First Test against Pakistan

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Jan 25, 2021, 19:31

I have studied the weather forecast for the coming week and there is virtually no rain forecasted so no weasther interruptions is to be expected,

I will give the team as soon as possible after the toss tomorrow morning - following which my impression of individual performances of players will continue subsequently.     

Jan 26, 2021, 07:09

SA is batting first and the only team change is dropping Mulder and replacing him with Linde.   

Jan 26, 2021, 07:26

The game is not being broadcasted in Oz, normally we get all of the Protea's international games.

Jan 26, 2021, 09:20

Lunch is called after 25 overs un which SA scored good runs - especially with Alger  scoring 46 runs - but unfortunately he caused the run out of Van der Dussen   When the latter called for the run Elgar was ball watching and refused to run,  Van der Dueasen was over hallway of  he pitch  Elgar was still standing and Van der Dussen was a in a no win situation.    Bad play since a number of similar runs were successful.

As to Markhqam he was caught when defending against a swinging ball,   He cannot be trusted to perform against swing bowling and there seems to be  qiuestions about his performance on international level,   

Du Plessis is very slow in making runs and  is defending and not really making good enough progress  on to replace van der Dussen,    His run rate is too low at a slow rpo.

The opening bowlers were on the main expensive .   


Jan 26, 2021, 09:54

Mike, there's plenty of runs to be scored between overs 40 and 80. 

Be patient.

Jan 26, 2021, 10:01

Du Plessis failed again and is out.    

Jan 26, 2021, 10:36

Both Elgar and De Kock is out with the score 136 for 5.   Elgar is the highest runscorer =at 56 but him causing the run-out of Van der Dussen reduced his impact on the match,    De Kock failed imn a period where the runs dried up and he tried to play an attacking shot  on the wrong ball.


Jan 26, 2021, 10:56

The wheels are coming off a bit.

I have confidence in Bavuma on this pitch though. 

...cumon little guy. A brave 80 will be good enough.

Jan 26, 2021, 11:42

Bavuma run out!


Jan 26, 2021, 11:59

Bavuma ran himself out  after he trieed to make  two runs from a ball.  He had 17 runs after facing 67  balls..

Runs have virtually dried up.

Linde with 25  from 50 balls faced is still batting with  Maharaj with no runs from - balls faced,    

Linde has the second highest number of runs and in fact all batsmen were substandard with the possible exception of Elgar - but he was bad through th running out of Van der Linde,   

I do not see how this lot can make 200  runs in this innings,    The batting was shit  against spin bowling.    


Jan 26, 2021, 12:16

Maharaj  out for a duck - score 179 for 7.

Linde and Rabada now batting - bad news,  .   

Jan 26, 2021, 12:43

Linde - 35 runs  - and Nortje - a duck - is now both out.  Score now 195/9 

Jan 26, 2021, 13:03

Ngidi out - score 220 all out - very bad show by the Proteas.     

Jan 26, 2021, 13:44

<double facepalm>

Jan 26, 2021, 13:47

Kagiso with two early scalps already. 220 looking like 350 atm.

Jan 26, 2021, 14:33

Deep trouble Pakistan find themselves in now...haven't hit 30 yet and 4 wickets down. 

The Proteas bowlers will have a good chat and then come back fresh tomorrow.

They'll have a strict "make them play" mandate when play resumes tomorrow.

Let's hope they bowl close to the stumps and offer nothing that can be left alone.

Jan 26, 2021, 15:49

The score at en of day 1 is 33/4.     

Jan 26, 2021, 20:02

KG has 200 wickets already and is 24/25. 

Might he overtake Anderson one day?

Jan 26, 2021, 23:34

Geez Mike you really are cricket stupid - for a start the ball that got Markram out did not swing - it went straight across him

What was his average in the last series against SL huh?

Now all of a sudden in your ignorant eyes he is not up to international cricket

Get a fucking grip

That was a pathetic batting performance by SA - two run outs is unforgivable and de Kock is an idiot for getting out as he did

He simply does not think and to think he is the bloody captain

Jan 27, 2021, 09:22

Total let off by the Proteas this morning. 

This was the session to win the game and they blew it. 

Unless they can get a few quick wickets after lunch they'll struggle to come into the second innings behind by less than 100.

Jan 27, 2021, 11:47

Mike's favourite bowler - Ngidi, strikes.

Pakistan 6 Down...40'ish behind

Jan 27, 2021, 12:38

KG with the new ball

Jan 27, 2021, 13:23

Mike’s take on cricket is as accurate as Omelette’s rugby takes

Jan 27, 2021, 16:11

Ja, that 100 lead happened. 

Looks like the Proteas will need about 350 in their second innings.  

If they can make Pakistan chase 240'ish then they'll have a chance.

In the context of what a decent first innings score would be, not 220 but rather 350 or 400, the Proteas bowlers have done a decent job...but this morning they needed a bit more than decent.

Someone will have to get a hundred tomorrow. 

I'll go for Rassie as our top scorer. 

Jan 27, 2021, 16:54

If  Rassie is not rum out by Elgar again.     Haysman said that Elgar has never been run out in his international career - but caused the run-out of three  teammates in the Proteas previously  - spo he is now ready for number 5.

Jan 27, 2021, 17:14

Mike Let’s drop Elgar. I agree with you. He isn’t worth persisting with.

Jan 27, 2021, 19:04

It was a shocking batting display by our lot. A placid pitch and pretty ordinary Pakistan bowling attack

Two run outs and two bats throwing their wickets away (Elgar and de Kock) accounted for that pathetic total.

I am so bored of watching our current crop of old average bats plying their average trade

We need some young bats introduced much like our seam attack. Something to get excited about

Jan 27, 2021, 19:19


Lets accept that none other than De Kock and Du Plessis has experience of batting on sub-continent pitches and that showed clearly,     I fully expect that Du Plesssis would fail - but expected more from De Kock.  

Jan 27, 2021, 20:00

I’d accept that if the ball was turning a mile on their flat tracks but it was not.

There was no excuse for that pathetic performance

As for de Kock he is a complete idiot at times - incapable of playing it smart. As captain, his side was in trouble so he should have played a patient innings.

Instead he chose to play like a child

Jan 28, 2021, 00:32

The effect of spin bowling om Sub-Continent pitches is where the problem lies/   The Pakistani spinners were all over the SA batsmen.      

Jan 28, 2021, 00:32

Jan 28, 2021, 00:42

Crap their spinners are average and were not all over the SA bats at all

What bloody match were you watching?

Jan 28, 2021, 02:41

As I've said, for some unbeknown reason we're not getting coverage so I really can't comment other than to say that the poor batting performance of the Proteas is nothing new and should be of no surprise. Hey Houston, we have a problem....fix it!

Jan 28, 2021, 08:09

So the Proteas ended up allowing the tail to wag endlessly.

The lead is 158.

...meaning SA will have to bat for well over a a hundred overs, probably needing about 420-440 in order to stand a slim chance of winning.

A big century aside, I can't see them  managing that

1-0 to Pakistan.


Jan 28, 2021, 09:16

Solid start.

Ball is 12 overs old already.

Pakistan still huge favourites.

Jan 28, 2021, 09:27

Madness from D1 aside, the pitch does seem to settle later on. SA will wanna play carefully until tea and then pick up the scoring in the final session.

Pakistan should come out of lunch with an aggressive field, looking to squeeze SA's cautious approach. 

Probably sets up a counter-punch scenario for Rassie hehe!

Jan 28, 2021, 10:27


another elgar failure

he must definitely be dropped now!

no point investing in old players hey!

Jan 28, 2021, 11:02

Some nice patience from the boys this morning.

Keep the grit going until tea please chaps.

Jan 28, 2021, 12:48

Very mature batting from Rassie and Markram.

Still a long off but another 250 and it's game on.

Jan 28, 2021, 14:28

...And now the collapse.

Jan 28, 2021, 14:37

Unfortuately Van der Dussen is out after playing a very good innings   That was followed by Du Plessis being out for 10 runs - as expected a flop who scored 33 runs in 2 innings.  He was LBW before that - but the ball was pitched slightly outside  of the leg stump - that save his bacon,   The Palistani wicket keeper missed a catch when Du Plessis was on 6.    A miserable performance,   retirement overdue.

Then Markram then was out - a pity but he was still thee highest scoring  SA batsmen on  the test thus far,    Day three ended on end  score on 187 for 4,

Jan 28, 2021, 16:32


I also think we need to drop Markram now. His strike rate was really poor.


Markram - poor strike rate

Elgar - poor fielder

du Plessis - poor striker rate

Rassie - Not good enough for the test team

Should all be dropped hey Mike.

Jan 28, 2021, 17:23

Never fear folks we still have Bavuma to come to the crease.

He is good for at least a "Ton" or two.

Jan 28, 2021, 17:44

He'll be good for a world class 30.

All before he loses concentration.

Jan 28, 2021, 20:31


Over the past two years  both Elgar and Du Plessis  suffered from the problematic 6/1 syndrome - one good innings and 6 substandard ones.  In any other country they would have been shown the door sooner rather than later.    Then came along the substandard ShriLanka attack and suddenly they are the cat whiskers.  Since making 199 runs  Du Plessis failed three times to make any impression.

We will go nowhere with those two in the team - I can still live with Van der Dussen in the team -  but not with Elgin as Faf.   There is no future in getting the team more effective tin future with  those two around,,,      ,   

Jan 28, 2021, 20:34

Yes Mike.

I agree

Drop Elgar

He’s bee shit.

Jan 29, 2021, 01:39

Good to see Markram back in control. Was a good patient innings with plenty of fight shown

But it looks like a miracle is required to save this test.

A 100 plus from Bavuma and de Kock should do it

Don’t hold your breath

Linde looks a bog ordinary spinner - strange action, hardly uses his non spinning arm and there is not much rotation through the pivot

We only have one class spinner in Maharaj the rest are a bunch of pretenders

Jan 29, 2021, 08:09

6 down with a lead of 60.

Puts the Proteas low first innings score and Pakistan's 158 lead nicely into context. 

Failing to capitalise when Pakistan were on the ropes in their first innings was SA's missed chance to win the game back. Rassie and Markram provided a second half-chance but unless they each got a hundred and saw off most of the second new ball, it was always a lost cause.

Sticking with spin when the new ball came was a stupid move by Quintie and evidenced by the lack of wickets it brought. 

All in all, a nothing test marked by poor batting, nonsensical use of bowlers and ,all but one partnership aside, poor batting.

Proteas look like 6-8 is about their rightful test ranking atm.

Jan 29, 2021, 12:26

... I said it...

Bavuma in for a world class 30 (ok he actually got 40)... until he loses concentration.

My clevermike take on this game...

Drop Elgar - bats too slow and is a shit fielder

Drop Markram - batted very slowly in the 2nd innings

Drop Faf - he doesnt deserve his spot

Keep Qdk even though he failed in both innings

Drop Bavuma (this one i actually agree with)\

Drop Linde - He doesnt offer much in tests


Keep Lungi

Keep KG

Keep Nortje

Happy days everyone.

Jan 29, 2021, 13:31

We were fucking useless

Jan 29, 2021, 14:34

Such a lame test.

Just frailty up and down the batting order. 

I agree with keeping all the pace bowlers but would be much happier if one of them batted a lot better. 

However, this game was lost on day one by that stupidly low score of 220. The Proteas batting line-up seems a little arrogant to me. When they took the situation more seriously in the second innings, the results were better...however spotty.

For me, I'd let Quitnie open and put Markram at 4, Faf at 5.

De Kock is an instinct player and I think he does worse when he has to plan his innings. 

I guess we'll never know what the idea with the second new ball was hahaha.

Jan 29, 2021, 16:38

We need to do the brave thing and ditch Elgar, Rassie, Faf and Bavuma

If we don’t have a worthy second spinner then don’t select two spinners, play an all rounder regardless of where we are playing.

Geez Markram looks as good a spinner as Linde is, he is that bloody average

Bring in v Tonder, Janneman Malan, Verreynne and one other bat from the likes of Roelofsen, Rickelton, Hamza, Bird, Breedtske, de Swardt, Richards and Ackerman

Jan 29, 2021, 17:12

Why Elgar?

Jan 29, 2021, 17:22

Because he is average

He fails more than he wins

Struggles to average 40 after how long now as a test cricketer

He is 33

Move on I say

I’d drop all 4 that I mentioned and bring the youngsters in

They only need to average 35 to be on par with the current geriatrics

Jan 29, 2021, 20:44


I have to agree with you,   Elgar's hand got injured as a result of slow reaction to a ball that wa snot at breakneck speed and he could have avoided 

Both Elgar and Du Plessis had two very poor years in batting and then came up against SriLanka with a substandard  bowling attack and scored runs,,   That does not make for anything good for the future - against stronger attacks they will fail 

The great SA cricket team built up in the period 2005 to 2017 - has now been reduced to only two players who are still in the squad - Faf and Elgar -  and  it is clear that rebuilding is required.   That rebuilding should start with younger players of which there are many to xhose from.           

Jan 29, 2021, 21:37

Disagree on the Elgar injury - he had no way of avoiding that and no bat would have regardless of their age

I’m just tired of watching Elgar, Faf and Bavuma and I just don’t rate Rassie

I want to get excited watching our side bat like I used to. Now i record the cricket and find myself fast forwarding through it.

I only watch Markram bat as I want him to succeed, the others bore me partly because they are underachievers and partly because they are bloody past it

Jan 29, 2021, 23:28

I'm starting agree with the clean slate hypothesis.

Recently watched a replay of Kallis hitting 160 odd in Australia. What helped him was Amla being there for most of it and AB being there for the rest.

I just can see happening with the current team composition. 

Jan 29, 2021, 23:48

When you have Elgar at 33 and struggling to average 40, what is he going to offer over the next few years

The fact that Faf aged 36 with the same stats as Elgar is still playing kind of sums up the hole SA cricket has dug itself

Rassie aged 31 is a flawed bat who averages 34 - what’s the bloody point

Bavuma looks the part, is 30 but keeps failing - what’s the point

Markram is 26, looks the part and is the only one worth investing in

de Kock is there to play his game but never to be relied upon. That’s ok if he is the keeper and we have 5 other good bats on board

Jan 30, 2021, 11:20

Successful teams, as far as I can tell, normally play together for a long time. 

That plays in favour of what you'd like to happen, Saffex. 

This batting lineup seem disjointed and overwhelmed. They got a let off against Sri Lanka via injuries, that may be partly to blame.

There's nobody with huge potential or a great record in the top six. Quitnie probably has the best record but he doesn't have a cricket head. 

Why not at least stack that side with potential? Especially when said potential is readily available.

I don't look forward to the next time we meet all!!!

Jan 30, 2021, 12:56

Exactly - look at our bowling attack it is young and successful

Do the same with the bats

We have options

1.Roelofsen/ Rickelton/ Richards

2. Janneman Malan / Bird

3. v Tonder

4. Markram

5. de Kock

6. Verreynne / de Swardt / Hamza / Ackerman

Jan 30, 2021, 18:08

Irrespective of what we all know and think politics and sport do not go together. Never have and never will.

Selection on merit is the path to win in sport not color codes.

Sure some players who gained selection on merit have failed but rather that the political method.

But this test has shown that a clean out is in order to start winning once more and was a bad loss to say the least.

I also think that a permanent  captain must be appointed as the role of captain appears to weigh de Kock.

Trust that the SAC chiefs come to terms with reality and make the correct decisions....soon.

Jan 30, 2021, 20:16

Unfortunately of my list of young bats coming through the only non white is Hamza

So our side could be a side of batting whites and bowling blacks

Jan 31, 2021, 04:18


The fact is that we are in deep shit in cricket and it is getting worse by the day ,

Lets start with the batting,   For two years we have struggled to get any consistency in batting and  the problem, is that neither  of the batsmen made a real impression in all versions of the game,   When that kind of situation develop  the need for rebuilding of the team is essential - bit wha duid we get?    Overcrowding in the said Department by 30 plus players were looked upon a building blocks by the selection committee

The situation is that De Kock adds to the problem - he knows that cricket is going nowhere and  that rebuilding is necessary - but ends up with he team  which is going nowhere.    He obviously  does not want to be captain of a team  that is selected by the selection committee  and is disinterested in his batting performances as well, 

I would say that the Proteas need to look at their batting and all\rounder situation and start afresh with the following players be tested and see what they are capable of producing, 


Janneman Malan, Roelofsen and Rickelton,    The one who does no make the cut  should bat at three,  Breetske should also be considered should any of the above fails.   ,

Rest of batsmen 

Rest of batsmen made up of  Van Tonder (only in tests), Bird, De Kock, Verreinne  and Hama.   


Mulder in tests and to consider Andilke and  De Swardt in the shorter versions of the game as well.    In tests I think M Pretorius should also be a consideration,

My ideal teams

In Tests  would be as follows:-

Malan, Roelofsen, Rickelton, Van Tonder, De Kock, Mulder, M Pretorius, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje and  Ngidi

In Shorter  versions I would pick the following: -

 Malan, Roelofsen, Rickelton,,  De Kock, Mulder, Verreinne,  M Pretorius or Andile, Maharaj or Shamsi, Rabada, Nortje and  Ngidi or Sipamla.  


Jan 31, 2021, 14:36

No Markram is the best young bat in SA so walks the side long before any of the others

My test side would be:

1. Janneman Malan

2. Rickelton/ Roelofsen/ Richards / Bird

3. v Tonder

4. Markram (c)

5. de Kock

6. Verreynne / de Swardt / Hamza / Ackerman

7. Mulder / Andile

8. Maharaj

9. Rabada

10. Nortje

11. Ngidi / Sipamla

With the first names in the alternatives being my starting point. I’d rotate the alternatives to see who makes it and who wants it most

Nothing to lose and everything to gain

My ODI squad would contain the same players

Jan 31, 2021, 15:45

I agree - but for one thing - Van Tonder has  very disappointing  shorter versions stats,    His strike rate in 50 over games is 66,41 - which is not acceptable.    I think he will turn out to be a test specialist and that is likely where his future will be.     He builds innings very well and has a  higher than ten point average on provincial level  than either Elgar or Du Plessis have.      

I would add M Pretorius to the all-rounder list.    Andile has a rotten test record and seems to be a shorter version player only,    .            

Jan 31, 2021, 16:32

Bullshit v Tonder is too good not to make it in the shorter version of the game

Mulder has no better record than Andile at test level so saying he is only a short version of the game player is ignorance of the highest level considering you don’t define a player based on a handful of tests

Both Mulder and Andile have crap tests records

Andile has the better ODI record to date

Jan 31, 2021, 18:23

I just check his stats and what I said is based on that,   

I am prepared to go with Andile id\f he maintained what he did two years ago.    The only thing he maintained is growth of his girth - which will soon be equal to   Frylink's so that may affect his  performances badly,    

His average in test  cricket was extremely poor - so compare his batting average of  9,5 and total of 19 runs scored in four innings say that sis equal too the one of  Mulder - who scorerd 57 runs is stretching it a bit.   In bowling Andile bowled in 8 innings and took 11 wickets - as against the 13 wickets Mulder took in 4 innings in which he bowled.   For me Mulker is on the up from a poor start - while in tests Andile is on the way down from a poor start.            

Jan 31, 2021, 18:23

Jan 31, 2021, 20:05

Wake the fuck up Mulder test average is 14 that is shit. Andile has a test average of 9 which is also shit

Both have poor test averages you stupid dick but both have hardly played any tests so one cannot read anything into it unless of course you are sooooo stupid to define a player at test level after so few innings’s at test level

In ODI’s however both have played a handful of games where Andile’s average is double that of Mulder

Therefore in conclusion at international level Andile has the better batting record to date

I’m sick of debating this with you as you are too stupid to comprehend the basics here

All you bang on about is Andile getting fat which is a lie in itself. You clearly need your eyes tested

Jan 31, 2021, 20:55


I'd want a full batsman at 7 in the team you've selected. Not an all-rounder.

The fifth bowler's role could be carried out by Markram and another of similar skill. Like you, I'm also of the opinion that some of the batters do just as good a job of turning their arm over as what spinners that can barely bat do.

EG...Why have a Monty Panesaar(spelling) type when his strike rate is only marginally better than what a Duminy could provide? I was never a Duminy fan but I'll take him or Swann over most front line finger spinners that can't bat at all.

Failing the above, I would drop Ngidi for a bowling all-rounder. 

Either way, we need to bat as deep as possible. 

Jan 31, 2021, 22:13

Boucher said h would see Milder batting higher than at 7 - so he can operate  boith with the bat and  bowling as well.       

Feb 01, 2021, 01:31

No Plum I can’t see that happening

No test side goes in with 7 specialist bats.

The perfect balance is 6 specialists bats one of which must be the keeper

Proper all rounder at 7

Then 4 bowlers - 3 seam one spin

I’m happy for Markram to bowl as a second spinner ahead of average spinners like Linde or Shamzi but not to replace a proper all rounder or specialist bowler

I prefer the balance of my side

Feb 01, 2021, 01:33

Mulder will need to improve his test average by 30 before he can go up the order

To date he has failed with the bat at test level

He is not even close yet

Feb 01, 2021, 02:15


If you get runs but struggle with the ball then a draw becomes more likely. 

I'd you don't get runs, you lose, simple as.

So, if I were gonna play a host of new batters, I'd offer them the security of batting deeper. 

Ngidi is a decent bowler, but his first class average is only marginally better than some all-rounders presently on the scene.

Take Philander as an example. He could open with Steyn or bowl first change but could also hold his bat and did so very well on many occasions. Meaning that Steyn and Morkel were our only true tailenders and we were very successful with that team composition. 

I don't care too much for what the standard composition of a test side is and I'd drop Ngidi for Andile without thinking twice - If I were gonna go with your team.

Feb 01, 2021, 05:59

Both Andile and Mulder had very little teste experience - bit what little they did have is clearly favoring Mulder.     I have seen neither play for two years - but in the recent Momentum Cup games Andile was NOT up to standard whether you like it or not/        

Feb 01, 2021, 06:01

Feb 01, 2021, 18:45

Disagree Plum

No way would I drop a third seam bowler for a Andile or Mulder type of bowler

I prefer the balance of my side

6 specialist bats including the keeper

One all rounder

4 specialist bowlers ( 3 seam, 1 spinner)

Feb 01, 2021, 18:48

Mike no one is stupid enough to judge a player based on two recent games where players have hardly played any cricket or be stupid enough to declare a 24 year old has suddenly lost his ability to play

Stupidity of the highest order

If Andile was that bad he would not be in the Pakistan T20 squad

Stop speaking utter shit all the time

Feb 01, 2021, 20:39


How would you class Philander?

Obviously he was an all-rounder, right?

Rigidly sticking to your balanced team would mean that you'd play three frontline seamers plus Philander. Then your spinner plus whatever overs a part-time puts in. That's an unnecessarily long tail.

In the case of Kallis, considering how high he batted up the order, you'd not want to strain him, so you needed at least one more all-rounder as cover.

So there we have two different situations with two different types of all-rounder.

Point is, I find it difficult to declare a particular composition as being ideal since teams are always different. Skill levels, experience,'s always in flux. To my mind, the best strategy is to adapt to what you have.  

Doesn't matter, though...give me 10 x Kallis + 1 x Gilchrist = unbeatable haha

Feb 01, 2021, 21:04

I’d classify Vernon as a specialist bowler who was handy enough as a bat but not a true all rounder

Yes your composition would obviously be dependent on the players you have available.

The Kallis and Stokes kind of player seldom comes around so my composition would be the norm and having a Kallis on board the exception

Your 6 bats plus an all rounder who should be averaging 35 plus is enough to score you the runs. If they are not, you have the wrong players

It’s always handy if your specialist bowlers can bat which is the case with Maharaja and Rabada has the potential to average 20, he has the skill set

Feb 01, 2021, 21:49

True...Kagiso does seem to have a good eye.

Remember Watson? Australia's Kallis that never was. 

Saying that, geez, I struggle to think of many good Ozzie all-rounders. Simons? Strange, really.

England is the only country that comes close to us in that regard. We've been lucky to have players like Klusner, Pollock, Kallis, Big Mac, Symcox, Hansie...seems an endless list. 

Could be the reason why I appear biased toward having more jacks of all trades on the field.

Feb 02, 2021, 00:54

Pollock was so ridiculously gifted and had he not been as good a bowler as he was I reckon he could have made it as a bat

I’m happy with a Jack of all trades if he happens to be a Kallis or Stokes but not a bits and pieces all rounder much like Morris or Pretorious

Will be interesting to see how Andile and Mulder progress

They are the only two with potential

Feb 02, 2021, 06:13

You are flogging a dead horse with Andile - LOL

Feb 02, 2021, 13:14

Coming from you Mike that counts for a big fat ZERO

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