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Ken Borland



‘You can’t ask for much better’ – Gibson 0

Posted on November 01, 2017 by Ken

 

“When you come in as a new coach, you can’t ask for much better,” Proteas mentor Ottis Gibson said on Monday when asked how he rated South Africa’s performance in their triple-series sweep over Bangladesh that was completed over the weekend.

“When you consider the way we played, I’d like to give the team more than 10/10. It’s gone really well. I know there’s been a lot of talk about the opposition, but we were able to play dominating, front-foot cricket, while also unearthing some new talent like Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder.

“We played the way we wanted to play, we were able to go out and do that, and there’s been a very positive and relaxed vibe in the changeroom. I’ve built up a really nice relationship with Faf du Plessis, he’s honest and very passionate about representing and leading his country. We speak with the same voice and he’s been a very good sounding board,” Gibson said.

The former West Indies fast bowler confirmed that he will be looking after the specialist pace bowling coaching from now on, and he can rest easy that the batsmen are back on the right track given how well they have started the summer with runs aplenty.

“The batting was a huge positive, because there were a lot of questions asked about it in England, they had a tough time in tough conditions that they weren’t accustomed to. I would hope that their confidence is back now because we have scored 10 hundreds across the different formats. It says a lot for the ability and talent of the batsmen that they’ve been able to go out and dominate.”

Gibson said he would still be employing four other back-up coaches – an assistant, and specialist batting, field and spin-bowling consultants.

“It’s quite likely that there will be new faces, I will do the fast bowling myself and I’ve spoken to Charl Langeveldt about that. I’ve given Cricket South Africa my wish-list, guys who I believe can add value, and they now have to make that happen.

“I want to make more use of guys who are working in South Africa, I want to use the franchise system so that those guys can continue with the work if I leave. So there will be four guys plus myself, some key positions that I hope can make a real difference to the country. But I also want to set up a lead bowling and batting coach for the country as a whole, a person who can tell me who the next best fast bowler is, for instance,” Gibson said.

Markram waits patiently for his chance to join Rabada 0

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Ken

 

2014 Junior World Cup winner Kagiso Rabada is about to be unleashed on the international stage as he tours with the Proteas to Bangladesh, but what of his captain at that prestigious tournament, Aiden Markram?

Rated as one of the most promising young players in the country, Markram is learning the hard way that it takes much longer for batsmen to break through in the senior ranks than it does for bowlers. But the 20-year-old Northerns player is still full of optimism and says there is plenty of opportunity lying ahead for him.

“Obviously I’m happy that KG is with the national team, he completely deserves it. But it’s tough as a top-order batsman trying to play for your franchise and then your country, so I’m not concerned with my progress,” Markram told The Citizen.

The Tuks product has played 10 first-class games for Northerns, scoring 424 runs at an average of 30.28, including three half-centuries. His limited-overs returns have been more spectacular, scoring two List A centuries in five innings on his way to an average of 71.25, a strike-rate of 95.95 and a nomination for the CSA Provincial One-Day Cricketer of the Year award.

Markram was also brilliant in the T20 competition, scoring 165 runs in four innings, with two half-centuries, an average of 55 and a strike-rate of 146.

“I’ve played a lot more limited-overs cricket in my life. I have game-plans in place for those formats but in the longer format it was only towards the end of the season that I had identified a plan. So that was a big positive and I’m really looking forward to next season’s three-day competition. I don’t want to be labelled a limited-overs player, but I’m happy with the way the season went.

“In the season ahead, it would be nice to play franchise cricket for the Titans, that’s definitely a goal for me, in any format. But all I can control is scoring runs and putting myself in contention. If I’m selected, great, but if not then I want to make a big contribution for the Northerns team. I enjoy my role there and I’m looking forward to more responsibility,” Markram said.

For someone who has such a solid technique, it is surely only a matter of time before Markram makes his mark in first-class cricket, having already shown in the shorter formats that he has the measure of most bowlers in provincial cricket.

“I’d only played two three-day games in my life before this season, so it’s been a new challenge. As a top-order batsman, the bowlers are fresh and armed with a new ball, so if you get in then you must kick on. And it’s usually tough batting on day one.

“I just need to re-set myself more during my innings, make sure I get myself in properly and then just bat time,” Markram said.

For someone as talented as him, it is surely also only a matter of time before he is back playing on the same stage as his former team-mate Rabada.

SA women’s coach wants more TV exposure 0

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Ken

South Africa women’s cricket coach Hilton Moreeng said on Monday that he hoped his team would feature in more televised games following their success in reaching the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh.

“It’s a young team that is developing and we have identified playing more games, especially on TV, as what they need to further bridge the gap between them and the likes of Australia and England.

“That would give them more exposure, and it’s a different kind of pressure when you’re playing on TV. In terms of skill and ability, we’re 80 percent there.

“Before the World Cup, we weren’t even being spoken of as challengers, but we showed we are headed in the right direction and we can only grow,” Moreeng said on Monday.

 

Women’s cricket has traditionally been bringing up the rear when it comes to sponsorship, but that all changed in 2012 when Momentum invested heavily in the women’s Proteas, allowing them to appoint Moreeng on a full-time basis and also give contracts to six leading players.

 

“Cricket South Africa and the cricket fraternity in general have been taking us much more seriously and, even though we still don’t have the resources of professional teams like Australia, England and New Zealand, we showed we can compete by the way we played in Bangladesh,” captain Mignon du Preez said.

 

“It was very special to play on TV. It gets people to come out and see how exciting and skilful our game is. We’ve come a long way, a lot has changed and we got tremendous support last week. We hope to see that sort of coverage more often.”

 

Du Preez said her team were still learning the art of international women’s cricket, but agreed that they were closing the gap.

 

“We’re now where Australia were two or three years ago, so we’re still playing catch-up cricket. But things are happening and women’s cricket is starting to become more serious in South Africa,” she said.

 

Moreeng said he was delighted with the progress the team has made this summer, with T20 and ODI series wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and victory in the International Women’s Cricket Championship triangular series with Pakistan and Ireland in Qatar.

 

“It’s been a very good season for us. We’ve shown character and the players have improved. What they’ve achieved makes me very happy,” he said.

 

Moreeng said the future looked bright for the women’s national team, but they needed to play more internationals.

 

“There are only three players over 25 in the squad, so we have a core we can keep together and improve. I want to see us ranked in the top two, but we only play Australia, New Zealand and England once every few years,” the coach said.

 

The good news for the team, who are now third on the ICC T20 rankings, is that they will embark on a 13-day tour of England in September, on which they will play the ICC World T20 runners-up in three matches, all of which will be live on TV.

 http://citizen.co.za/156279/sa-womens-cricket-needs-exposure-coach/

Domingo defends T20 tactical approach 0

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Ken

South Africa coach Russell Domingo on Monday defended his team’s tactical approach in the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, saying AB de Villiers is “an impact player” who needs the game to be set up for him.

South Africa bowed out of the competition at the semi-final stage, beaten by six wickets with five balls remaining by India, but faced criticism in some quarters for their tactics, especially their decision to bat De Villiers at number five and only give Dale Steyn one over in the first 14 overs.

“AB is an impact player and the stats show – not just for South Africa but also in the IPL – that he’s more dangerous when the game has been set up for him. He doesn’t have the same game as Virat Kohli, he’s batted three with limited success.

“But it’s not about the number he bats, it’s about the situation when he comes in. If he walks out in the first over, I don’t think that’s a great time for him to bat, but if there’s been a good start then that’s a great time for him to bat.

“But if we have a 13-over partnership then there’s criticism that AB’s coming in too low, people seem to want our players to get out so AB can come in,” Domingo said.

De Villiers’ one notable innings at the ICC World T20 came in their last group match against England when he came in at number three in the 11th over, after an opening partnership of 90 between Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, and blazed 69 not out from 28 balls. In his other innings he came in at four in the 11th over against Sri Lanka and scored 24 off 16; at four in the sixth over against New Zealand and made five off six balls; at four in the fifth over against the Netherlands and scored a run-a-ball 21; and in the semi-final he came in at five in the 14th over and made just 10 off eight deliveries.

The coach said the decision to hold Steyn back in the semi-final was due to batsmen having an extremely attacking mindset later in the innings.

“Dale can only bowl four overs and we need him the middle and at the end of the innings. We also need to set up the six-over Powerplay up front as best as we can, but we can’t bowl Dale one up front, just one in the middle and two at the death.

“So we decided we’d rather have guys like JP Duminy bowling at the start in the less-pressured overs and he only went for seven in the first over against New Zealand while Dale went for 17 in the first over against Sri Lanka. But the fifth and sixth overs are the most attacking,” Domingo said.

Domingo said overall he was “not displeased” by the way his team had performed.

“You’re always judged on your last game, but I felt we played some really good cricket in the tournament. In those conditions, probably the two best sides [Sri Lanka and India] made the final, but we were quietly confident going in.

“We’ve generally played good T20 cricket in the last year, we have a good playing strategy, we got to number two in the world, so there’s a definite upward trend. We lost the Australian series because we got beaten in a seven-over game and then played badly in the other match, but we had success in Pakistan and we beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.”

Captain Faf du Plessis said he was also happy with the performances.

“It was really good to see a lot of character in the boys. Previously we’ve deserved a lot of criticism for how we’ve played the big moments, but to score 172 under high pressure in the semi-final, against those bowlers, was a really good effort.

“We made one or two mistakes on the night, but credit to a really good Indian team who were better than us on the night. But I’m really proud of the way the boys performed, I’m not disappointed at all,” Du Plessis said.

 



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