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Ken Borland


Posted on February 24, 2012 by Ken

The Q&A I did for SuperSport ahead of the SA v NZ ODI series.

Matthew Gardner asked:

Hi Ken Why do you think Wayne Parnell is being persisted with at the moment? Sure, he bowled a great over in the second T20, but overall over the last few months he has done anything but impress. I think he has immense potential but potential alone isn”t enough. He needs to perform. And he hasn”t done much when he”s gone back to the Warriors either. Perhaps he needs to play a good full season of domestic cricket and then we can re-look at him?

Guys like Marchant de Lange deserve an opportunity. I believe we need to be a little bit firmer with youngsters who are not performing, otherwise they will become complacent.

By the way, its very early I know, but what are your first impressions on Chris Morris from the Lions? He seems to have a lot of potential as an allrounder! Also will be keeping my eyes on Zondo and Chetty in the future!

Ken answered:
Hi Matthew
I guess Parnell hasn’t been the most consistent performer but, as you say, the talent is immense. But if we do drop him to domestic cricket for a year, who do we replace him with? The likes of Theron, McLaren & Albie Morkel also haven’t been consistent, while De Lange is still very new but yes, he deserves an extended chance.
My first impressions of Chris Morris are very good: He actually played a bit last year without setting the world alight, but has developed a lot in the interim. He actually has a bit of pace and is a decent, hard-hitting batsman in lower-order as well.

Vernon asked:
The debate always seems to rage between selecting in-form players vs the old tried and tested players. The dynamic nature of sport where you”re on top one day and at the bottom the next dictates that you take every advantage you can get. I think we missed a trick by sending Levi home, would”nt you agree?

Ken answered:
Because there are just 3 ODIs, I think the right decision was made with Levi. Opening batsmen have been chosen and it’s only fair to give them the opportunity and that would mean playing all three games. If it was a five-match series, maybe you could say give Levi a game somewhere … There will be plenty of chances for him to play between now and the next World Cup!

Songezo asked:
Our ODI team is not settled and, in the main, is the reason why we cannot keep any sustained momentum. That we are no.3 on the ICC rankings does not add up considering guys like Amla, Kallis, de Villiers, Botha and Tsotsobe are among the games best at the moment. I blame the spineless selectors headed by Hudson for this inconsistency and disloyalty to players.

Ken answered:
Strong words Songezo, but Botha is the only player amongst those you list that does not play in every game! It’s the start of a new World Cup cycle and the selectors need to look at the fringe players now, so that they can gain the experience they require if they’re going to be needed in 2015. I actually think our ODI team is reasonably settled: about the only areas of debate are numbers six and seven, the spinner and one pace bowler’s spot.

Tumelo asked:

KEN,Phillander first came onto the scene as the big hitting allrounder and with the confidence from the tests he is getting back to the big hitter he was, do you think he can give Albie and Wayne a run for the all-rounder spot in the t20

Ken answered:
Hi Tumelo
It was very good to see Philander scoring some runs the other night! He is in the mix, but his bowling is his main job and I think he needs to work on developing more variations in limited-overs cricket.

Tumelo asked:

If you would name 5 batsman that have international potential with no caps who would they be and what would they individually bring to the team and 5 bowlers alike in which format?

Ken answered:

Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Stiaan van Zyl & Jon-Jon Smuts are uncapped batsmen who have all performed consistently at domestic level. But whether they can succeed at international level remains to be seen! 
Amongst the bowlers who are uncapped, Quinton Friend has consistently been one of the best fast bowlers in the SuperSport Series, while Simon Harmer looks a very promising off-spinner. 
Ethan O’Reilly has had some fine performances in limited-overs cricket, while Kyle Abbott has also done well.

Jerry Kekana asked:

I dont think they did the right thing by sending Levi back. Don”t you think they should groom him for the opening batsman position in particular the position Smith holds.

Ken answered:

Yes, but they’ve already announced that Smith and Amla are the opening batsmen and there are only three ODIs in New Zealand, so it’s only fair that they are given a decent opportunity as well.

Sergio Short asked:

Whats your take on Richard Levi being sent back?

I know his new and needs to gain more experience but wouldn”t it have been better to keep him there even if he does not play but to observe and learn maybe get 1 game if its possible. His the type of guy we need at the top of the order a Sehwag, Warner, KP or Guptil type player that takes advantage of the powerplay

Ken answered:

It’s just a three-match series so it’s going to be hard to fit in a game for him. Smith and Amla are also very capable of taking advantage of the powerplay up front!

Lohann asked:

Hi Ken,

Why do you think have all the SA bowlers, especially the speedies, been bowling so many balls down leg? It just seems more than usual?


Ken answered:

Hi Lohann 
I agree with you 100% – there was a lot of leg-side bowling. I can only imagine that they wanted to bowl straighter to the New Zealand batsmen, try and cramp them, but started sliding down instead.

Walter aka Pangela asked:

Ken, what would be your 11 starting line up for the Proteas in the first ODI game

Ken answered:

Hi Walter/Pangela, 
I would go with Smith, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy, Du Plessis, A. Morkel, Botha, Steyn, M. Morkel, Tsotsobe. 
But I haven’t seen the pitch of course!

louis nutt asked:

1)why are they sending Levi home
2)why dont they keep him there if something happens or is it becuase the quota for colour is filled already

Ken answered:

It has nothing to do with colour. Levi is white by-the-by. 
There are only 3 ODIs and they have already chosen the opening batsmen for those and they deserve a decent opportunity.

Gavin asked:

Why do the proteas persist with playing Abie when he clearly is carrying an injury. Is Mark Boucher so out of form that he cannot be used as keeper while Abie get”s over his niggeling injury? Hasim Amla is has shown that he is more than capable to captain the team.

Ken answered:

Well I think AB only injured himself while he was batting in the last game! AB’s back seems to be okay so I see no problem. And they haven’t called Boucher to come over early, so we can take it AB is fit enough to keep in the ODIs.

Tumelo asked:

David Wiese?your input as an allrounder

Ken answered:

Talented … needs to work on his bowling to become more consistent at domestic level.

Jean asked:

Hi Ken.

I”m very chuffed with the T20 series win as I think it was NZ”s best chance of beating us. I believe we are much stronger in the longer versions of the game. Hopefully the win in the last match gives us enough confidence going forward. Do you know if AB was injured in the last match? He seemed to be struggling a bit, when batting but still kept wicket through NZ”s innings. Your thoughts on Tsolekile getting a CSA contract? Not sure his batting”s strong enough at test level. Probably need to pick another batting alrounder above him in the order and shift him lower than is the case with Boucher.


Ken answered:

Hi Jean 
AB did pick up an injury in the last match, but I presume it’s nothing serious because he kept wicket and we haven’t heard anything since. 
Tsolekile has averaged over 50 in two of the last 3 SuperSport Series seasons, so there’s not too much wrong with his batting, and his glovework is immaculate, so I’m happy with the decision. I don’t think there’s a batting all-rounder around who can bat six, Duminy is closest, so you’re looking at whoever bats 8 to become more of a bowling all-rounder. I believe Dale Steyn can improve his batting even further.

Johan asked:

The Proteas have a way of surprising anyone either by playing brilliantly or losing from an impossible place. What do you think will be our main problems/obstacles to overcome in NZ? Personally I feel that AB is the right captain for this time and he will pulkl the boys together, nut our middle overs scoring rate (even a struggle in T20I) and our death bowling is where I feel we lack the most.

Ken answered:

We need more consistently good starts, the late middle-order will be under pressure and yes, death bowling is still a concern!

Husein Ahmed asked:

Hi Ken

Still slightly concerned about our ever changing fields in the T20” villiers seems like a brave caprian however in the same breath the fielders cannot be moved around every second ball.We at times seem to be chasing the ball around.Your view

Ken answered:

Hi Husein 
Yeah, as I said before I thought AB did a good job, especially since it was his first experience of T20 captaincy. I’d rather he was flexible than not being willing to try anything and, as he learns, he will make mistakes. But so far it’s been a good start.

Husein asked:

Hi Ken

we could employ a similar line up to the tests in future odi;s- that is – Smith,levi,amla,kallis,villiers,duminy and the bowlers.We would still be able to accomadate the Smith.Just a thougth

Ken answered:

Hi Husein, 
Yes, that is an option, although I feel it does make us a bit top-heavy.

marnus asked:

What is your opinion off AB”s captaincy? To me it seems as if he is struggling to build pressure and is constantly changing his approach. Don”t you think J Botha would be a better captain in the T20 format and perhaps Amla in the test when eventualy Smith leaves.

Ken answered:

No, I think AB has made a very promising start. I would prefer him to be flexible than not being willing to try anything – predictability has been one of our downfalls in the past. 
The problem with Botha is that he’s not certain of his place in the team, while Amla is a reluctant captain.

Quentin asked:

Thanx for this forum Ken,
Your thoughts on the following please:
1. AB scores more runs when he does not keep (and also have to captain at the same time) and –
2. AB saves runs in the field and is a cathing fielder in the Jonty mould, that changes a game;
3. If so, he is worth more playing as batsmen and fielder, where he will win more games, which allows for a proper keeper to be groomed, not sure who (I still like Boucher at present although he won”t be in the mix for the next WC).

So, should AB be the only mindset as keeper for the next WC?

Ken answered:

Hi Quentin, good points and I think the selectors are waiting to see how AB (and his back) copes with being the captain, key batsman and wicketkeeper. If he’s struggling then there certainly are other options like Vilas around for the ODIs. But having AB as wicketkeeper does give the team more options in the middle-order.

Justin Le Roux asked:

Isn”t the selection of Tsolokile just proof that they want Quota Players in the South African Team? how can you replace a 36 year old for a younger guy that is 31 years old??

Ken answered:

It’s got nothing to do with quotas. Tsolekile has been the most consistent performer in the SuperSport Series over the last three years. He’s averaged 58.10, 25.54 and 59.50 in that time and is one of the top two glovemen in the country as well. At 31 he’s pretty much in his prime. Brad Haddin made his test debut for Australia at the same age!

wesley asked:

S.A are struggling againt guptil. I think when Lopsy was dropped they shud have replaced him with Rusty instead of the spinner. Rusty is not only a gud container but I think he wud do well against guptil. Your views?

Ken answered:

Theron didn’t cause too many problems in the one game he played and I actually think he got away with some leg-side balls. Tough call.

luthando asked:

Don”t you think faf is wasted down the order?I know his a great player but I think we have to accept he is a top order batsman n the is no place for him in the top order,but wuld like to hear what you think,and what did imran tahir do to be dumped out of the ODI team after a wonderful world cup?

Ken answered:

But where would Faf bat in the top-order? He can’t open and Kallis, De Villiers & Duminy are all settled and performing. I think 6 is the place for him at the moment, he’s quite capable of excelling there. 
Tahir has been unlucky – but the conditions at home and in New Zealand haven’t really suited an attacking leg-spinner. The grounds are also very small in New Zealand – tough for a leggie.

Sifiso Mabaso asked:

Morning Ken

Firstly I have to say I”m enjoying the boldness in AB”s captaincy and the way he backs his bowlers especially. I really did not expect Merchant to bowl the last over after going for 33 in his first 3. And how wonderful for Merchant to return the favor to his skipper!

If Levi stayed in NZ and had middle time it would have been at the expense of Graeme Smith. Do u think they sent him back because they think Smith is regaining his form after the ton against Sri Lanka or does Smith has that much “sway” on the selectors that they would have kept him on without that recent ton?

Ken answered:

Hi Sifiso 
Yes, AB’s captaincy has been refreshing and we must just accept that there are going to be one or two hunches that don’t come off! 
I don’t think Smith has any “sway” over the selectors, but the way he finished the series against Sri Lanka, he definitely deserves his place. So yes, Levi went home because Smith has been selected and deserves the chance to build on his last couple of innings.

Ross Penniall asked:

It was obvious, through what we saw in the T20 games, that New Zealand will try and bowl as much spin to our batsmen as possible. They have 5 or 6 of their players who can bowl decent spin and fulfill a ”Duminy” type roll; quite impressive. What do you think the batting strategy will be in order to combat this?

Ken answered:

We must be positive! Williamson, Nicol, Nethula and McCullum are hardly frontline spinners so we need to dominate them, without doing anything reckless. Three of them are off-spinners, so I expect us to use our feet and sweep a lot.

James Macdonald asked:

Why has Richard Livi been left out of the odi squad after his performance in the 2nd T20

Ken answered:

Levi wasn’t originally selected for the ODI squad and there are just three games so the selected guys deserve a fair opportunity.

shaun asked:

Hi Ken its sad to see Levi return home don”t you think if Smith doesn”t perform well in this series that Levi should rather play against england

Ken answered:

Hi Shaun, 
If Smith doesn’t perform then yes, Levi can be looked at in England.

ofhani asked:

Who do we drop to accomodate de lange as he seems to be our best death over bowler? And why is AB wasting himself at 5 and 4 while he seem to score a tone everytime he comes in at 3? Can”t he comein at 3 or open?

Ken answered:

For the T20s I totally agree that De Villiers should be batting 3. He’s our best batsman and needs to face the most balls. These pinch-hitter experiments aren’t working. 
De Lange is still very inexperienced and it worked in his favour in the last match that there were lower-order batsmen in so he could just pitch short and beat them with pace. That won’t work if there’s a top-order batsman in!

Bongani asked:

Hi Ken
Great win on T20 series.
2015 in Australia is around the corner, we need increase power hitting at the end of the innining and take advantange of first 10 overs so Levi could be answer for the fisrt 10 but with only Morkel and Parnell (if finds form)what should be the strategy for us as I think 350 is going to be a par score going forward?

Ken answered:

Hi Bongani, it’s difficult to predict what the game’s going to be like in three years, but I would tend to say 300 will more likely be the target because Australian pitches do a bit and there’s now two new balls being used. In the series currently underway there, the average total as actually been around 230. 
But power hitting is very important at the end of the innings, as are boundaries in the powerplay overs up front.

Ruan asked:

Any news on AB”s injury?

Ken answered:

I haven’t heard anything on AB’s injury, so I presume it’s nothing serious.

joseph williams asked:

do you think the proteas bowlers is up to standard

Ken answered:

I was disappointed with the bowling in the T20s, but we must remember Dale Steyn wasn’t playing, so that will help matters. If Steyn, Tsotsobe, Morne Morkel and Botha/Peterson are all firing, it’s actually a very decent attack.

Tumelo asked:

Hi Ken,

I think we are playing too many bowlers at the moment and that we should try either Riley or Vilas because if AB was to aggrivate an injury batting who would take the gloves in the opposition innings.

Ken answered:

Hi Tumelo 
Well Rilee Rossouw doesn’t keep wicket so that’s not going to work. And besides, very few teams in world cricket play a reserve wicketkeeper! The chances of AB injuring himself batting are very slight … even though it happened in the last game!

Dale Kent asked:

Hi Ken,

First of all i just wanted to comment by saying that i think it was a good move by sending Richard Levi home after his awesome knock, i think the public and the media should realise that sometimes its better for the player if he is eased into a position rather just put there with all these expectations. I believe that he will be an awesome replacement for Graeme Smith (If he doesnt perform)oneday and that will probably happen with the world cup in mind. My question is we saw in the T20 and the series against Sri Lanka that after our first 5 batsmen get out the boys seem to lose there way, how do you believe we can get this right?

Ken answered:

Hi Dale, sensible words on Levi. 
I guess the middle/lower order is one of the key points of conjecture at the moment. I like Albie Morkel in there because he really can be devastating with the bat … perhaps we expect too much from him, he’s not always going to come off. 
The batsman at 6 deserves an extended opportunity because it’s also a tough job. Consistency of selection & backing the players is the way to go … plus Botha/Peterson, Steyn and Parnell can provide useful late runs as well … they must keep working on their games.

Zurina Engelbrecht asked:

Why send Richard Levi home? And keep Graeme Smith?

Ken answered:

Because that was the original selection. Smith has done nothing wrong since then and it would be unfair to not give him the opportunity to show what he can do.

Khaya asked:

Since the selectors have chosen Tsolekile as a successor to Boucher, don”t you think it would be wise to introduce him into the set up on this series?

Ken answered:

Yes, I would have liked another wicketkeeper on tour.

Lohann asked:

Hi Ken,

Surely AB has got it wrong to say that results don”t really matter so much as the type of cricket that they want to play?

Surely getting into a winning habbit is much more important and difficult to maintain than the brand of cricket that we want to play?

That said, I”m a die hart Proteas fan and would love a total white wash with the Kiwi”s and rubbing it into old little Timmy boy Southees face!!!


Ken answered:

Hi Lohann, 
I think AB was just referring to the last game, which we were very fortunate to win! The quality of cricket we played for 90% of that match was poor and I think that’s what AB was focusing on. That said, it’s obviously a great sign that we could play so badly and yet still win!

Lohann asked:

Hi Ken,

Surely we can be a little bit more agressive towards Tim Southee!!

He threatens us verbally with no backing up in the speed department and surely we can target him with the Steyn, Morkel combination!!

I don”t see Steyn standing back one inch for Southee and I think we as Proteas supporters would love nothing more than a few rockets towards Southee.

In short, put him in his place.


Ken answered:

Hi again Lohann, 
Watch this space in the ODIs! 
But the team is aware that the last time the Kiwis antagonised them, at the World Cup, it worked because we lost our focus. 
So it needs to be controlled aggression.

Steve Kemp asked:

Hi Ken. I”d appreciate your view on AB”s captaincy in the T20”s. I felt at times the pressure got to him when SA was not taking wickets. Thanks, Steve

Ken answered:

Hi Steve 
I thought he did a good job – particularly in the last game. It’s the first time he’s captained in T20s and, when things aren’t going your way, it can rapidly become a disaster.

Ashley Geldenblom asked:

Hi Kevin,

I”m dissapointed that the selectors could not make an ad hoc decision to include Richad Levi in the ODI squad. Should there not be provision in place to cater for circumstances such as these? On the contrary I”m glad to see that Levi is returning to the Cape Cobras, but I feel his inclusion in the ODI squad could only have benefit SA cricket with the view on the next Cricket World Cup? What are your views?

Ken answered:

And what about the players originally selected – Smith and Amla? Must they just suddenly step aside and not play? There are only 3 ODIs, so they deserve their chance and there’ll be plenty of other opportunities for Levi to play before the World Cup.

Andre Coetzee asked:

Morning Ken,

Who do you think is currently the best spin bowler in the squad…? I”m a huge fan of Johan Botha and that he just brings a lot more to the team than any other spin bowler presently. Your thoughts please….

Ken answered:

Hi Andre 
I would also tend to go for Botha, his all-round package is just a little better than Peterson’s I feel. But Peterson does turn the ball the other way, so, depending on the opposition, he certainly has a role to play as well.

Dieter Princen asked:

Why are SA leaving Dale Steyn and Jaques Kallis out of the current T20 setup? As a good indication they are two of the highest SA paid IPL players. Also with the world cup in Sri Lanka is there enough being done with regards to spin selections. Should SA not consider a third spinner in the setup? Thank you

Ken answered:

Steyn and Kallis have heavy workloads and are being rested. Plus it gives the selectors the chance to look at the likes of De Lange, Theron, Parnell, Ingram, Levi etc. They will certainly be back for the World T20! 
In terms of the spinners, we have Botha, Peterson and Duminy, with Ontong/Du Plessis as back-up. I think that’s okay.

Nivash Singh asked:

Hi Ken,

South Africa attempted in the last 2 T20”s to have a pinch hitter in their batting, namely A Morkel and W Parnell, do you think a similar strategy would be employed in the ODIS? Also, Do you think it makes sense to keep rotating the number 4 spot, as seen in the recent ODIS with Sri Lanka.


Ken answered:

Hi Nivash 
I’m not a huge fan of the pinch-hitter idea, especially in T20s where you have limited balls and need your best batsmen in early. 
But in ODIs, with 10 powerplay overs up front, if an opener gets out early then it can be a good idea, allowing your “accumulators” to bat during the middle overs without the added pressure of hitting boundaries. I suppose now is the time for rotation and experimenting with guys in different positions, but I hope we don’t overdo it.

ally asked:

after seeing the pressure that was overcome in the 3rd 20/20 do you feel this is the beginning to the end of the proteas choking? i however feel the proteas need to work on bowling more yorkers, just like how merchant did in the last over of the game.

Ken answered:

“Choking” can happen to anyone at any time, as New Zealand showed! 
The current thinking is that if you just aim for yorkers, you become predictable, so you need to mix it up with slower balls, bouncers etc. De Lange actually bowled mostly short balls in that last over, which worked because the lower-order batsmen couldn’t handle his pace.

Petrus asked:

Hi Niel

Surprising win in the t20. Do you think they will play Albie in the ODI and if not why not? Who do you think will replace AB if he can”t keep? Thank, will love to hear your view. :)

Ken answered:

I hope Albie plays, but if conditions suit two spinners then he might miss out. I haven’t heard of anyone being flown out to replace AB, so I’m sure he’s fine.

Mohamed asked:

Hi Ken

I think we have a big problem with finishing our number 6 and 7 we need good finishers.I know we are trying faf at 6 but honestly i dont think he is the best choice for 6.Yes he is a good player but i dont think he is a finisher of the innings.Albie has been given a number of chances and to date he has not lived up to that big role “of finsher”we need a guy who can score a quick fire of 50 of 30 balls at the end.Dont you think we can try levi at that number 6 position?

Ken answered:

Hi Mohamed 
Levi has batted down the order occasionally for the Cobras, but his real strength is up front against the hard ball.

Raja asked:

I think steyn should be in the all formats and play for the key matches so the new guys shouldn”t feel much pressure…..?

Ken answered:

I’m sure Steyn will play in all our key matches, across all formats!

steve asked:

in the past we seemed to be extremely rigid on batting line up for ODIs. ie. If Kallis was in at 4, he came in at 4 no matter if it was over 3 or 43. there was hardly ever a shuffle for pinch hitters or Albie morkel depending on match status.

Now in this T20 series they have mixed everything up, to varying success. Do you think Kirsy will carry this over to the ODI format?

Ken answered:

They’ve already shown a lot of flexibility in the ODIs, with De Villiers, Duminy and De Villiers all batting at 4 in the series against Sri Lanka.

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