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Ken Borland

Malan’s composure & temperament like gold for the Proteas 0

Posted on August 11, 2021 by Ken

Given the scant opportunities Janneman Malan has had to play for the Proteas, one could forgive the 25-year-old opener for being anxious when he did get the chance against Ireland. But the eventual Player of the Series just looked completely calm and in control during his two innings, and to have that sort of composure and temperament is like gold for an international batsman.

Malan top-scored in both ODI innings for South Africa, stroking 84 off 96 balls in the second game and then a magnificent 177 not out off 169 deliveries in the third and decisive match. With the first game washed out, the Proteas won the final ODI by 70 runs to level the series 1-1.

“At this level, you don’t know how many games you’re going to get, so to help myself mentally I just tell myself that if I am going to miss the next match then I must go out on my own terms. I back myself and I don’t want to play out of desperation to keep my spot. I just let go and do my best, and if that’s not good enough then I can deal with that.

“I wasn’t thinking of Gary Kirsten’s record 188 not out, I was just in the zone, in the moment. By then I was in that flow-state, just watching the ball and playing every ball on its merits. And I really enjoyed batting with Quinton de Kock, my Cape Town Blitz partner. He seems to bring out the best in me and if I’m selected going forward then he would be my ideal opening partner,” Malan said after sharing a brilliant first-wicket stand of 225 in 36 overs with the wicketkeeper/batsman.

Coach Mark Boucher agreed that batting with De Kock, who stroked a masterful 120 off 91 deliveries, would finance a great deal of learnings for young Malan, who has played just seven ODIs but has scored a world-record 483 runs in that time.

“Janneman has been waiting on the sidelines for quite some time, but now that he’s got some opportunity and a taste of international cricket, he’s really done well. So our depth pool is getting quite big and he has certainly taken his opportunity. Batting with Quinny, he would have learned a helluva lot, and in the end he was smashing it all over the park.

“He’s given the selectors a good headache, it’s a good thing. It’s tough because all the guys in contention are quality cricketers and ideally we’d want them all to play. We have thought about upskilling someone to bat outside their normal position, something Aiden Markram has done at franchise level. But the competition for places is good,” Boucher said.

New-look Sharks hoping that level of performance does not plummet down Kloof Gorge 0

Posted on September 25, 2020 by Ken

With 13 players missing from the 23-man squad that beat the Stormers in their last SuperRugby game back in mid-March, Sharks coach Sean Everitt will be anxious that his team’s level of performance does not plummet into the depths of a virtual Kloof Gorge when they travel to Pretoria to take on the Bulls on SuperFan Saturday.

Everitt named his 30-man squad for the trip on Thursday and he will be leaning heavily on established combinations like Ox Nche and Thomas du Toit in the front row, locks Ruben van Heerden and Hyron Andrews, halfbacks Sanele Nohamba and Curwin Bosch, and Jeremy Ward and Lukhanyo Am in midfield.

“Saturday’s match is all about preparation, because we’ve been out for six months we need to reinstall and revise our game-plan. We need to make sure everyone understands it and we’re taking a few youngsters up with us to see where they are too in terms of fitting into our system. I’ll be looking at our tempo, accuracy and conditioning because we don’t know where we are right now with those.

“The players we have brought in suit the way we want to play. A guy like Manie Libbok is multiskilled, really versatile and has dangerous x-factor. He offers something in the same mould as Bosch and Aphelele Fassi when we play him at fullback. Werner Kok is also a workhorse and his work-rate epitomises the energy and enthusiasm we want to play with. He’ll start on the wing and then we’ll play him a bit at centre in the second half,” Everitt said on Thursday.

After such a promising season was washed down the basin by Covid-19, the Sharks are in a rebuilding phase and several new faces have the chance to establish themselves in the senior team. Saturday’s match at Loftus Versfeld is an important step in testing the depth of the squad.

“We were happy where we were, but we had been very fortunate from an injury point of view and were reaping the benefits of a long pre-season in which we did a lot of work on the changes to our game. We were on a roll, but dwelling in the past is not something I do, we are looking forward. It was sad for guys like Louis Schreuder, Tyler Paul and Andre Esterhuizen, who were in their last season with the Sharks.

“But it’s all a clean slate now, it’s a whole different competition because the Bulls have done some really good recruiting and the Lions too. We’re going back to the drawing board to see how we can improve. We’ve had some bad luck with injuries and we are missing some quality players like Fassi, Tambwe and Nkosi, but we started preparing a while ago with two squads,” Everitt said.

Players not considered for this weekend’s squad due to injury were fullback Fassi, loose forwards Henco and James Venter, hooker Kerron van Vuuren and wings Madosh Tambwe and Sbu Nkosi.

Squad: Ox Nche, Mzamo Majola, Dylan Richardson, Dan Jooste, Thomas du Toit, John-Hubert Meyer, Ruben van Heerden, JJ van der Mescht, Hyron Andrews, Emile van Heerden, Evan Roos, Adam Mountfort, Celimpilo Gumede, Tera Mtembu, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Phepsi Buthelezi, Grant Williams, Sanele Nohamba, Jaden Hendrikse, Curwin Bosch, Jordan Chait, Muller du Plessis, Caleb Dingaan, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Lukhanyo Am, JP Pietersen, Werner Kok, Manie Libbok, Thaakir Abrahams.

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