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South Africa team selection

Tom Flint

State Captain
Faf to open... that is an interesting thought actually!

Faf, Elgar, Amla, AB, JP, Bavuma, QdK,Vern, Maharaj, Rabada, Abbott seems alright to me. Got the lefty/righty thing at the top, and i suppose you could swap the middle order however you like.
Asking one of them to open is better than the other option, leaving one of them out. Faf has also scored a big majority of his runs at 3 so it's not a massive jump for him
 

AndyZaltzHair

International Coach
Numerous reasons.... he has opened in India last year and did a pretty good job and showed some guts considering the moral of the team at the time. SA don`t have any obvious outstanding candidates for an opening position right now (some new guys coming up, but not yet) and all our reserve/next in line are also middle order. Finally, unless Bavuma has a really bad run dropping him from the team will be difficult due to quotas, and to fit de Villers into the team we need to drop somebody. On form right now Cook would be the obvious choice. Could push QDK to open, but we really don`t want to be doing that at the moment.
Personally I am a great believer of giving a player extended run once they make it into international arena. Otherwise the obvious question should be asked why the hell selectors or whoever responsible brought him in the team in the first place (not ruling out fragile cricketers who just can't cope so not blaming the guys only).Transition from domestic to international level is never going to be easy. Cook has some technical deficiencies for everyone to see but he made truck loads of runs in domestic. He'll now have to work on that and make the best out of what he's capable of by adjusting. He's not young anymore and once you are into international level, its not the right time to completely overhaul your technique. I can assume SA's domestic competition is no muck so Cook basically does not need to change many things probably. Bringing him and dropping right now will be the worst. Bavuma was made to open because of constant failure of Van Zyl in India against Ashwin and he himself preferred playing in middle order iirc. Only one test has been over now and I don't see the point of dropping Cook yet. You mentioned about quota but with Amla, Rabada, Duminy, Maharaj and Philander it's fulfilled and I feel ashamed that we are talking about this. So if Abdv returns in the series, I dont see who can be dropped other than the gun Bavuma.
 
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Niall

International Captain
Personally I am a great believer of giving a player extended run once they make it into international arena. Otherwise the obvious question should be asked why the hell selectors or whoever responsible brought him in the team in the first place (not ruling out fragile cricketers who just can't cope so not blaming the guys only).Transition from domestic to international level is never going to be easy. Cook has some technical deficiencies for everyone to see but he made truck loads of runs in domestic. He'll now have to work on that and make the best out of what he's capable of by adjusting. He's not young anymore and once you are into international level, its not the right time to completely overhaul your technique. I can assume SA's domestic competition is no muck so Cook basically does not need to change many things probably. Bringing him and dropping right now will be the worst. Bavuma was made to open because of constant failure of Van Zyl in India against Ashwin and he himself preferred playing in middle order iirc. Only one test has been over now and I don't see the point of dropping Cook yet. You mentioned about quota but with Amla, Rabada, Duminy, Maharaj and Philander it's fulfilled and I feel ashamed that we are talking about this. So if Abdv returns in the series, I dont see who can be dropped other than the gun Bavuma.

The issue is with the quota system, Cook is the most disposable of the white players in the side. Its not a nice thing to say I admit, but whether people like or not the quota system needs to be respected now that it is here.

Its somewhat similar for the white players on the sidelines, but for the likes of Rilee and De Bruyn they have time on their side when they wait for the likes of ABDV and Faf etc retire.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
Be interesting to see bavuma's scores in every test so far. I swear he's made a decent score in every game.
I reckon that's why you could back him to do a job opening, has a sound temperament and usually gets off to a decent start. He's been a pretty limited scorer so #6 doesn't seem quite right for him.
 

AndyZaltzHair

International Coach
The issue is with the quota system, Cook is the most disposable of the white players in the side. Its not a nice thing to say I admit, but whether people like or not the quota system needs to be respected now that it is here.

Its somewhat similar for the white players on the sidelines, but for the likes of Rilee and De Bruyn they have time on their side when they wait for the likes of ABDV and Faf etc retire.
So Niall, you basically kick out someone the first chance you get to fit in the quota system?
 

Tom Flint

State Captain
Even in india which has to be put into perspective i think he got a few 30 off 70 balls (roughly). That was acceptable when you compare it to other more experienced players
 

Niall

International Captain
So Niall, you basically kick out someone the first chance you get to fit in the quota system?
I admit its pretty cruel, but ABDV.Faf, QDK, Elgar we can all agree need to play.Then that leaves one spot for a white player, and its hard to really pick a line up with no white bowlers outside the SC isn't it? Bear in mind Rabada is still young and their is the danger of him been played into the ground and their was chatter about Vern quitting to play county cricket. Cook is sadly the one player that needs to be looked at.

I don't have as big of an issue with the quota system as some do, as I can see the logic in it been enforced and even if I hated it (I don't), its something that needs to be respected by the selectors.

Hope that is fair enough as its a pretty thorny issue to talk about:)
 

AndyZaltzHair

International Coach
Bavuma is absolutely nailed into the team in absence of Abdv. The question only arises when abdv returns. Will be interesting if Cook goes into beast mode before his return.
 

AndyZaltzHair

International Coach
Even in india which has to be put into perspective i think he got a few 30 off 70 balls (roughly). That was acceptable when you compare it to other more experienced players
Bavuma is one of the better players of spin in the team. Wasnt surprising as he got runs in India bevause in the previous series in BD in slow low turning pitches, he stood up. I am a bit skeptical about his fast bowling handling and the pull shot that he cant resist.
 

Tom Flint

State Captain
When you read south africas facebook page the vast majority of people posting on their seem to be black africans, theyre is obviously some interest in cricket and if the s.a board could get the game to take off i think they will naturally be great cricketers. I dont agree with the idea of a qouta system but s.a in 10-15 years time could have some brilliant players because of it
 

Rasimione

U19 Vice-Captain
Are we really going to persist with Cook? Absolutely. South African selectors are very loyal. They basically give you a fair chance. In the long run I see Rilee taking Cook's spot. But for the upcoming test nothings gonna change except for Abott coming in for Steyn.
 

Tom Flint

State Captain
Are we really going to persist with Cook? Absolutely. South African selectors are very loyal. They basically give you a fair chance. In the long run I see Rilee taking Cook's spot. But for the upcoming test nothings gonna change except for Abott coming in for Steyn.
Nothing should change for this series but s.a will have a tough decision to make when abdv returns, Cook could make it an even harder decision by going well in Hobart and adelaide
 

kykweer.proteas

International Debutant
It actually would be damn pleasant if Cook can score a 100 in the next test match.

Confusing as hell for selectors and fans alike though.
 

Gnske

International Coach
All for Bavuma opening tbh when AB comes back, **** quotas, he's the type of player you try to find room for.

Cook's technique is just Amla's done poorly, he'll end up a regular Nick Compton at best.

As for Faf and the captaincy, I say let it go on. Amla clearly disdained it, AB had to do it and this is probably a very convenient injury for him in providing a potential escape from it. Agree with the commentators who said Faf seemed to relish it, cut quite the figure.

Did he captain much for his franchise/s before he became a regular in 2012?
 

morgieb

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I'd honestly be tempted to open with de Villiers to be honest. Remember he started his career as an opener....
 

StephenZA

International Coach
Did he captain much for his franchise/s before he became a regular in 2012?
Faf was actually picked by his franchise team (think Titans) because of his captaincy skills. It was originally thought he would not make the SA team. At underage/school level Faf was also captain, even when AB was in the team (grew up together). AB never captained at lower levels until he became a national captain.
 

StephenZA

International Coach
A ramble about the SA team at the moment...

Considering how well SA have done in Aus I was thinking that SA have been hugely underestimated, I had uncertainty about my teams batting but overall I thought it was a better team than many thought. However poor the Aus team is now, its never easy to go to Australia and win a test series, never mind so comprehensively. I was trying to figure out why SA were underestimated, imo.

SA must have the best pace bowling attack in the world at the moment, argument could be made for England but think that SA 3rd seamer is stronger than Englands who have the advantage of Stokes. But the backup for SA is unbelievable, with Morkel and Abbott on the sidelines (assuming Steyn comes back). Duane Olivier I think will step up as well if needed. Our spin bowlers stocks are really good (sad to say that only after the Indian tour!) Maharaj has been brilliant in his role as a holding spinner. Shamsi will be a great option as an attacking spinner if and when needed. And we have a few options still sitting in SA. So overall SA bowling is exceptionally strong right now and for the foreseeable future.

Our batting is still our greatest uncertainty, QDK at 7 has truly strengthened our batting, with Philander at 8 it means we no longer have a stupidly long tail. Bavuma has been a revelation and while not the most exciting of player has been pretty good, his temperament is the thing I like the most. I just hopes he starts converting 50`s into 100`s. Duminy and Faf are still, for me, our biggest uncertainties, both at times have shown brilliance and both have gone through very dry spells. Faf`s captaincy has been great, but he needs to score more runs to be ensured a place in the team. Duminy brings extra bowling option, but his batting has been so inconsistent. Amla is Amla... he gets to stay as long as he wants. Then we have Elgar and Cook. Elgar will stay, because of temperament again.. he scores ugly runs but importantly he wears down the new ball more often than not. Cook I can`t see him being a long term solution to our opening problems, even though he probably deserves a better chance. Ruthlessly we have better batsmen sitting on the side lines right now. With deVillers still coming into the team and Rillee; de Bruyn has not even gotten a call up yet considering how well he has done for 3 seasons now. We still have 2 x SA atg`s in Amla and deVillers, and QDK showing some real potential as an atg. With some solid batting in and around these players SA has a no better or worse batting line-up than any other team in the world at the moment, not comparable to the atg great teams or having Smith/Kallis but not a terrible batting line-up either. The biggest concern is we don`t know who our best top 6 really are? Should Duminy/Faf be playing? before Rillee or even de Bruyn? Experience counts but that does not make them your best players.

SA also have no genuine test allrounders right now, but with QDK at 7 I`m less concerned with that, and some seriously talented young allrounders coming up that should help.

So now I go back to my original question, why were so many (including SA commentators/public) so negative about our test team, firstly I realized that because SA had lost Smith and Kallis (2x SA atg`s) the immediate assumption was we would be poor. Initially we were alright, but the Indian tour really hammered us (not unsurprisingly), with Amla in shocking form, and we brought in a low confidence team against England with some poor selections and were beaten. Which was a big disappointment. Secondly, I think that people didn`t really realize how good some of our young players actually are, QDK and Rabada are probably the 2 most talented youngsters that have made an appearance in international cricket in the last 2 years. Third and importantly, people keep hearing about the quota system and assume we are picking poor players. Maharaj was a perfect example, nobody knew him, he bowled 3 overs, and was immediately assumed to be a quota player. The fact he was probably the best domestic spinner last year became irrelevant. Bavuma`s original selection had a similar reaction. Philander is stupidly underestimated, quota is often mentioned and the incorrect assumption he always gets injured on flat tracks. He is a tubby irritating ****... but a really good tubby irritating ****. None of the players we have picked for SA, so far, have not deserved to be in the squad. We do not have a problem with players of 'colour' we do have a problem with 'black' players if Rabada or Bavuma get injured. But even when Steyn went home the selectors did not call up Andile or another player of colour they called up Pretorious, a bit of a surprise, but a white player. So people need to realize that at this stage because a player of 'colour' is in the team does not mean he does not deserve to be there.

So what would I like to see from the SA team in the future. Firstly, I would like us to start winning home series; we have a pretty poor track record of this. We have done well overseas but have now lost to Aus and England at home and drew a series against India when we should have expected to win. I would also like us to decide what our middle order should be and stick with it for awhile. I think that Cook should be dropped for deVillers, not to sure who should open then. I like Bavuma at 6 even if he could open, pushing Amla up seems wrong and I`m not sure if Faf could open in tests? If Faf/Duminy does not make consistent runs by end of Sri Lanka tour, Rillee deserves a spot. I hope we do not try find a 5 man attack and bring in an allrounder that is not ready.
 

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