for quality writing

Ken Borland

Bavuma wants to open with McCullum, not copy him 0

Posted on October 09, 2017 by Ken


Temba Bavuma would love to open the batting alongside Brendon McCullum in the T20 Global League for the Joburg Giants, but as far as copying the Kiwi’s swashbuckling style goes, that’s not how South Africa’s gutsy middle-order Test batsman goes about his cricket.

Big-hitting marquee players like McCullum, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and David Miller will be amongst the star attractions when the league gets underway on November 3, but a team’s success is often decided by how well the batsmen around those stars set up the game for them. Bavuma is able to score boundaries with ‘normal’ cricket shots and is very good at rotating the strike.

“One must understand that there are 11 positions in a cricket team and not all cricketers play the same way, they all bring their own thing to the side. You get the batsmen with x-factor who can clear the boundaries, but then you have the other guys who create the foundation for those batsmen to come in and hit the ball.

“I think that’s the role I’ll play for the Joburg Giants, not trying to emulate Brendon but do what I do, which will allow him and Colin Ingram and Chris Jonker to bat effectively as well. In terms of T20 cricket, I’ve always seen myself as a middle-order batsman and I’ve been relatively successful at that, but I’ll probably play a role up front for the Giants, looking at who we’ve signed.

“I will embrace that and welcome the opportunity because as a batsman you want to be near the top in T20 so that you can bat for the bulk of the overs. I do feel I have the necessary skills to open the batting, but I won’t change my game, I’ll just do what has served me well in the domestic game,” Bavuma said at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

Bavuma is now a Cape Cobras player, but the Joburg Giants have signed him and another local darling in Kagiso Rabada to ensure the people of Johannesburg get behind their team.

“I was born in Cape Town, but everything in terms of cricket happened for me in Johannesburg, so it has a large part of my heart. It will be a massive pleasure to once again represent the people of Johannesburg,” Bavuma said.

De Bruyn now selected as middle-order batsman – Zondi 0

Posted on May 04, 2017 by Ken


Theunis de Bruyn was only selected as a Test opening batsman as a once-off and will be batting in the middle-order for the SA A side, convenor of selectors Linda Zondi confirmed on Wednesday.

De Bruyn made his Test debut in South Africa’s last outing, the third Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, selected out of position as an opener and was dismissed for a three-ball duck in the first innings and run out comically for 12 in the second innings.

The 24-year-old was chosen ahead of specialist opener Stephen Cook, who had scored three centuries in his first nine Tests but only made 17 runs in four innings in New Zealand, painting the selectors into a corner when it comes to the next Test, against England at Lord’s from July 6, because no player should be dropped after just one game.

“As selectors we want to look after every single player and it is unfair to leave someone out after one game. But the decision to play Theunis was because we only had one back-up batsman in New Zealand and we gave him an opportunity. Opening the batting is not the long-term plan for him, not even for SA A.

“The decision to open with Theunis in Hamilton was just because he was the back-up batsman. He will now play in the middle-order. Aiden Markram is someone we would like to see open for SA A, as well as someone like Heino Kuhn. Aiden has done very well and if you’re playing for SA A then you’re good enough to play for the Proteas.

“It will be like a trial, but because of how well he’s done, I’m sure he’s very confident and we have named him captain because we know from his SA U19 days that he does have leadership qualities. We don’t shy away from making calls like that,” Zondi said.

The SA A four-day squad includes Dale Steyn, the great fast bowler who is building his way back to full fitness after serious shoulder surgery.

“Dale is very much on track with his recovery and the plan is for him to bowl flat out in one month’s time and hopefully he can make himself eligible for two of the three SA A four-day games in the UK,” Proteas doctor and team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.

The four-day games will also be vital for Markram and De Bruyn as they look to build on their stellar summers and force their way into the Test team for the series against England, while Temba Bavuma will also want to accumulate confidence-building runs ahead of the Tests.


SA A 50-over squad: Aiden Markram, Jon-Jon Smuts, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo (captain), Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Reeza Hendricks, Heino Kuhn, Duanne Olivier.

SA A four-day squad: Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Heinrich Klaasen, Jason Smith, Dwaine Pretorius, Dane Piedt, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks, Rudi Second, Junior Dala, Dale Steyn.

SA A itinerary

Sat 27 May                    1-day v County                                       Headingley, Leeds

Mon 29 May                1-day v County                                       The 3aaa County Ground, Derby

Thu 1 June                    1st A ODI v England Lions                      Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Sat 3 June                     2nd A ODI v England Lions                     Northampton

Mon 5 June                  3rd A ODI v England Lions (D/N)          Northampton

8-11 June                      4-day v Hampshire                                 Ageas Bowl, Southampton

14-17 June                   4-day v Sussex                                        Arundel (v Duke of Norfolk XI if Sussex in RL play-offs)

21-24 June                   ‘A’ Test v Lions                                        The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury


Lack of opportunity for middle-order soured Zim successes – Smith 0

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Ken

Former captain Graeme Smith is highly impressed by the recent performances of the South African one-day side, but believes the success in the Zimbabwe triangular series was soured by the lack of opportunity given to the middle-order.

JP Duminy scored 51 in one innings but only managed another 51 runs in his other four innings, two of which were undefeated.

David Miller could only score 13 runs in three brief innings, Ryan McLaren batted twice for 30 runs and Rilee Rossouw also only batted twice, scoring a duck and 36.

“They’ve really done well and for me winning in Sri Lanka was the big one. Zimbabwe was great for their confidence. Australia were a bit undercooked, but there was needle in those games and it’s always lekker to beat them. We’re beating them more than ever before, here, over there and in other places.

“Our top five can really win games and set a platform, but I worry a bit about our middle-order. It’s a really difficult place to bat in and I think we need to give more opportunity to those guys, get them batting up the order in warm-up games or the softer matches. They must get batting, that will get them confidence and it will change the whole dynamic of the side,” Smith told The Pretoria News.

Smith said he felt particularly sorry for Miller, who either came in to bat with very few deliveries remaining or with the top-order having fallen cheaply.

“We know his ability and I think he should have been pushed up the order against Zimbabwe. That’s what should happen in the softer games. A guy like him needs both clarity in terms of his role and confidence,” South Africa’s captain in a record 149 ODIs said.

Smith also backed leg-spinner Imran Tahir as the man who will probably be the first-choice spinner for the World Cup early next year in Australia and New Zealand.

“I think Imran is a terrific short-form bowler, he picks up wickets and he’s difficult to attack because he turns the ball both ways. A finger spinner, if he doesn’t get big turn, can be lined up and go for 50 or 60 runs without the batsmen taking any risks. The smaller boundaries in New Zealand mean you probably won’t play two specialist spinners there, especially since JP Duminy is basically a frontline bowler now.

“Imran is the sort of bowler who can create things, he’s a partnership breaker and he takes pressure off the seamers. If you don’t have a spinner taking wickets then the seamers can be over-bowled and then they’re tired at the death,” Smith said.

The recently-retired left-hander said the need for wicket-taking bowlers remained a strong conviction of his.

“You need impact bowlers, both spinners and pacemen. In one-day cricket, if you can have game-changers with the ball then it makes a big difference.”

Smith also said the role of the selectors was crucial in getting the balance of the side right for the World Cup.

“A lot of the time, the balance of the side is about gut feel. But the selectors need to create consistency in the build-up to the World Cup. Those last two or three places in the squad are also crucial and the management have to have confidence in them if they decide to play the extra batsman or extra bowler. You don’t want things to suddenly start changing once you’re at the World Cup,” Smith warned.

“But we’ll obviously feel more at home in the conditions in New Zealand and Australia. Eighty percent of the time now you play in sub-continental conditions, but this World Cup will suit our style of play. Spinners will still be effective because the boundaries are big, so rotating the strike is key,” Smith said.

The 33-year-old is now a full-time employee of major cricket sponsors Momentum, marking the start of his business career and confirming that he has turned down the approaches of the Big Bash in Australia and of his own Cape Cobras side to play in the Champions League.

“My relationship with Momentum started back in 2003 and it’s a great place to start my business life. I’ll also be doing work with Cricket South Africa on the cultural identity of the Proteas, which is something very close to my heart, as well as some leadership consulting, public speaking, that sort of thing. So I won’t be going to the Big Bash to play for Perth Scorchers or to the Champions League with the Cobras,” Smith confirmed.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    The lessons Christ taught were intensely spiritual, but also extremely practical. For him, everything - every thought and deed - was an expression of his relationship with his heavenly Father. All of our life must be an expression of the spiritual.

    "I wait upon God to renew my mind, to make me creative, instead of becoming the clanging cymbal that Paul spoke of." - Paul Tournier

    "The spiritual life touches the realities of every day and enables you to look, to a certain extent, at people's problems as God does." - Solly Ozrovech

↑ Top