South Africa news October 24, 2009

We lost patience with Gibbs - Procter

Cricinfo staff

Mike Procter, South Africa's convener of selectors, has backed opener Herschelle Gibbs to bounce back after being dropped from the ODI and Twenty20 squads to face Zimbabwe and England at home next month. Procter explained that Gibbs' inconsistency had cost him his place and added that his omission will leave the door open for experimentation at the top of the order.

Gibbs failed to get going for the Cape Cobras in the Champions League Twenty20 in India, scoring just 43 runs in four games. He scored 42 of those in the semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago but prior to that, recorded two first-ball ducks.

"We have lost patience with his inconsistency and I had a chat with him this morning and we agreed that he has been inconsistent," Procter told Supercricket. "We have to keep 2011 [the World Cup] in mind and we need to spread our wings a bit. But the door is not closed for Herschelle, although it will be tough for him. He is 35, but he is fit and he is a huge talent and if he makes a mountain of runs and is batting consistently then things change."

Procter said the team management had discussed the possibility of Jacques Kallis opening the batting with captain Graeme Smith, instead of Lions opening batsman Alviro Petersen, who was recalled to the squad. However, Procter added that the batting order was still flexible.

"Mickey Arthur (the coach) and Graeme [Smith] want Jacques to open and AB [de Villiers] will then move up to three and JP Duminy to four," Procter said. "We're looking at Alviro at five. We know it's out of position, but we believe he can adapt and he has been a prolific run-scorer in the last couple of seasons.

"But we have so many options. Hashim Amla or Alviro could open if the Smith-Kallis partnership does not work and we're also looking to take pressure off Albie Morkel in terms of his bowling. We'd like to take the responsibility of bowling ten overs off his shoulders and he can make up for it with the bat. We'd like to play him at six and use him as more of a pure batsman."

Charl Langeveldt also earned a recall after relinquishing his Kolpak status and Procter praised the fast bowler for making himself available for national selection. The uncapped allrounder Ryan McLaren, a proven performer with Kent, too dropped his Kolpak status and was named in the squads.

"We're absolutely thrilled to be able to choose Charl again," Procter said. "He bowls very well at the death and he's able to get both late and reverse swing."

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  • Clinton on October 26, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    Jonty Rhodes - probably the best fielder of his time. Played 245 ODI's, achieved an average of about 35. Scoring only 2 hundreds. Yet I cannot recall a game in which he was dropped for lack of form. and i think the reason was because Jonty kept the teams morale and energy levels at a constant high on the field. And thats exactly what Herschy does.

    Herschelle Gibbs - probably one of the best fielders of his time. Also played 245 ODI's at an average of 36. Scoring 21 hundreds (the most by a South African).

    Tell me why he's being dropped again? For poor form in the Champions Trophy? Where the majority of the team failed? Or was it the T20 Champions league? Which is exactly that....a T20. Not a 50 over game, like the upcoming series against england.

    Yes, because of Gibbs' attacking nature, he's a bit of a lottery up the order, but if the jackpot is say.....175, then its a gamble worth taking every single game.


  • Craig on October 26, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Proctor, Arthur and Smith seem to battle with logic. Kallis's value these days is with the ball, not the bat, yet he is now expected to open and bowl 10 overs? Looking at the rest of SA's bowling, Kallis is crucial as a wicket-taker. These guys took an in-form Gibbs and placed him at no. 3 to feed this obsession with Kallis opening. Now he is "inconsistent". As much as we love him, the bitter truth about Kallis is that he doesn't WIN many games for his country these days - opening the batting won't change that. If Morkel won't be bowling, let him open with Gibbs and play Kallis at 6. Jaques can then still make a solid contribution with the bat when things don't go well upfront, but focus on his bowling. If anyone should be dropped it should be Boucher.De Villiers must take the gloves and get on with it, allowing another bowler into the squad to account for Albie's lack of form with the ball,or there will be more tears come the next world cup.

  • DILSHAN on October 26, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    Dropping Gibsy is gonna be an expensive cost for CSA for sure. he's still undoubtedly one of the most attacking batsman in world cricket & on his day could rattle up high scores. i still reckon him as one of the top 03 fielders in the world too & he can easily contribute 20-30 runs saving with his breathtaking fielding. i don't think Amla belongs to either one of these categories & he's better off a Test Batsman. so why would they want to upset the Apple Cart if they really look into the magnificent partnerships that have been raised by Smith/Gibbs over the years? I'm not a huge fan of Gibbs but i feel justice should be prevailed. anyhow as a English supporter i like to see him kept away as he could destroy their attack in his own backyard as we've seen him do number of times.

  • Sam on October 25, 2009, 23:19 GMT

    People cant just expect to be in the team, and youngsters need to come through sooner or later.

  • maqbool on October 25, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    i still believe he is man of strong nerves as he is one of the important figure in winning games of south my point of view it is awful decision of csa which they took on basis of chapion league form of gibbs.he is amazing striker of team and in big targets his roll is always important.and every team wish to pick his wicket to win the game.if he stay at crease than the opposition team would be under pressure

  • Kayes on October 25, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    To put it honestly, I started to support South Africa Cricket back in 1996 just because of a man named Wessel Johannes Cronje. I am fortunate enough to continue my support for the team because of another man named Herschelle Herman Gibbs. Note that I address them as 'man', not a player or cricketer. You see, I really don't believe in professional games. Yes, players have to be professional because they have lives to live. But the thing with those two men is that they played for their country too. For an instance, suppose before SA's batting started on that day of March 12, 2006, in the Jo'burg decider, somebody had asked Gibbsy that I'd pay you $10 million, just hit 175 and win the game. Would it ever have been possible that way had Gibbsy not really played his natural game? For that innings alone, South Africa should cement one spot for Gibbsy in the team! Players like Kallis, Boucher play for their country. Let's talk carefully about their commitment and responsibility to the team.

  • chandana on October 25, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    ERRR... amla to open instead of gibbs?? who has the better range of shots and who is the better fielder anywhere in the ground? if a half dozen failures mean ur not selected then SANATH J will not be playing into his 40s!! seems CSA are worried about the middle order,, hence the need to shore up opening slot. wonder why when JK, AB, JP, are 3 4 5. maybe they miss the big hitting all rounders of the past where albie has failed. same problem australia had but with roy and north and watson and ... smith gibbs kallis ab duminy boucher vanderwath vander merwe botha parnell steyn is a great 11 any day

    cheers from sri lanka

  • Joshua on October 25, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    I agree if you look at rusty theron's average over recent times and his whole career, I am stunned that he hasn't yet made the 1st team. He is a consistantly brilliant performer for not only his province but has always done amazingly for South Africa A in tour matches against full international sides

  • Aishwarya on October 25, 2009, 4:12 GMT

    I am in two minds about the omission. Partly, the reason is that Gibbs has always been a Sehwag kind of player rather than an AB Devillers or a Ponting- there is that chance that he could pulverize the opposition with his dazzling strokepaly or else could get out first ball. Then again, taking nothing away from Gibbs's proficiency and class as an international batsman, perhaps this exclusion would help him improve on his shot selection and consistencey. However, is is justified to to omit Gibbs from the series based on his poor form in the Champions T20- as to that i am not sure, because he certainly looked fluent as ever in the semifinals. Anyway, good luck to Alviro Peterson to prove himself- he certainly has high standards to live up to.

  • Hamish on October 24, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    'But Kallis and Boucher are two men who are holding up future talent' - I am sooo sick of Kallis bashers - he's the best cricketer SA has produced since readmission. He's two players in 1 and the best allrounder since Sobers, I hope he plays till 40. As for Gibbs, in the home series against Aus, he scored a hundred and played a significant role in the series win. He usually scores at least one big score every series. And he's the best player to watch as a spectator. Playing Kallis as an opener and expecting him to bowl is a bit much I think.

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