Sri Lanka v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Colombo July 24, 2013

Spin fast becoming the bane of SA's ODI game

As South Africa look to improve a dismal record in Sri Lanka, their spinners will have to rethink their strategy and find better ways to utilise the helpful conditions
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One of the more stunning statistics in ODI cricket is South Africa's record in Sri Lanka. The teams have now played 12 completed matches on the island. Out of those, South Africa have won one. Their captain in that game was Kepler Wessels, and current chief selector Andrew Hudson opened the batting. In almost two decades since, they haven't even come close to the hosts, and so far in this series, they have been outplayed just as comprehensively.

It has not helped that South Africa's best bowler and best batsman have not played in the series. Dale Steyn was ruled out of the tour through injury, and Hashim Amla missed the first match with neck spasms, before sustaining a grade one tear in his groin while fielding in the second. But another one of South Africa's woes, which has little to do with either player, has been the bane of their ODI game for long.

Spin bowlers Robin Peterson and Aaron Phangiso bowled their full quota of overs on Tuesday, and took one wicket apiece. On the surface, this not have seemed a poor return, but in South Africa's innings, their inadequacy was laid bare. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who is better than a part-timer perhaps, but still no ace with the ball, out-bowled South Africa's frontline spinners and extracted more turn than either. His modes of attack were more creative - flighting several outside off before darting a couple on the toes to finish the over. The visiting slow bowlers persevered on a humdrum line, without major variations to flight or pace, and reaped results that fit their bland exertion. On a pitch as slow as this worn Premadasa track, Sri Lanka's 223 for 9 was always going to be a testing total, even with Amla opening the innings and without the intermittent rain.

Part of South Africa's problem is that their opponents are too adept at defusing left-arm spin. Sri Lankan batsmen are weaned on the stuff and the domestic competitions have lately been inundated with high-quality, left-arm spinners. There are also five left-handed batsmen in Sri Lanka's top eight, who will not be daunted by the ball turning into them, particularly as neither spinner possesses a delivery that spins the other way. So thin are South Africa's slow-bowling stocks, there is also no offspinner to call on apart from the part-time efforts of JP Duminy. Imran Tahir, meanwhile, appears to have been discarded like so many South African slow bowlers before him.

Yet, even given these handicaps, Peterson and Phangiso have hardly made the best of helpful conditions. Rangana Herath may be the finest proponent of the left-arm slow bowlers' craft in the world, but he still should not have more wickets from 12.5 overs than all three of South Africa's spinners combined, who have collectively sent down 44. Herath is bowling in familiar conditions, but he is effective the world over, and adapts his game cleverly and quickly. He is no great spinner of the ball either and his guile, calculation and subtlety may mark the route to progress for the visiting spinners. Their captain might also be persuaded to set more attacking fields in conditions where slow bowlers should be dismissing batsmen.

The action now moves to Pallekele, where South Africa may have some respite on a surface that tends to be faster, bouncier and more seam-friendly than the track they have encountered in Colombo. Their pace attack may set about hiding the flaws in the slow-bowling there, but for a side aspiring to build a cricketing dynasty, that cannot suffice. A greater emphasis on developing spin-bowling talent - at least at the top-level, may light the way, or perhaps a prodigy must be unearthed and moulded to plug the mighty hole in an otherwise impressive ship.

Less than a year ago, they were the top team in all formats, but now they have slid to fifth in the ODI rankings, behind Sri Lanka, and have ceded the top T20 spot to the same team. Their limited-overs woes should serve as an ongoing reminder to South Africa that although they fly through in Tests on their vicious pace attack and a formidable row of batsmen, there may come a day when they succumb to their kryptonite, even in the longest format.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SamWintson92 on July 24, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    a) SOU should definitely include Imran Tahir. Just look at his ODI stats, all he played in WC 2011. 5 ODIs, 14 wickets, ave just over 10, econ under 4. He took wickets when SOU needed in WC. Can't understand why he's been continuously overlooked since then. Though he didn't have much success at tests off late, he's excellent in shorter formats with loads of county experience. Mysterious legspinner, aggressive & brings a lot in the platter. His stats are fantastic to back his capability b) Roloef Van Der Merwe did well in his ODI stint. Played for Somerset. He has better stats than Peterson & Phangiso. Really Tahir has to be the premium ODI spinner with VD Merwe as 2nd spinner. VD Merwe can be sent in as a pinch hitter if required c) I see there're talks about Johan Botha. Well, I rate his captaincy skills. I'm kinda blank about his reasons for quitting SOU. I mean c'mon why someone quits SOU for South Australia ! He was effective in shorter formats d) I wonder captaincy & keeping is taking a toll on the performance of De Villiers. If that's the case then it's not a good sign. SOU should experiment by giving the gloves to De Kock & open with him e) Ingram does average in the mid 30s but he needs to be consistent. I mean the way he was cleaned up by Malinga in the 1st ODI isn't pleasing at the eyes f) Du Plessis doesn't have the success in ODIs like he has in tests.

  • on July 24, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    Tahir averages under 20 in ODI's.. he was so effective in the 2011 world cup that it remains more mysterious than Ajmal's "teesra" as to why he keeps getting overlooked for these formats. No disrespect to Phangiso, he's a hardworking, honest player, but if SA really want to go in with two spinners, Tahir simply HAS to be the man they "turn" to... I can understand Peterson's inclusion given his prowess with the bat, but there isn't any real indication that Phangiso brings anything to the table that Tahir does not... Hell, if they really don't want to pick Imran for the limited overs side then bring back Botha! Botha not only is a highly intelligent bowler but his lower order batting, outstanding fielding and extremely sharp cricketing mind would greatly assist this young team. I'd go as far as saying that Botha should have been appointed as captain of our team over AB...

  • on July 25, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Apologies. I had said Rangana Herath IS the best left arm spinner in the world, but there has been some miscommunication in the sub-editing process, probably due to the way that sentence was structured. It has been changed to reflect its original meaning.

  • stormy16 on July 25, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    I think SA's issue is adapting to the conditions more than anything else an they are not along. Over the years numerous touring teams have struggled to come to grips with the SL conditions particularly when the rains are around. The wickets tend to seam and spin at the same time and swing comes and goes at different times of the day. If you haven't played in those conditions it can become awfully difficult. It's not like in India where it just spins. Only two on this team have played before in SL and honestly it's no different to when SL tour SA where they struggle with the conditions. I must say 11 matches in a row is a worrying statistics but Kandy should be more to SA's liking and expect them to come back strongly.

  • Pavinasen on July 25, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    If you cannot do both the basics right you are not going to be consistent & 90% of the times you will loose games.I am talking about SA's bowling & batting.In their 1st game they bowled,batted & fielded hoplessely.In the second game they bowled & fielded well but batted hoplessly.They are not consistent in these basics and therefore will be considered like any other minoaw team,although they have some real superstar players.AB will sink SA's ranking further and eventually he will be sacked.SA are only good in their backyard .I strongly believe that their domestic team have showcased some excellent players, like Cody Chetty, Subyoyen ,Maharaj ,Vandayar etc, but these guys are never given international exposure.SA is paying quite heavily for this.David Miller is not consistent and yet he has been given opportunities .He is quite a handful on dead pitches but if the pitch is tricky,he is also tricked.

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    @ Patdabac, who wrote "To add to that, their (SA's) batsmen are also weak against spin."

    On SA's last 2 test tour of India, Hashim Amla averaged 490. I'll repeat that so you are sure it is not a typing error - his average was 490. (Kallis only averaged a measly 67.66). Dismissed only once in 3 innings, he scored 2 centuries plus a double century. He was facing Mishra, & Harbhajan in his prime.

    Kallis' average in the UAE, against Ajmal & friends, is 107.66. In India it is 58.46. There is 1 run difference between his dismissed average against pace & spin. AB and Alviro also have a 1 run difference between spin & pace. Smith's dismissed average against spin is 25 runs BETTER than against pace!! Duminy's ave against spin is 14 runs better.

    Strange thing: Amla is the player weaker against spin - his ave against spin is 9 runs lower!!! Still, in India he averages 102.87!!!

    @ Patabac: you obviously did not check stats before claiming SA are weak against spin. Stats say you have no idea!

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    @ Zubair Maverick Haffajee. Botha WAS supposed to be captain. That was the plan all along. Then came Kirsten, and I think his idea was to turn AB into MSD. Yeah right. Like that is going to happen. I rate Dhoni's ODI captaincy skills as the best ever. AB just does not have MSD's brain power. If Botha had been given the job he had worked for, and deserved, and had been promised, SA's ODI team would not be a train wreck.

    100% agree with you about Tahir, but I guess he is now seen as a "settler!" Phangiso meets criteria that have nothing to do with bowling! Basically the ODI team was used to meet "transition goals" in order to protect the test team.

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @ SamWintson92 F Sam: your point c) "... Johan Botha. Well, I rate his captaincy skills. I'm kinda blank about his reasons for quitting SOU," answers your point d) "I wonder captaincy & keeping is taking a toll on the performance of De Villiers."

    Botha was a successful ODI skipper, & was going to take over when Smith resigned. That was theplan when Micky Arthur was coach, but Micky was dumped just before WC '11. Then, Botha was ignored by Kirsten, & AB was given the job. Botha took the South Australia job because he wanted a career instead of being shafted by S. Africa. Kirsten destroyed the ODI team, & AB is a disaster as a captain. A great batsman/keeper, but clueless as a skipper. As long as AB is in charge, SA's ODI team will be a train wreck Any guesses why Kallis is fed up with playing ODIs? He is no dummy. Why bother to play when the skipper is going to sink the ship, every time? I barely follow our ODI team - it has become a joke.

  • on July 24, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    What do you mean "Rangana Herath may not be the finest proponent of the left-arm slow bowlers' craft in the world"?? He definitely is.

  • SyedAreYouDumb on July 24, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Fernando I disagree , Herath is quality, he can turn it (of course), and is world-class. Maybe he is not as good as an Odi bowler compared to his test-bowling.

  • SamWintson92 on July 24, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    a) SOU should definitely include Imran Tahir. Just look at his ODI stats, all he played in WC 2011. 5 ODIs, 14 wickets, ave just over 10, econ under 4. He took wickets when SOU needed in WC. Can't understand why he's been continuously overlooked since then. Though he didn't have much success at tests off late, he's excellent in shorter formats with loads of county experience. Mysterious legspinner, aggressive & brings a lot in the platter. His stats are fantastic to back his capability b) Roloef Van Der Merwe did well in his ODI stint. Played for Somerset. He has better stats than Peterson & Phangiso. Really Tahir has to be the premium ODI spinner with VD Merwe as 2nd spinner. VD Merwe can be sent in as a pinch hitter if required c) I see there're talks about Johan Botha. Well, I rate his captaincy skills. I'm kinda blank about his reasons for quitting SOU. I mean c'mon why someone quits SOU for South Australia ! He was effective in shorter formats d) I wonder captaincy & keeping is taking a toll on the performance of De Villiers. If that's the case then it's not a good sign. SOU should experiment by giving the gloves to De Kock & open with him e) Ingram does average in the mid 30s but he needs to be consistent. I mean the way he was cleaned up by Malinga in the 1st ODI isn't pleasing at the eyes f) Du Plessis doesn't have the success in ODIs like he has in tests.

  • on July 24, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    Tahir averages under 20 in ODI's.. he was so effective in the 2011 world cup that it remains more mysterious than Ajmal's "teesra" as to why he keeps getting overlooked for these formats. No disrespect to Phangiso, he's a hardworking, honest player, but if SA really want to go in with two spinners, Tahir simply HAS to be the man they "turn" to... I can understand Peterson's inclusion given his prowess with the bat, but there isn't any real indication that Phangiso brings anything to the table that Tahir does not... Hell, if they really don't want to pick Imran for the limited overs side then bring back Botha! Botha not only is a highly intelligent bowler but his lower order batting, outstanding fielding and extremely sharp cricketing mind would greatly assist this young team. I'd go as far as saying that Botha should have been appointed as captain of our team over AB...

  • on July 25, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Apologies. I had said Rangana Herath IS the best left arm spinner in the world, but there has been some miscommunication in the sub-editing process, probably due to the way that sentence was structured. It has been changed to reflect its original meaning.

  • stormy16 on July 25, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    I think SA's issue is adapting to the conditions more than anything else an they are not along. Over the years numerous touring teams have struggled to come to grips with the SL conditions particularly when the rains are around. The wickets tend to seam and spin at the same time and swing comes and goes at different times of the day. If you haven't played in those conditions it can become awfully difficult. It's not like in India where it just spins. Only two on this team have played before in SL and honestly it's no different to when SL tour SA where they struggle with the conditions. I must say 11 matches in a row is a worrying statistics but Kandy should be more to SA's liking and expect them to come back strongly.

  • Pavinasen on July 25, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    If you cannot do both the basics right you are not going to be consistent & 90% of the times you will loose games.I am talking about SA's bowling & batting.In their 1st game they bowled,batted & fielded hoplessely.In the second game they bowled & fielded well but batted hoplessly.They are not consistent in these basics and therefore will be considered like any other minoaw team,although they have some real superstar players.AB will sink SA's ranking further and eventually he will be sacked.SA are only good in their backyard .I strongly believe that their domestic team have showcased some excellent players, like Cody Chetty, Subyoyen ,Maharaj ,Vandayar etc, but these guys are never given international exposure.SA is paying quite heavily for this.David Miller is not consistent and yet he has been given opportunities .He is quite a handful on dead pitches but if the pitch is tricky,he is also tricked.

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    @ Patdabac, who wrote "To add to that, their (SA's) batsmen are also weak against spin."

    On SA's last 2 test tour of India, Hashim Amla averaged 490. I'll repeat that so you are sure it is not a typing error - his average was 490. (Kallis only averaged a measly 67.66). Dismissed only once in 3 innings, he scored 2 centuries plus a double century. He was facing Mishra, & Harbhajan in his prime.

    Kallis' average in the UAE, against Ajmal & friends, is 107.66. In India it is 58.46. There is 1 run difference between his dismissed average against pace & spin. AB and Alviro also have a 1 run difference between spin & pace. Smith's dismissed average against spin is 25 runs BETTER than against pace!! Duminy's ave against spin is 14 runs better.

    Strange thing: Amla is the player weaker against spin - his ave against spin is 9 runs lower!!! Still, in India he averages 102.87!!!

    @ Patabac: you obviously did not check stats before claiming SA are weak against spin. Stats say you have no idea!

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    @ Zubair Maverick Haffajee. Botha WAS supposed to be captain. That was the plan all along. Then came Kirsten, and I think his idea was to turn AB into MSD. Yeah right. Like that is going to happen. I rate Dhoni's ODI captaincy skills as the best ever. AB just does not have MSD's brain power. If Botha had been given the job he had worked for, and deserved, and had been promised, SA's ODI team would not be a train wreck.

    100% agree with you about Tahir, but I guess he is now seen as a "settler!" Phangiso meets criteria that have nothing to do with bowling! Basically the ODI team was used to meet "transition goals" in order to protect the test team.

  • Greatest_Game on July 25, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @ SamWintson92 F Sam: your point c) "... Johan Botha. Well, I rate his captaincy skills. I'm kinda blank about his reasons for quitting SOU," answers your point d) "I wonder captaincy & keeping is taking a toll on the performance of De Villiers."

    Botha was a successful ODI skipper, & was going to take over when Smith resigned. That was theplan when Micky Arthur was coach, but Micky was dumped just before WC '11. Then, Botha was ignored by Kirsten, & AB was given the job. Botha took the South Australia job because he wanted a career instead of being shafted by S. Africa. Kirsten destroyed the ODI team, & AB is a disaster as a captain. A great batsman/keeper, but clueless as a skipper. As long as AB is in charge, SA's ODI team will be a train wreck Any guesses why Kallis is fed up with playing ODIs? He is no dummy. Why bother to play when the skipper is going to sink the ship, every time? I barely follow our ODI team - it has become a joke.

  • on July 24, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    What do you mean "Rangana Herath may not be the finest proponent of the left-arm slow bowlers' craft in the world"?? He definitely is.

  • SyedAreYouDumb on July 24, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Fernando I disagree , Herath is quality, he can turn it (of course), and is world-class. Maybe he is not as good as an Odi bowler compared to his test-bowling.

  • Nmiduna on July 24, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    well said andrew! SA were repeatedly named one of the best test sides ever after they beat England..but before labeling greatness, they have to prove that they can conquer the Asian conditions. They haven't played a test in Asian conditions since their ascend. it's so unfortunate they can't play tests in SL. but their real test will be when they go to IND, if they beat IND on their home soil (which ENG did), then they are without doubt an all time great team, so it's not that wise to jump into conclusions before that.

  • on July 24, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    @NixNixon - Johan Botha was excluded because he is a threat to AB's leadership. JB is by far the best Captain we have in SA. AB just can't smoke the pipe.

  • nzcricket174 on July 24, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Bring back Imran Tahir!

  • on July 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    More acurately SL outbatted SA. The fact that Dilshan took more wickets is testament to SA's poor batting. Do you want to say Dishan is better than Herath? I think not.

  • NixNixon on July 24, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Please drop Faf Du Plessis en bring in Colin Ingram. Ingram to bat at three, and Jo should move down the order, Jp clearly does not have the ability to bat at three, and Faf, well I was one of his biggest supporters when he first was included and even supported his inclusion in the team when he wasnt doing so well, but after looking at his stats last nigh he just is not doing well enough. He has an average of 28 after 39 games, not good enough. Ingram averages in die mid 30s. Also Botha was excluded from the SA team because he is white, for those of you who are wondering.

  • duncanmoo on July 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I have asked this question a couple of times, and now it is becoming flagrantly apparent that AB is not captain material. I have to agree with Zubair, Botha would have been a better captain choice, but @Renier Botha put himself out of the running, you are not going to select someone who is living in Australia for the SA team no matter how good they are, Botha went for the money and good for him.

  • Gordo85 on July 24, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    I have wondered that same thing about why Tahir is not playing in his second best format where he has done well in ODI's in the past. If they are too scared to go for Tahir and they want to go for someone younger they should go for my man Shaun von Berg who I have been watching closely. For awhile there he dropped off a little but I still have lots of confidence in Shaun von Berg. But Tahir is the man at the moment but another good thing about Shaun von Berg is he knows how to bat also.

  • billycraven on July 24, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    it might be hard to swallow, but we are just not good enough. Forget about the excuses of we are building, we have been doing that for 12 years, lets start afresh. We do not seem to know who to open with, what is Quinton doing there? When a player like Faf, who has 40 odd IDI games start talking about the younger players I get worried, at 40 odd games he considers himself a veteran. AB is one of SA's most talented batsman but not a captain, we are doing him an injustice to make him keep and captain. It seems as if there is no urgency or application. something is wrong.

  • on July 24, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    @ Zubair Maverick Haffajee: You have pretty much said everything that needs to be said. Although I would expand on the fact that Tahir is no prodigy, and that if SA really do not have any true brilliant spin bowlers, stick with 4 good seamers. De Lange or Abbott really should be there as backup - imagine de Lange on that pitch last night, sending down a few bouncers at 150km/h.

    Botha... what SA did to him is still a mystery to me. He deserves to be captain, not discarded. AB has done all he can and given the circumstances he should retain captaincy, but he needs some respite, de Kock should come into the team as wicketkeeper, the young man also has a lot to offer with the bat. AB would be a welcome sight in the field, doing what he does best.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on July 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I know that Imran Tahir was ineffective during Test matches for SA, but I remember him doing ok in the World Cup played in the subcontinent couple of years back. Where is he now?

  • Patdabac on July 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Only in ODI's?, I don't think so. If SA played a test series in the sub continent, it would be the same result, with or without Steyn. If SA played a test match at Galle or even in Kolkata, then they have no chance without a good spinner. To add to that, their batsmen are also weak against spin. It shows that England are the best Test team now, as they won their last test tour in India and Drawed in SL.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    AS lookin for spinner Southafrica should show faith in Imran Tahir....he a batter option and he came from ASIA,,,there is a simple aspect when you call somebody in squad ....give him full time to prove...GIBBS .KALLIS ,ZULLU ,BOJE,BOUCHER ..they all were not good at their first 5-6 matches ,,,,so TAHIR is abatter choice ...no doubt PHANGISO is a good spinner but he needs to polish his talent more...Robin peterson is not good against ASIAN teams......so leg breaker TAHIR deserve a continously chance...

  • HPD 702 on July 24, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    I agree with Zubair Maverick Haffajee 200 %

  • Prabhash1985 on July 24, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Ranking doesn't matter. Besides Sri Lanka, my favourite team is South Africa. They are really really talented, and they can bounce back at any time. They will fight for sure. It'll be tough time for Sri Lanka, but I wish Sri Lanka will win, because that's my country. It's a privilege to see South Africans playing in Sri Lanka. All the best for both teams. I hope it won't be similar to our tour to Australia, which made many Sri Lankan players end up with injuries.

  • Prabhash1985 on July 24, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Ranking doesn't matter. Besides Sri Lanka, my favourite team is South Africa. They are really really talented, and they can bounce back at any time. They will fight for sure. It'll be tough time for Sri Lanka, but I wish Sri Lanka will win, because that's my country. It's a privilege to see South Africans playing in Sri Lanka. All the best for both teams. I hope it won't be similar to our tour to Australia, which made many Sri Lankan players end up with injuries.

  • HPD 702 on July 24, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    I agree with Zubair Maverick Haffajee 200 %

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on July 24, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    AS lookin for spinner Southafrica should show faith in Imran Tahir....he a batter option and he came from ASIA,,,there is a simple aspect when you call somebody in squad ....give him full time to prove...GIBBS .KALLIS ,ZULLU ,BOJE,BOUCHER ..they all were not good at their first 5-6 matches ,,,,so TAHIR is abatter choice ...no doubt PHANGISO is a good spinner but he needs to polish his talent more...Robin peterson is not good against ASIAN teams......so leg breaker TAHIR deserve a continously chance...

  • Patdabac on July 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Only in ODI's?, I don't think so. If SA played a test series in the sub continent, it would be the same result, with or without Steyn. If SA played a test match at Galle or even in Kolkata, then they have no chance without a good spinner. To add to that, their batsmen are also weak against spin. It shows that England are the best Test team now, as they won their last test tour in India and Drawed in SL.

  • Kak-mal_Khan on July 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    I know that Imran Tahir was ineffective during Test matches for SA, but I remember him doing ok in the World Cup played in the subcontinent couple of years back. Where is he now?

  • on July 24, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    @ Zubair Maverick Haffajee: You have pretty much said everything that needs to be said. Although I would expand on the fact that Tahir is no prodigy, and that if SA really do not have any true brilliant spin bowlers, stick with 4 good seamers. De Lange or Abbott really should be there as backup - imagine de Lange on that pitch last night, sending down a few bouncers at 150km/h.

    Botha... what SA did to him is still a mystery to me. He deserves to be captain, not discarded. AB has done all he can and given the circumstances he should retain captaincy, but he needs some respite, de Kock should come into the team as wicketkeeper, the young man also has a lot to offer with the bat. AB would be a welcome sight in the field, doing what he does best.

  • billycraven on July 24, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    it might be hard to swallow, but we are just not good enough. Forget about the excuses of we are building, we have been doing that for 12 years, lets start afresh. We do not seem to know who to open with, what is Quinton doing there? When a player like Faf, who has 40 odd IDI games start talking about the younger players I get worried, at 40 odd games he considers himself a veteran. AB is one of SA's most talented batsman but not a captain, we are doing him an injustice to make him keep and captain. It seems as if there is no urgency or application. something is wrong.

  • Gordo85 on July 24, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    I have wondered that same thing about why Tahir is not playing in his second best format where he has done well in ODI's in the past. If they are too scared to go for Tahir and they want to go for someone younger they should go for my man Shaun von Berg who I have been watching closely. For awhile there he dropped off a little but I still have lots of confidence in Shaun von Berg. But Tahir is the man at the moment but another good thing about Shaun von Berg is he knows how to bat also.

  • duncanmoo on July 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I have asked this question a couple of times, and now it is becoming flagrantly apparent that AB is not captain material. I have to agree with Zubair, Botha would have been a better captain choice, but @Renier Botha put himself out of the running, you are not going to select someone who is living in Australia for the SA team no matter how good they are, Botha went for the money and good for him.

  • NixNixon on July 24, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Please drop Faf Du Plessis en bring in Colin Ingram. Ingram to bat at three, and Jo should move down the order, Jp clearly does not have the ability to bat at three, and Faf, well I was one of his biggest supporters when he first was included and even supported his inclusion in the team when he wasnt doing so well, but after looking at his stats last nigh he just is not doing well enough. He has an average of 28 after 39 games, not good enough. Ingram averages in die mid 30s. Also Botha was excluded from the SA team because he is white, for those of you who are wondering.