Golden Pairs Golden PairsRSS FeedFeeds
Cricket writers on their dream match-ups

Chin music for the maestros

Mean South African bowlers v rampaging Caribbean batsmen? Bring it on

Robert Houwing

Text size: A | A

Clockwise from above left: Richards, Donald, Greenidge, Schultz © Getty Images

I was 12 when West Indies visited England in seminal 1976, and monitored the series as best I could from apartheid-era Cape Town. State-manipulated television was only a year old in South Africa, and lukewarm about showing exuberant black cricketers demolishing a lilywhite nation 3-0.

But we did get the odd, 15-second ingot of magic on the evening news. The men who most entranced me with their audacious strokeplay were Viv Richards (series scores 232, 63, 4, 135, 66, 38, 291), and Gordon Greenidge, who caned three centuries back to back.

Neither would go on to experience top-flight combat against South Africa, but I sometimes contemplate Richards and Greenidge in their pillaging pomp against the South African new-ball pair most likely, in my book, to lay down the gauntlet to them with Caribbean-style chin music: Allan Donald and Brett Schultz.

This was an explosive, yet all-too-brief, alliance. Injury-bedevilled Schultz - all heft and huffing testosterone, the left-arm catapult landing from a high spring with all the delicacy of a Boeing 747 doing a belly-landing - played only nine Tests. But he shared the cherry with the contrastingly panther-like "White Lightning" each time, and South Africa did not lose any of those outings.

Richards and Greenidge on the hook, pull, or upper-cut against these two? Quickly, you feel, something would give, be it the cheekbone of either batsman or the front teeth of some hapless spectator in Row W.

Robert Houwing is chief writer for in South Africa

RSS Feeds: Robert Houwing

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Robert HouwingClose
Related Links

Late highs fail to mask wretched year

2014 in review: Save for the rout of Zimbabwe, 2014 was a year of suspensions and demoralising defeats for Bangladesh

    Enough with the on-field chatter

Ian Chappell: One of these days there's going to be an ugly altercation between players on the field

Walking up the down escalator

2014 in review: Player strikes, defeats against fellow minnows, and mountains of debt for the board marked another grim year for Zimbabwe

    The first Boxing Day classic

Ashley Mallett: Nearly 150 years ago, the MCG saw the start of a much-loved tradition, with a match starring Aboriginal players

Could McCullum win the Nobel Peace Prize?

The Beige Brigade salivate over B Mac's incredible feats and sixes, and the deliciousness that is Hagley Park

News | Features Last 7 days

Watson's merry-go-round decade

In January 2005, Shane Watson made his Test debut. What does he have to show for a decade in the game?

Power to Smithy, trouble for Dhoni

Australia's new captain admirably turned things around for his side in Brisbane, leading in more departments than one

Why punish the West Indies players when the administration is to blame?

As ever, the West Indies board has taken the short-term view and removed supposedly troublesome players instead of recognising its own incompetence

Rudderless Shami proves too costly

Mohammed Shami bowls a few really good balls, but they are interspersed with far too many loose ones, an inconsistency that is unacceptable in Test cricket

Australia's 50-50 lifelines

Three Australia players made half-centuries on day one at the MCG; for each of them, the innings' meant different things

News | Features Last 7 days