes to the test side and that should be the deciding factor on who should get dropped. Once we drop Alviro, who should take his spot? Funny enough this is one of the big problems in South African cricket. We are not producing any world class openning batsmen. We have a bad habit of turning middle order batsmen into opening batsmen and it usually backfires on us. A classic example would be the Jaques Rudolf situation where he failed as an opening batsman but once he was dropped into his more familiar middle order role he played well and contributed with the willow. The one genuine opening batsman we have who could possibly be the future for South African cricket is Quinton De Kock. He has shown that he does not mind playing with the big international boys. A clean striker of the ball, bats at a really quick pace and has an impressive first-class average of 55 and a strike rate of 85, de Kock could be the answer to our test side's opening pair problem.

South African cricket needs to look at the future and bring these players into the set up. Playing for the SA 'A' side may be good experience for the fringe players but being part of the national first team set up will do no harm to these players. Youth is always a good gamble, you can ask Arsene Wenger on that one.

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