Friday, January 06, 2006

Second guessing

No point in it. Smith could have delayed his declaration to put more runs on the board, but his ire really needs to be directed at Jacques Kallis who made only 50 off 96 balls. The boldness of the declaration was incongruously matched by the laziness of Kallis' effort. The failure to promote Boucher and Rudolph, the reliance upon Botha - playing in only his first test, the failure of the seamers to really trouble the Australian bats, all of these contributed just as much. And the batting of Ponting - full throttle, classic Aussie batting. It could have only served as inspiration for the man standing at the other end, Matthew Hayden.

All in all, a series that was closely fought but could have been even closer had RSA shown some more intiative and held their catches. It does not seem like South Africa have managed, since their return in 1992, to really produce an aggressive batting line-up. Mickey Arthur wants to change this, and I wish him luck. The Proteas have a great outfield presence and their bowling is aggressive and purposeful. An aggressive batting approach would make this into an even more attractive team to watch.

Years ago, when watching the abortive 'unofficial' test between India and South Africa at Centurion Park, a young South African sitting next to me on the grass remarked that youngsters liked watching their team in the outfield - just as much as the scores they racked up - because of their style of play. South Africa needs kids like him to come and watch them bat as well.

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