New Zealand v South Africa, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong

Du Plessis backs batting combination

Firdose Moonda

March 24, 2014

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A
Duminy's match-turning 86 not out

So this is how South Africa want their T20 line-up to work. Start slowly, build calmly and then have a full go at the end, like they did today against New Zealand.

That is the reason they insist on keeping Hashim Amla, who is too often labeled 'not a T20 player,' at the top of the order, and why they do not want to promote AB de Villiers into it. They see Amla as having the right measure of conservatism and class to kick things off and de Villiers, along with David Miler and Albie Morkel, as having the creativity to close things off.

When it works, even when not exactly according to plan, it results in totals like today which South Africa will back themselves to defend. Despite the squeaky-bum ending, the score would have left most teams comfortable and was a nod to what South Africa are aiming for with the combinations they have in operation now.

South Africa have divided the innings up into segments, starting with the powerplay. Faf Du Plessis said in Chittagong they've decided "45 seems to be the par score so I wanted to get close to that and not more than two wickets down." South Africa were 42 for 3 in the first six overs, a little short and an extra man down but they were there and thereabouts, especially because the man they want to survive the opening exchanges, Amla, was still there.

"Hashim's role is to bat with someone. If someone else on the other side keeps scoring boundaries, Hashim can be the structure and the solidness through the batting line-up," du Plessis explained. "If we look at our top five, it's made up of guys who, apart from Hashim, naturally play aggressively so he fits into that game plan. It's his role to manoeuvre the rest of the innings."

Hashim Amla was dismissed by Corey Anderson for 41, New Zealand v South Africa, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong, March 24, 2014
Hashim Amla received the backing of his captain Faf du Plessis despite his slowish strike-rate © Getty Images

Amla is not required to go at a strike rate of much more than 100, which is where he hovered throughout his innings today. He is not required to take risks either which is what has earned him so much criticism from those feel he is not fit for this format. It's worth remembering Amla occupied the top spot on the ODI batting rankings not long ago and du Plessis is confident Amla can change tack if he needs to. "If there is a day where those guys don't score runs then Hashim knows that he has to play a little bit quicker."

Today was not that day because JP Duminy was on the other end, timing the ball and finding the boundary. All Amla had to do was "stay with JP for a period of time to make sure that our hitters at the back didn't come in when there were too many balls left." In other words, Amla has to keep things going for as long as possible in the second-third of the innings because only after that, should the rest be needed.

South Africa do not subscribe to the theory that the most destructive hitters need to face the most balls. They don't want de Villiers, Miller and Morkel batting when the majority of overs are still to be bowled. Perhaps that is because, as Miller and Morkel showed, they are only up for a quick boom-boom before the bust. Perhaps they only do that because they don't have any time to settle but the chicken-egg debate is not one South Africa are aiming to solve.

They've decided what comes first and it's not the men they have labeled finishers. "We need to make sure we have Miller and Morkel coming in towards the end of the innings not when they have to still worry about rotating the strike but where they can just play their natural game," du Plessis said.

The big-hitters don't always come off but they have the best chance to if Amla and then Duminy allow them the freedom to, as they did today "JP controlled the innings beautifully. He took risks when it was needed and made sure the strike was rotated," du Plessis said. "As a blueprint of a T20 innings, that's one of the better ones you will see."

It was textbook because Duminy was circumspect to start and upped his tempo later without getting carried away. "In a perfect world, you always want that freedom to express yourself but with freedom comes a little bit of responsibility," Duminy said. "We are finding the right mix. If we can perfect that, we stand a good chance of producing results in these kinds of tournaments."

Duminy has found the balance and it resulted in two top-scores for the team in two matches. More importantly for him, it gave South Africa's bowlers something to work with, which is what the batsmen are there for, after all. "I'm glad that it gave us a chance to defend because at one stage we didn't think we'd get to 170," Duminy said. "I'm pretty happy with the innings but if Dale and the rest of the bowlers didn't produce something it wouldn't have meant anything." That it did will give South Africa confidence what they are doing with their batting line-up could work.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by twistedseatbelt on (March 26, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

AB throws away his wicket in game after game, series after series, tournament after tournament. It must be wonderful to be the golden boy of your country and never have to be criticised, never have to face the chop, and always have the blame heaped on others. When will Andrew Hudson sit down with him and explain to him what his wicket is worth to the team,and to the opposition, and give him an ultimatum : Perform in the big games or have a rest on the sidelines.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 26, 2014, 7:25 GMT)

Faffs comments are laughable. The only reason why we are still in the this competition is because of Steyn. He is using the victory against New Zealand as justification for a weak batting strategy in T20. It clearly doesnt work and we will be exposed soon enough. Dale Steyn can save you by defending 7 runs in 1 over every game.

Posted by wapuser on (March 26, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

Qdk,AB and miller need to be explosive is best.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 6:25 GMT)

I can't help but think that we made 2 blunders with our squad selection: 1. Behardien doesn't seem like he can cut it at international level, so we should have opted for an experienced finisher who performed well at domestic level (Kemp or Ontong). 2. We are one bowler heavy and hence one batsmen light. A flamboyent Rilee Russow who have given us another dynamic option up the order. Nevertheless, I still feel Amla does OK in the first 8 overs. He struggles to kick-on and pick-up the rate from there though, and hence becomes a wicket we are willing to sacrifice - strange position to be in.

Posted by VarunAGVU on (March 26, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, @ Ralf Foley. I totally agree. SA should spend more time planning for the next match and chalk out the best strategy to gain as many NRR points as possible. Steyn's over and Duminy's willow won't come to the rescue every match. It wouldn't read too much in to this victory. It was not emphatic. If they are playing to win the tournament, a much improved thought process should be put in place.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 3:23 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, SA captain and coach have the same stubbornness as the Bok rugby coaches. The more they hear that they are wrong, the more determined they are too stick to their guns and prove everyone else wrong. Because of their massive egos, the entire country must suffer when SA is knocked out early. To say that they don't want AB to open because he may lose his wicket early, is such negative thinking. If AB bats for 10 overs, and plays his natural game, we will win most of the time. Right now, he is coming in and trying to hit a 6 off every ball. Same for Miller and Albie. Makes no sense.

Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (March 25, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

We have good belief in DU Plesis because he showed a positive attitute topwards his team .Yes Amla is slow striker ,to be changed with Levi or someone else but hitting is not everything Amla is akey batsman to hold on one end .....but M.MORKELL does nt deserve a place in T-20 and ODI not even test matches ,he fully flop player .We have Hendricks ,..need to be called in ....good luck

Posted by KK053 on (March 25, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

Surely, a recipe for yet another CHOKE. Top 3 gets us to 70-80 in first 12 overs then we will expect the Millers and Morkels to get us 12 an over to chase down 170+ scores. In the meantime Amla and Faf build great averages, so we have to put the blame ("the choke") on the mid-lower order again.

Need to specialise and need to bring in guys like Rossouw, Davids, Delport. Also what ever happened to our lower order big hitters - we always had a few of them around. So need to consider Hardus Viljoen, Pretorious (Lions), Wiese

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 25, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

Totally disagree with Faff on this and he has got this all wrong. Your openers in T20 need to be big hitters for two reasons. 1. Power play and 2. To not put pressure on the other batsman to get boundaries. With Amla opening, he lacks the ability to hit over the top during the fielding restrictions and this puts pressure on De Kock.

Amla should bat at 3 or 4 where he can hold an innings together. His 'justifications' come after a great innings by Duminy and brilliance from Steyn - not through good captaincy (Morkel bowling 3rd over) and stunted opening pair.

Posted by mrmonty on (March 25, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

People panning Amla should realize that he is only second to AB playing spin in the subcontinent. Without him, the whole batting order will unravel inside 20 overs on these pitches, if they just attack and attack.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

Kallis, who bats even slower, a role was made for. so if he opended he could bat at around a run a ball, so called anchoring the innings. the others would bat around him. this required big hitting from other batsmen to get to par scores of 160. The same thing happened at KKR with yusuf pathan and gambhir having to score quckly for Kallis.

Amla can bat quicker, he has before. Quinton de Kock has been getting out quickly as have AB and Faf, requiring Amla to bat slower. Quinton de Kocks strike rate is 118, is that really that good?

Posted by die_hard_cricketer on (March 25, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

I think its a decent plan. In a limited overs match the worst thing thing is not completing overs.

As for 'big-hitters' in the opening field-restricted overs - thats what young De Kock is there for. If he fails - its likely a mini-collapse would happen if all big hitters were up first.

What I would like, is a captain who thinks more before doing. I love Faff, but he disappointments with this sometimes. Yesterday he basically gave the advantage back to NZ when he asked Morne to bowl near the death. This is after Morne was slaughtered (30 in 2 overs). AND worse he was slaughtered by the batsman still on the field! I know Morne is brilliant and (might) have turned it around ... but why risk that when he's been hammered twice. And he was hammered again!

Wakeup Faff! Think a bit.

Bad decisions like that will lose tight matches.

I'd like to know his reasons / opinions on how he made that decision and why he turned to Morkel !

I was shouting at the TV when he put Morkel back!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

If I were captain of the opposing team, I would give strict instructions to not get Amla out. Drop catches off him and do not run him out. This is not a joke. I am sure that opposing teams actually discuss this. Keep Amla in, and the other batsmen have to take huge risks to up the run rate. It is a perfect game plan against South Africa.

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (March 25, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

I can't help but think that we made 2 blunders with our squad selection: 1. Behardien doesn't seem like he can cut it at international level, so we should have opted for an experienced finisher who performed well at domestic level (Kemp or Ontong). 2. We are one bowler heavy and hence one batsmen light. A flamboyent Rilee Russow who have given us another dynamic option up the order. Nevertheless, I still feel Amla does OK in the first 8 overs. He struggles to kick-on and pick-up the rate from there though, and hence becomes a wicket we are willing to sacrifice - strange position to be in.

Posted by Baiy on (March 25, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

Important South Africa do well now that Smith is gone. You are a one of a kind team - almost futuristic in its make up. So please make the right decision, stay positive and do well.

Posted by Baiy on (March 25, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Important South Africa do well now that Smith is gone. You are a one of a kind team - almost futuristic in its make up. So please make the right decision, stay positive and do well.

Posted by Cready on (March 25, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

If you want something different you've got to do something different. In fact some people go as far as to say that it is a sign of insanity if you keep doing the same thing but expect a different result. This has been SA's strategy in world cups since the start and well, how has that been working. Yet you look at WI (Gayle), Australia (Warner) etc, they start with big hitters and they take advantage of initial powerplay overs to lay a strong foundation. If you lose those guys then you can rebuild an innings with people like, say Amla. But at the moment SA just lose the guys who are supposed to be conservative, for low scores and not fantastic strike rates either.

Posted by MHG22 on (March 25, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

For all those criticising Amla just look at the importance of his inning yesterday. If he didn't play or fell early SA will probably be all out for less than 120. He held the inning together and allowed the push at the end. He eased the pressure off all the other batsmen. Also he is following the instructions of the coach and captain not to be aggressive. With his quality and if allowed the freedom he make any bowler look average. Well done Amla just keep wat u doing and SA will win the cup.

Posted by creebo777 on (March 25, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

I still think amla could play a big role for us especially when you come across teams like India or Pakistan who has spinners ,amla should just milk the spinners for ones and twos try to get a run rate of 7 in the 10th over,thats 70 runs of 60 balls,not bad,surely amla can do that

Posted by Swerver on (March 25, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

C'mon people! Who out there really believes that any team captain who actually say "Well all of our opponents, here is our game plan on a platter; go ahead and create your counter-plans" ...not many I think - Faf is just smoke screening. Don't be surprised when they approach a game completely differently to the way he's stated publicly. And to the Amla detractors out there: how often has opening with two "big hitters" worked, for any team? Amla's SR is 115 i.e. he keeps the strike rotating and therefore the "big hitters" don't have to value their wickets as highly and CAN have a go. Plus how many hitters do you need? de Kock, AB, JP, Faf, Miller, Albie ...6 not enough?!

Posted by Marktc on (March 25, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

I do not see why there is a need to start slow and build up. Surely if you have a good start, you total could be higher. Put two smashers in at one and two and a stabiliser at 3 in need...but if the top two come off, the change your game plan accordingly. SA have aid the price in the past when sticking to a game plan and not being fluid. We have the players to pull it off, we just need the coach and captain to think on the go..

Posted by eng_mdkhan on (March 25, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

@ Ahmad Uetian ..I read so much about how Amla lost the match for SA that I actually checked the results section to really see if he indeed he was responsible for SA losing the game. Not surprisingly it is preposterous. His strike rate was 88 and when he got out SA were 83 for 2 with 9.1 overs remaining requiring 79 runs @ 8.68 runs/over with 8 wickets in hand to win. Now tell me how from this point on is Amla responsible for SA losing the match. In fact the match was very well within SA's grasp at that time and the SA team knows this as does others who has some knowledge of how the game is played. I urge people to look at facts and become well informed and then post their opinions instead of posting half baked rubbish.

Posted by MNGholfers on (March 25, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

With the players in the squad the best playing 11 in batting order would be 1Faf 2de Kock, 3de villiers, 4Miller, 5Duminy, 6Morkel, 7Parnell, 8Steyn, 9Tahir, 10Morkel, 11Hendriks/Tsotsobe. Amla is an awesome batsmen, but I do think we should keep him for ODIs & Tests. Surely using Parnell as a pinch hitter upfront is always then a option. If any side wants to win this t20 world cup, they're gonna have to score big in the first 6 overs!! SA's mindset boggles me!! If AB bats more than 12 overs in a match he''ll more often than not win you the game, if he bats 20 over he'll win you the game everytime!! We needs our best t20 batters facing the bulk of the overs!!! We are putting ourselves under pressure every time. SA please wake up!!

Posted by CrickSA on (March 25, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

When your own MOM says he didn't think they would get 170, you know your batting isn't going according to plan. Time for a rethink Faf?

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

i would aways keep amla in the side because he can maneuver very effectively against spin bowling.....others like de kock, duminy (although talented & in-form) cannot do that as effectively as amla. I noticed before duminy started hitting, his strike rate was less than 40. its just that he is in form and he is able to clear ground more often. amla doesnt need slogs - which can get you out - to score at a brisk rate. In the SL game, Amla played his role perfectly, was the other 'heroes' like ABD, Miller and duminy fell at the wrong time and cudnt finish the game that they were required to. And on top of that, AB doesnt even have a good T20I record to qualify for opening......athough a rockstar in all the other formats....he still hasnt cracked the code for T20Is. His average is of dissapointing 21 and S/R of 121.

Posted by howazzat on (March 25, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

I rate the Amla / de Kock opening partnership. If we can execute the plan it could be a winning formula. and don't forget, Hashim can turn up the pace when he wants to! I would move either Miller or Albie up the order as a pinch hitter at #3. And bring in Parnell for Tsotsobe to add some batting depth in case of (innevitable) collapse. Amla, de Kock, Miller, JP, AB, Faf, Albie, Parnell, Steyn, Morne, Tahir.

Posted by MuneebShakoor on (March 25, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

To me Amla cannot be compared to Kallis nor Dravid. You can do the strike rates comparison. Analyzing his innings against NZ, I think he is focusing too much on rotating strikes even when he can hit a four. He should be doing the same but with intention of hitting fours if not sixes regularly on even 4,5 balls then easily we can see his strike rate in the line of 120.

Posted by stormy16 on (March 25, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

The most pleased from SA's tactcis will be the opponent. If anyteam is told the tactics are aimed to send Gayle, Warner, Finch (AB/Miller/Albie) towards the end to finish the game while in the power plays we will throw in Amla, most teams would take that gladly. What on earth are SA on about? This is not a discovery but the best batters must face the most overs! What's more if AB bats for any lenght of time (say 12 overs) the game would be won by SA. Also if AB bats at 3, the run rate (and cause of panic) will not be an issue. Amla is not covincing for me (yes he may in future), I would open with Faf. I also think Tsotsobe is not doing enough and Hendricks deserves ago, especially in the evening games when the ball seems to swing alot.

Posted by ToadyB on (March 25, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

The big question is why Miller is there. He has an ODI average of 31 and a T20 aberage of just 25, with a strike rate of 129.2 which is not particularly good. He has had plenty of opportuniies at an international level and consistently disappointed. I was also wondering why Robin Peterson was excluded. Is he injured? He's certainly got as much to offer with the bat as Miller or Albie Morkel, and his bowling would be a lot more useful than Morkel's (average in T20 of 34, which is awful). You also have to feel a litle bad for Roelof van der Merwe, who seems to have been forgotten by the selectors despite a good record in the format. I am also a little unsure of what Beuran Hendricks brings to this side, why the selectors would experiment with him at this stage, or why he was selected ahead of, say, a proven death bowler and pinch hitter like Ryan McLaren or Chris Morris, who is also an excellent striker of the ball and very quick.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

Amla has already lost proteas a game vs SL & made it too difficult vs SL. Another prolonged inns by Amla & SA will be out of turnament the sooner Amla gets out the better it is for SA. Amla's wasting balls means Devilliers & others r not getting enough balls to get set & express themselves

Posted by MrMavi on (March 25, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

i really wana see peterson in team .. his down the order hitting and left arm spin is very imp .. my team will be kock 2.du plessis 3. Ab de viliers 4. JP duminy 5. David miller 6. Albie Morkel 7. Peterson 8. Parnell 9. Steyn 10. M Morkel 11. Imran Tahir.. i really wana see miller at 5 bcz he needs some time in middle i have seen him playing at 5 for Kingz 11 in ipl .. he was very consistent at 5..

Posted by Mervo on (March 25, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

Yet another T20 lottery. Just toss the coin to see who wins. Standout performances are rare in these games, where bowlers are there to make up the numbers with the low slow wickets. Where is the bounce from a proper wicket and contest? When is the next test series?

Posted by FHZAHID on (March 25, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

I think SA should not include Amla in their T20 side. He is a world class player of tests and ODI's but not fit for T20's.

Rather they should include a batting all-rounder like Mclaren in his place.I would also support ABDV to open with Quinten, this would give a strong opening to SA.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

Amla can be destructive. He'd probably be the first to admit that he hasn't been in the best form lately, but the only way for him to gain form is to play, get his eye in. It wouldn't hurt if he tried to up his strike rate just a little though.

Posted by Hardy1 on (March 25, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

Faf should open with De Kock, ABDV at 3, JPD at 4 & Miller at 5. That way the last 3 batsmen get to face more balls, which they deserve to because they're all more than capable of big scores as opposed to just being finishers. I wouldn't be surprised if Amla did get the hang of it though so I can understand why they'd persist with him, but I just don't think he's the right man for the job because it means those 3 that I mentioned don't face enough balls.

Posted by Andre117 on (March 25, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

Unfortunately our batting is our major weakness. Other than Albie who strikes it at 145, all of our batsmen have strikerates below 130. That is not acceptable. Australia has 8 players with a S/R over 130 and 6 over 140. With strikerates like that (Australia) your team will regularly make big scores and you give your bowlers less work. You will win more games that way.

Posted by RoyRulez on (March 25, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

Faf has to come up and open... We all know he can drop anchor if needed... in fact he has been a better anchor than Amla in his brief test career...

AB cannot bat lower than 3... This is not IPL where he can hit sixes from ball one... Even he needs to get his eye in!!! Who on earth has 4 designated finishers??? Miller is not a slogger by any stretch of imagination... if he gets in he can wreck havoc...

Big fan of Hashim but he is doing more harm than good up front... reminds me of how Kallis played T20... You cannot have a batsman scoring a run-a-ball 60 and expect AB, Albie and Miller to hit sixes from ball ONE!!! If a batsman is playing the major chunk of balls he needs to have the ability to shift gears like Duminy did!!!

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (March 25, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

AB should open. Imagine the destruction he can do with just 2 fielders outside! One can easily aim for 80-90 with him in the powerplay. if he gets out - so be it! you have others to take of it from there.

Posted by Asad_Schweiz on (March 25, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

In my opinion, the SA team management is just contradicting itself. If ABDV, Miller and Albie are the finishers, then why the hell on earth is AB coming in at 4 ? I would rather send JP at 4, Miller at 5 and given AB's versatility, have him at 6. This also means that opposition would be all the time wary that a certain ABDV is still in the store, no matter what happens early on. Having the world's best batter in the reserved definitely plays on the minds of the opposition. Its like knowing that you have to contend with 2 overs of Lasith Malinga at the end of an innings when you go against SL. And that definitely plays on the minds of the oppositions, it is a well known fact.

Posted by HennopsRiverEnd on (March 25, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

@ Jobin K Eapen... I agree with your top3 but what good is Miller down at 6? He should come in at 4, the chap is a proper Batsman not a slogger. Amla wont do us any good down the order as well, any "batsman" can consolidate or stabilize (or whatever we would need him to do down the order) so it doesn't make sense to have him there, we might as well have someone who can hit the big shots when needed. If he is to play he must open.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

don't really think this is the way SA should go about their batting..!!

They should start strongly with their big hitters facing more deliveries than their conservative batsman..!! I feel that Hashim Amla should come in at may be 5 or 6 really, because it gives them some credibility in the middle order even if some of their hitters get out early..!!

from my view, SA lineup should be ,

Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Posted by RAAJ101 on (March 25, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

I think SA wants Amla to give thier big hitters some stand. Amla's innings was equally important to JP Duminy's innings

Posted by fiddlerv90 on (March 25, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

It make sense why pakistan at some stage are better team than us, they understood the format of this game and drop misbah to his suitable format(ODI and test matches). But i still wonder what would have been the scorecard if JP could have lost his wicket at early stage.. Goodluck faf!!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 2:26 GMT)

As long as Amla is in the team, SA is out of contention...In international T20s SA retaining Amla is equivalent to SA's 10 blokes playing against 12 in the opposition.....intend no disrespect for mighty HASH but his approach and understanding of the shorter format is a mighty cut below the rest.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 1:29 GMT)

I agree with a lot of what is said. In my opinion the class and composure of Amala could come in at 6 and resurrect a waning innings or continue the strong start. I.e. I think they can use him selfishly like India did to Dravid in ODI at a certain time. AB in top 3 and then the T20 specialists; Amala can save them if there 6 ball 15 doesn't cut the mustard.

Posted by RAAJ101 on (March 24, 2014, 23:05 GMT)

Hahim Amla can hit or throw his wicket away accordingly

Posted by indianzen on (March 24, 2014, 22:30 GMT)

From the comments its evident that people jump into conclusions even with a single match. Remember, Sachin had to wait a lot of matches to get his first triple figures and from then on, you know what happened...

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

This is so stupid. Miller and A.Morkel are not just slouchers, they are explosive proper batsman. with this kind of stupid attitude i dont see us going anywhere. If you require a target of 160 or more with this conservative apporoach, you are going to lose 9/10 times. when de villiers comes in with the score on 45-2 after 9 overs(which is stupid), he overhit and hence gets out cheaply. Amla should come in at 4 or 5 if we lose early wickets to stabilize the innings, you cannot stabilize the innings from ball one of the innings. Amla is not gonna get you 70 of 35 balls in those early overs which teams like australia via warner and finch achieve easily. de villiers playing just his normal game, well score 180 most of the time. So they want to say de villiers is a finisher as well? how stupid is this really. Please faf and management stop being stubborn and stupid and do the right thing that will maximise our chances of winning this trophy.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

Amla does his job very well, its the likes of abdv, faf and dekock that are not doing theirs. look at Maxwell's innings, finch just rotated the strike. all teams do things but amla gets criticised. rather ask why the rest of the top four are not getting any runs.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 20:20 GMT)

Faf, don't be stubborn. Play for your country.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 19:15 GMT)

Havng Albie arrive at the crease to face only 6 balls w 1 over left is absolutely ridiiculous.

SA need to ensure that when they bat their biggest hitters face the most deliveries. Until they do, they will be also-rans... but it will not take much for them to change into winners.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

We did score 170 today. I will not bet against Amla at any stage in any form of the game. He is just pure gold, class, etc. The reason why the Blackcaps got close was Morne Morkel. I hope it was just a bad day at the office and the only one of the tournament.

Posted by kashif_24 on (March 24, 2014, 18:32 GMT)

Its fine to have Amla pushing the ball around but if your top 3 batsmen face 18 dot balls that leaves too much to be done by the rest as it showed. If you see JP's innings he had only 6 dot balls out of the 43 he faced, rotation of strike is important in early overs. Except JP no other batsmen in the SA lineup looked comfortable. If they want to win this World cup they need to gamble a little more with their batting. Let Faf open with Dekock they did play well in Durban against Australia aggression with rotation of strike.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 18:32 GMT)

Amla still needs to score at around a SR of 120 to be called a proper t20 opener... If not, there isn't much sense in piling up the pressure on the remaining batsmen... AB and Duminy are two players who can seamlessly shift gears and they should be playing the maximum no. of overs... They have Albie and Miller who can go all out for the boundaries at the fag end of the innings... Now I don't know what Faf plans to do; he too needs to be going for the big ones in my opinion.... Amla, de Kock, AB, Faf, Duminy, Miller, Albie, Parnell, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir... This team is capable of defeating any side in my opinion!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Too stubborn to even try Amla at 6. If I were the opposition captain I would give my team instructions to not get Amla out and to give him as much strike as possible. I would let him bat the entire innings and score 60 off 60 balls. The batsmen at the other end will simply give their wickets away taking enormous risks to up the rate rate.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 24, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

This makes no sense. AB should be in for most of the innings. If he fires, SA have a huge total. If not, Duminy and Faf can rebuild.

Miller's best innings have seen him (like Duminy today) just over a run a ball after 20 balls, then he explodes. He'll never get a real chance if he comes in with 18 balls left in the innings. He's a better batsman than that.

I think the idea of a batsman like Amla 'anchoring' the innings is old fashioned, other teams have every batsman going for it. If he had scored more than a run a ball against SL then SA could have won.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

I din born at a era of Malcom Marshall, lillee, hadlee and holding i din see them perform live but i am proud of our era having steyn and mitch to dominate batters... Hats of to Steyn what a team player great...

Posted by Vaughanographic on (March 24, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

"We need to make sure we have Miller and Morkel coming in towards the end of the innings not when they have to still worry about rotating the strike but where they can just play their natural game," du Plessis said

That is the heart of the problem with the SA team. Twenty 20 is not about rotating the strike anymore - its about sustained boundary hitting. Hoping that one guy is going to get an 80 at a strike rate of 200 every game is not very sensible when looking at big scores.

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Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
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