Rajasthan v Mumbai, IPL 2011, Jaipur April 29, 2011

Jacobs almost ready for South Africa - More

Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More believes Davy Jacobs is close to being ready for international cricket. More, who runs a coaching academy in Baroda, is the wicketkeeping coach for Mumbai Indians, Jacobs's IPL franchise.

"By the end of the IPL, he will be ready to play for South Africa," More told ESPNCricinfo. "They need a good wicketkeeper batsman." The news will be welcomed by the South African selectors, whose search for a long-term replacement for Mark Boucher, is still on. While Boucher is still part of the Test team, he has not played an ODI since June last year and the need to replace in limited-overs formats of the game appears pressing.

AB de Villiers has been primed as Boucher's successor and was used as wicketkeeper during the recently-concluded World Cup, but a persistent back problem meant he could only stand behind the stumps in two of South Africa's seven matches. With speculation increasing that de Villiers may be named captain of the ODI side after Graeme Smith stepped down at the end of the World Cup, the selectors may not want to overburden him, opening the door for another gloveman. More thinks that gloveman could be Jacobs, who has shown massive improvement in a few weeks.

"When I met him [in the build-up to IPL 4], he hadn't been keeping for a few months because Mark Boucher was in his franchise [South Africa domestic team, Warriors] and he had a lot to work on," More said. Jacobs, who had never had a wicketkeeping coach before, had to begin with basics, which included new equipment.

"The first thing I did was check his gloves and see where the ball was hitting him. We had gloves manufactured for him." The new gloves allowed Jacobs to have better hand positioning and More noticed a "20 to 25% difference" in him almost immediately.

Jacobs' natural ability behind the stumps and movement, he said, meant his hand positioning was already impressive and the biggest adjustment needed was to get him used to the local conditions.

"Keeping in India is very different to keeping in South Africa," More said, explaining that this stint in the IPL will help Jacobs mature behind the stumps. "The wickets stay low and are dusty. It's probably the most difficult conditions to keep in." Jacobs made the changes and soon looked like a natural in the subcontinent. In this third game, he pleasantly surprised More by standing up to Lasith Malinga at the Wankhede. "That takes guts and confidence."

Jacobs has so far taken one catch and completed two stumpings, the most recent to dismiss Dan Christian of the Deccan Chargers off Munaf Patel's bowling. That stumping, which showed how well Jacobs used his instincts, is why More believes Jacobs is ideally suited to limited-overs and particularly twenty-over cricket. "In Twenty20, the wicketkeeper is key to the game. He has to be aggressive and create opportunities behind the wicket, which is what Jacobs does."

While Jacobs has not lived up to the promise he showed with the bat in last season's Champions League T20, when he was the Warriors top-scorer, More expects the best is yet to come. "He is a hard worker, a quick learner and a complete cricketer."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shekhar on April 30, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    there is no doubt about the keeping ability of davy as he is aggressive and has good reflexes too and more importently has the right technique and temparament to be an excelent keeper. surely he will go a long way; not because more is backing him as i hate more for his arrogance and how he behaved with gangully the most succesfull captain of india durig his tenure as chief selector. but bcz davy is so talented that he surely has a bright futere.

  • R on April 29, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    In his playing days, More was famous for having the first slip stand behind him. More's keeping actually killed a generation of fast bowlers - kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Prabhakar, - who would have picked up twice as many wickets if the selectors picked up a keeper on cricketing logic. That David is being endorsed by a person who was easily the most pathetic keeper in the history of the game is sure to bother the SA selectors.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    They dont need a different full time keeper, they have devilliers , when he gets injured they need a back up, they tried van wyk, who has good potential but hasnt got the runs on the board, davies is right up there i guess, but i see no reason why AB cant bat at 4, keep and captain.

  • Harish on April 29, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Keiron Pollard is ready for WI Tests...Rayudu for India...Jacobs for SA...so what the hell are Malinga and Symonds doing as delinquents? MI needs a media manager.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    If Mumbai team believes in his ability, I am sure he will come up with good performances in IPL.

  • Allwin on April 29, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    There goes another idiot trumpeting a cricketer. Please leave the selection to the SA selectors Mr. More. I think these ridiculous statements are just to grab highlight. More is reminding us that he is around and maybe wants a keeper coach position in the Indian team. Something is seriously wrong with out yesteryears cricketers.

  • steve on April 29, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Jacobs can become one of the best wicketkeepers of all time. he is very quick behind the stumps and has very good reflexes. he can be a very handy middle order batsman. i think if south africa ever wants to win a world cup they have to get him in right niw!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.