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Thread: Why aren't South Africa a better side?

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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    Why aren't South Africa a better side?

    They have an excellent line up but they can't seem to do that much with it...after Australia I'd say they have the second best side on paper. They have an excellent group core players. Guys like Smith, Gibbs, Kallis, Pollock, Ntini, Boucher, Prince, Nel. These guys are all great international players.

    It has always confused me as to why they aren't better at Test matches. Why do you think it is?

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowtim
    They have an excellent line up but they can't seem to do that much with it...after Australia I'd say they have the second best side on paper. They have an excellent group core players. Guys like Smith, Gibbs, Kallis, Pollock, Ntini, Boucher, Prince, Nel. These guys are all great international players.

    It has always confused me as to why they aren't better at Test matches. Why do you think it is?
    Lack of a quality spinner..

    And I wouldnt call Prince a "Great" international player.. I think if SA had a good spinner we could cement ourselves at 2nd in the world rankings though
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    You'll Never Walk Alone Nate's Avatar
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    Lack of a decent spinner, not being wonderful at playing spin and a sometimes unpenetrative bowling attack.
    Jesus saves

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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    Ah of course. Boje seems to be better with the bat than the ball at times...and whatshisface...Chucker seemed to be okay before he got banned. I guess the long wait continues. England have done okay without a world-class spinner though (face it, Giles is rubbish).


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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    - Ordinary at playing spin
    - Have no attacking spinner
    - Captain lacks tactically
    - Inconsistent batting line-up based solely on batting depth rather than batting stars (Take Kallis out and it hurts more than Ponting from Aus, Dravid from India (only just mind you), Inzy from Pak etc.)
    - Drops catches
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    Why aren't South Africa a better side?

    Don't win enough matches IMO.
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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    It is amazing how much South Africa has slipped over the last few years. When they toured England, it was supposed to be an acid test for Vaughan and people were proclaiming Smith as the new Cronje - some one who was always groomed to be captain and would be a great captain for many years to come. When that series ended, Vaughan came out strong and Smith looked the way poorer captain. England went from strength to strength while South Africa went in just the opposite direction from there on.

    South Africa has slipped further in tests specifically with each passing year. From the top two team they have gone to the middle rung and there is the danger of slipping even below India and/or Pakistan if they do not improve in the near future.

    So what has gone wrong? For one, replacing Pollock as captain was a big set back. It changed all kinds of equations in the team. Regardless of how players are performing in the recent past, slagging them off in the media like Smith slagged off Klusener is not very wise. Smith has been a poor captain over all.

    The batting has lacked experience and adaptability to play in the subcontinent at times but more crucially, the bowling has gone down drastically which plays a crucial role in whether you win tests or not in the end. Filling Donald's boots is not the easiest thing to do. Pollock hasn't been the force he once was, Kallis hasn't taken enough wickets and Cronje isn't there to fill in when Kallis has a bad day in the office. Neither are either of McMillan or Klusener there showing the lack of options not having quality all rounders exposes.

    The strength of RSA in the Cronje era was getting more out of the sum than the individual parts. The disappointing part of the Smith era has been getting less than the individual parts. However, the side is young and the bowlers like Ntini and Nel have been developing well and I expect them to do better than they have in the recent past. To make a great or very good side though, you need an assimilation of immense talent or good talent plus great leadership. Do not expect South Africa to keep on under performing though it will take some effort to get them to over perform as well.
    Last edited by Pratters; 15-10-2006 at 10:22 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowtim
    They have an excellent line up but they can't seem to do that much with it...after Australia I'd say they have the second best side on paper. They have an excellent group core players. Guys like Smith, Gibbs, Kallis, Pollock, Ntini, Boucher, Prince, Nel. These guys are all great international players.

    It has always confused me as to why they aren't better at Test matches. Why do you think it is?
    Firstly it should be pointed out that they are not that bad in Tests and if anything has let them down recently it has been their catching.

    Also they are favourites to beat India and Pakistan in this SA summer.

    However, addressing your point. The players you mention are not as good as you state.

    Smith- Technical issue that has been exploited, problems handling the pressures of captaincy have put an additional burden on his batting
    Gibbs- A touch player that can never be relied upon. Best suited to going in with smith at the top of the order, but often fails to get his feet moving and scores runs by throwing his hands at the ball rather than transfering weight i.e. plays away from his body
    Kallis- No arguments, World Class
    Pollock- On the down side of his career. No longer the player he was 5 years ago. Bowls medium pace and is no longer penetrative.
    Ntini- In a golden run of form. Still has a terrible record outside SA. I have issues with his variation and how he takes wickets but he theoretically could continue to be this successful
    Boucher- Wicketkeeper and lower end batsman. Limited in what he can do to win games. A very average batsman at Test level
    Prince- Not a young man anymore and not a Test quality player. His future is limited by new players coming through and his own lack of ability. He is only just an above average player on the SA domestic scene
    Nel- Is it too early to call him finished? Maybe but he is nowhere near the player he was in the West Indies a few years ago. From 150 kpm to 125-130 kpm in a couple of years. A shadow of his former self and his test spot is under threat.
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    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    I used to think this about South Africa but now i think they're exactly where they should be.

    The bowling apart from Ntini is poor and they have no spinner, the batting may have players like Gibbs, SMith and Kallis, but Gibbs cannot be relied upon and Smith often gets found out technicaly against good bowlers.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratyush
    The strength of RSA in the Cronje era was getting more out of the sum than the individual parts. The disappointing part of the Smith era has been getting less than the individual parts. However, the side is young and the bowlers like Ntini and Nel have been developing well and I expect them to do better than they have in the recent past. To make a great or very good side though, you need an assimilation of immense talent or good talent plus great leadership. Do not expect South Africa to keep on under performing though it will take some effort to get them to over perform as well.
    The strength of the Cronje era was the lack of quotas in the sport. Sure there were guys like Omar Henry and a very young Ntini but during Cronjes reign SA Cricket was mainly concerned with putting the best XI on the field.

    This is no longer the case. I have posted here before a quote from an senior ANC member who stated that he would rather SA be the worst team in the world than be the best in the world with an all white team. You have to understand that politics runs very deep in SA even down to Under 9 level.

    Look at the XI for Cronjes last Test as captain
    G Kirsten
    HH Gibbs
    N Boje
    JH Kallis
    DJ Cullinan
    L Klusener
    *WJ Cronje
    SM Pollock
    +MV Boucher
    AA Donald
    M Hayward

    All white with the exception for Gibbs and he went to the prestigious 'white' school, Bishops.

    SAs problem is nothing to do with what goes on the field, but that they do not put their best XI player on the field. Also their current system is not geared to maximising the talent of their young players.

  11. #11
    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    So do South Africa have to play a certain number of black players or something?

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowtim
    So do South Africa have to play a certain number of black players or something?
    Aim (with significant ramifications if they dont) to have a min of 4 non whites in the side, no matter how good or bad they are.

    There used to be quotas (which meant they had to) but now they are called targets (which means it is not a rule but still official and you will lose your job or have a lot of explaining to do if you dont). Different name same situation.

    National under 19 teams and regional youth teams must be 50/50 (including 12th man) and have a min of 2 non-whites batting in the top 5.
    Last edited by Goughy; 15-10-2006 at 12:33 PM.

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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but that's just a disgraceful policy. You pick the best XI players in your country whether they be black, white, pink or purple.

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy
    The strength of the Cronje era was the lack of quotas in the sport. Sure there were guys like Omar Henry and a very young Ntini but during Cronjes reign SA Cricket was mainly concerned with putting the best XI on the field... All white with the exception for Gibbs and he went to the prestigious 'white' school, Bishops.
    Ntini's selection as the first black player during Cronje's time raised eye brows. So it was not all crystal clear back then though the problem has grown bigger since then particularly at lower rungs. Add Paul Adams and Omar Henry to the mix and I would say it is a bit simplistic to say Cronje era produced a better team just because of colour policy situation and had nothing to do with other aspects.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowtim
    I'm sorry but that's just a disgraceful policy. You pick the best XI players in your country whether they be black, white, pink or purple.
    Yep,

    And its not just in cricket. Its all previously 'white' sports but not 'black' sports such as soccer. Rugby is the other big one where quotas are hotly debated. They are also bizzare situations in minority sports where there very few black participants like sailing crews etc that still have quotas.

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