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Ken Borland



No-one dares think about what’s next in the SA batting aisle, but Jansen shows bowling depth 0

Posted on June 09, 2023 by Ken

While no-one dares to think about what’s next in South African cricket’s batting aisle, at least we know there is some bowling depth and left-arm paceman Marco Jansen has to be one of the most exciting prospects in world cricket.

The 22-year-old Jansen has taken 40 wickets in just eight Tests, at the great average of only 18.00. He has taken four wickets in an innings four times already. Add to that the promise he has shown with the bat – already averaging 18.36 – and he is clearly a superb package as a cricketer.

Which is why his Proteas team-mate Kagiso Rabada, already established as one of the great fast bowlers of the era, rates him so highly.

“Marco has that x-factor, he’s just a natural bowler, it looks like you could wake him up at 3am and he can do what he’s been doing,” Rabada said.

“He’s naturally gifted – he has pace and height, he can swing it, nip it and get bounce, and he’s a leftie. What more do you want?

“He’s also got the mindset for fast bowling. Not a lot of people really possess that, but he’s got it. Marco is a pretty rare, exciting prospect,” Rabada said.

Jansen possibly only played in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane because the Proteas were willing to sacrifice a batsman, and he certainly made the most of his guest starring appearance with three for 32.

On the opening day he claimed the wicket of the world’s number one ranked batsman, Marnus Labuschagne, caught in the slips off his first delivery; on the second morning he had both top-scorer Travis Head and the dangerous Cameron Green caught behind the wicket in the space of three deliveries just when the Proteas had handed control back to Australia with a messy start.

But Jansen could miss out on the second Test starting on Boxing Day in Melbourne simply because of the pressure that is on the tourists to strengthen their truant batting line-up. Rabada called for patience when it came to the Proteas batting.

“Our batting line-up is quite inexperienced, our whole team is if you look around at other teams in the world. Dean Elgar [80 caps] is the most experienced, followed by myself [56] and Temba Bavuma [52], everyone else does not have much experience,” Rabada pointed out.

“It can be frustrating as a team, but we need to understand that this is what happens in a rebuilding phase. When I debuted, I played with an outstanding line-up, greats of the game, which doesn’t happen that frequently.

“Our batsmen have the ability, they just need to get used to international cricket. There’s an element of patience that is needed, but I am not advocating bad performances. But we are still quite positive.

“It looked quite bad for the batsmen at the Gabba, the ball was doing absolute heaps. But we will never go down without a fight,” Rabada said.

Proteas batsmen shuffle back down the aisle in a miserable display, but a defiant Rabada backs them & the decision to bat first 0

Posted on October 12, 2022 by Ken

Kagiso Rabada, the top-scorer in a miserable Proteas total of 151, backed both the decision to bat first and the rest of the South African batting line-up to come good despite seven of them shuffling back down the aisle to the changeroom with just 92 runs on the board before he had to come to the crease on the first day of the second Test against England at Old Trafford.

Rabada scored a determined 36 to ensure the Proteas did not make some dreaded history on Thursday for beating their lowest ever completed innings in Manchester: the 130 they made back in 1929 when England beat them by an innings thanks to leg-spinner Tich Freeman’s career-best 12 wickets and centuries by Bob Wyatt and Frank Woolley.

Rabada then produced a top-class delivery, a back-of-a-length ball zipping and bouncing at the key England batsman, Joe Root, to find the edge of the bat and Sarel Erwee completing a juggling catch at first slip.

“We played two spinners for a reason and generally if you’re playing two spinners then you need to bat first. The pitch is getting drier and it’s quite slow.

“Simon Harmer is already in the game with his second ball ragging quite a bit. So I’ll say it is the right decision to bat first. We know the batting unit have quality but it is a young one as well.

“So it’s about gaining experience, but our batsmen know what they have to do, they don’t get out on purpose. They know what went wrong and as a team we back each and every player.

“Individuals take responsibility and I know they are all trying their utmost best. I’ll not be pointing fingers because that is just energy-sapping,” Rabada said.

Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad shared six wickets as they bowled with wonderful skill and nous to exploit the overcast conditions and a pitch that provided plenty of seam movement.

Rabada was asked about Anderson in the press conference at the end of the day’s play and he praised the paceman who is 40 years old and playing in his 174th Test.

“Jimmy has had a remarkable career, particularly in Test cricket. He is still getting wickets and he is a legend of the game. He’s a phenomenal bowler, he showed that again today,” Rabada said.

“Only playing Tests has helped his longevity, but England play quite a few Tests every year. I guess I will need to have a beer with him at the end of the tour and ask him how he does it.”

Anderson has 661 wickets now halfway through his 174th Test, a rate of 3.80 wickets per match. Rabada has 251 wickets in his 54th Test, striking at 4.71 dismissals per game.

South Africa’s spearhead will need 140 Tests at this rate to post the same figures as Anderson, so 86 more. But given that the Proteas play so few Tests in comparison to England and are slated to play even less over the next few years, Rabada will need to keep playing until he is about 42 and show the same sort of longevity to overtake the numbers England’s leading wicket-taker is churning out.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

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