October 15, 2008

South African cricket

Think about the future

Wayne Parnell and Virat Kohli please the shutterbugs on the eve of the Under-19 World Cup final, Kuala Lumpur, March 1, 2008
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Zaahier Adams says South Africa's one-day squad recently selected for the Kenya and Bangladesh series has no traits of the "brave cricket" philosophy that the team adopted three years ago. He writes on iol.co.za:

India showed the cricketing world what "brave cricket" really is. And it all started with their selection. They chose to rest their "fab four" (Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman) for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa last year, handed the reigns to a new skipper, and returned to the sub-continent with the trophy.

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Stalwarts such as Jacques Kallis also still hopefully have long international careers ahead of them. But what the retirement of Shaun Pollock has shown us is that a succession selection plan is crucial to long-term success. And here I'm not talking about a group of six players called up to train with the team.

When Virender Sehwag was ruled of the India-Sri Lanka ODI series mid-year, the Indian selectors called upon young Virat Kohli to open the innings. The 19-year-old responded by scoring the second most amount of runs by an Indian player in the series. And those who follow age-group cricket, will remember that Kohli was South African under-19 skipper Wayne Parnell's adversary in the ICC under-19 World Cup final last year.

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo

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