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Ken Borland



Miller the darling of Indian crowds keeps SA competitive 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

David Miller has become something of a darling of Indian crowds due to his exploits in the IPL, and his phenomenal century in the second T20 in Guwahati at the weekend at least ensured the Proteas were competitive.

But in order to actually win the third and final T20 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday, he says South Africa need to find a way for their bowling and batting to click at the same time.

In the second T20, their bowling was dreadful, serving up numerous full tosses and short, wide deliveries for a rampant Indian top-order to feast on, as they pummelled 237/3 in their 20 overs.

South Africa again lost wickets up front, before Miller, with a career-best 106 not out off only 47 balls, and Quinton de Kock, whose 69* off 48 was a welcome return to form, lifted them to 221/3.

Miller also became South Africa’s leading run-scorer in T20 Internationals with 2050 in 92 innings, going past JP Duminy (1934 in 75 innings).

“It’s always a great feeling to score an international hundred and I’m really chuffed to get the record too, but I have also played the most T20 games for South Africa,” Miller said.

“It was a really loud crowd, they feel right on top of you here, but you just try and enjoy the atmosphere, which you won’t get anywhere else in the world, they are so passionate.

“It’s tough to play in Indian conditions, but it was a good effort and a great game in the end. Quinny and I had a really good partnership that made it a competitive game, we got close.

“The bowling department was extremely good in the last game, but just slightly off tonight, there was a bit of a lack of execution. But if we can combine both, align the batting and the bowling in the same game, then we will be formidable,” Miller said.

The attack were given the mother of all hidings with Kagiso Rabada (14.25), Anrich Nortje (13.66), Wayne Parnell (13.50) and Lungi Ngidi (12.25) all having economy rates that aptly indicated the massacre.

“India got off to a flyer on a good pitch and then kept their momentum all the way through. When we see a team start to get going like that, we need to change the plan and adapt,” Miller said.

“But they batted extremely well and assessed the wicket really quickly. Suryakumar Yadav [61 off 22] is hitting the ball really nicely and you can’t afford to give a top-class batsman like that a couple of freebies.

“It comes down to execution, we need to be hard on ourselves and tighten up. He absolutely annihilated us and gave India a really good injection of momentum. He’s a class player,” Miller said.

Miller & De Kock show their enduring worths, but that must not pull the wool over the eyes of SA management 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

Centurion David Miller and Quinton de Kock showed their enduring worths in T20 cricket with a magnificent partnership, but that must not pull the wool over the eyes of the Proteas management as to how many problems the side has following South Africa’s 16-run defeat to India in the second T20 in Guwahati on Sunday.

The Proteas problems began with their bowling, which was awful, allowing a hungry Indian top-order to plunder 237/3 after South Africa had sent them in to bat. It is the highest score the Proteas have ever conceded in a T20 International, beating the 236/6 the West Indies scored when they won batting second at the Wanderers in 2014/15.

Having played two spinners on a seamer’s pitch in the first T20, South Africa then brought in Lungi Ngidi for Tabraiz Shamsi in Guwahati, when the pitch probably suited a second spinner, judging by how well left-armer Keshav Maharaj bowled in taking 2/23 in his four overs.

All the pacemen were poor and were severely punished. They could not find their lines and lengths up front, and then, under pressure, their skills dissolved in a flood of full tosses and short, wide deliveries. A temperature in the 30s and 94% humidity meant there was lots of sweat around to make the ball slippery, but India’s bowlers were far more controlled having to deal with the same conditions.

Openers Lokesh Rahul (57 off 28) and Rohit Sharma (43 off 37) took full toll of the loose bowling to put on 96 in 9.5 overs for the first wicket.

Maharaj dismissed both of them, but there was no denying the thrilling Suryakumar Yadav as he ruthlessly smashed 61 off just 22 balls, while Virat Kohli showed his great class with 49 not out off 28 deliveries.

Kagiso Rabada (14.25), Anrich Nortje (13.66), Wayne Parnell (13.50) and Ngidi (12.25) all had economy rates that were extremely expensive.

It would be dumb to continue to ignore South Africa’s top-order woes, with Temba Bavuma making a seven-ball duck and Rilee Rossouw also making back-to-back ducks as he charged down the pitch second-ball to play a silly shot against Arshdeep Singh. The left-arm quick took two wickets in his first over, having snared three in the first T20.

Aiden Markram scored a free-flowing 33 off 19 balls before spinner Axar Patel knocked over his off-bail with a wonderful delivery.

With South Africa already needing 14.5 runs-per-over, Miller and the struggling De Kock then had some fun as they added an unbeaten 174 in 13.4 overs as the visitors reached 221/3.

Miller was sensational, scoring 106 not out off 47 balls, hitting seven balls out of the park. He fought incredibly hard for the team and showcased his amazing skill.

It will please the Proteas greatly that De Kock is back to something approaching his best as he finished with 69* off 48 balls, an innings which started in battling fashion but ended in a flurry of boundaries.

Proteas have much to ponder ahead of 2nd T20 v India 0

Posted on December 02, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas have much to ponder ahead of the second T20 against India in Guwahati on Sunday, following their dismal batting performance in the first match that saw their top-order utterly fail, sinking to 9-5.

While the fight shown by Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram and Wayne Parnell with the bat was pleasing, setting a target of just 107 for victory was never going to give India much pause for thought, even on a pitch which was made to look like a minefield by the South African top-order.

While there are some injury doubts over wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after he needed on-field treatment for a blow to the fingers while trying to take a leg-side wide from fast bowler Anrich Nortje, whether the formerly prolific left-hander should be in the team even if fit is also starting to cause debate.

De Kock has scored just 137 runs in his last 12 T20 innings for the Proteas, and is striking at just 103.78.

Amongst all the other worries about the batting, the loss of form of their talismanic opener is the last thing the Proteas need.

While the South Africans were still trying to digest their batting display, Indian spearhead Jasprit Bumrah received the awful news that he probably has a stress fracture of the back and has been withdrawn from the series and is likely to miss the T20 World Cup.

The fact that the Proteas were reduced to 9-5 by India’s second-choice new-ball pairing of Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar, with Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar not even playing, makes their batting effort even more terrible.

With their captain, Temba Bavuma, under immense pressure to score runs, they have now got themselves into a pickle with the skipper getting a duck in the first match. Interestingly, Bavuma has actually scored 237 runs in his last 12 T20 innings for South Africa, at a strike-rate of 111.26.

So De Kock, with a hundred runs less and an inferior run-rate, should certainly be in the conversation when it comes to changes. It would be an awfully big step for the selectors to make, but it is a shocking waste of form to see the prolific Reeza Hendricks not playing.

But bringing in Hendricks for De Kock would necessitate another change with Heinrich Klaasen needing to come in and keep wicket, unless the gloves are entrusted to Tristan Stubbs, who is very much a part-timer.

It’s a dreadful mess the selectors have got themselves into.

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