for quality writing

Ken Borland

‘Keep the England batsmen guessing,’ says McKenzie 0

Posted on December 21, 2021 by Ken

How do South Africa get the better of England’s batting juggernaut on Saturday in their vital T20 World Cup match in Sharjah? Keep the batsmen guessing, says former Proteas star Neil McKenzie, who is also CSA’s high performance batting lead coach.

McKenzie admitted that hopes of victory, that will probably ensure a semi-final place for the Proteas, would rely more on their bowlers than their batsmen, but he expressed the confidence that they are capable of backing up the efforts of their great attack.

England have a powerful batting line-up and their preferred mode of operating is to go extremely hard from the start.

“Against England, it’s important to strike up front and we must use our variations – Keshav Maharaj bowling to the right-handers and taking the ball away from them, Tabraiz Shamsi comes into his own against the left-handers and our fast bowlers are going really well,” McKenzie told The Citizen on Wednesday.

“If there’s any assistance for the seamers then our pacemen will exploit that and Dwaine Pretorius has been a revelation at the death.

“We know what England’s blueprint is, but they did change it against Sri Lanka when they were 47 for three after the first 10 overs, they definitely modified their play. But their middle-order has not really been tested and I think there might be a few chinks in the armour there,” McKenzie said.

While the former middle-order stalwart admitted to some compassion for the batsmen, who are having it tough in general in the United Arab Emirates, he said it was soft dismissals against spin that were concerning.

“They’re playing in three different venues, each of which plays differently, so it is hard and it has been a difficult tournament for the batsmen.

“There’s been enough in the pitches and if bowlers are putting the ball into the wicket then some skid and some are stopping, it’s not as if it’s spinning all the time, which is actually the worst-case scenario.

“But there have been some soft dismissals to spin, especially finger-spinners, for a right-hander to get out to Glenn Maxwell is criminal. If you’re going for the boundary or genuinely get deceived by Adil Rashid then fine, but don’t get out to a defensive push down the ground.

“The Proteas need to eliminate those soft dismissals, you can’t afford getting out when you’re trying to knock the ball for one,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie back & Maketa & Conrad appointed as chief breeders of talent 0

Posted on September 11, 2020 by Ken

While Neil McKenzie will return to South African cricket as a batting coach, the appointment of Malibongwe Maketa and Shukri Conrad as the chief breeders of talent for the Proteas will arguably have an even greater effect as director of cricket Graeme Smith announced his high performance management team on Thursday.

McKenzie, who played 58 Tests and 64 ODIs for the Proteas, is the new batting lead and while this means he will replace Jacques Kallis as the batting consultant for the national team, his appointment is a full-time one and he will work with batsmen at all levels of the pipeline.

Conrad, as the new SA U19 men’s lead, and Maketa, who is now the full-time South Africa A and National Academy lead, have been given key roles in that pipeline.

Maketa was a Proteas assistant coach from 2017-2019 as well as enjoying a successful time in charge of the Eastern Cape Warriors, so the 39-year-old knows exactly what is required for talented cricketers to progress through the system. He told The Citizen on Thursday that he sees himself as the go-between for the Proteas management and the franchise coaches.

“They are two very important roles and fortunately I’ll have a lot of highly qualified coaches around me as we try to prepare cricketers for both the franchises and the Proteas. The Academy is there to empower the players with skills and I will be assisting them with their game-plans and execution. It’s great to be back in a full-time role with Cricket South Africa.

“I’ll be looking to assist Mark Boucher and Enoch Nkwe in creating a bigger base for the Proteas and my contract runs concurrently with their’s. It’s also about monitoring and identifying talent and lending a hand to the franchise coaches, making sure we are all speaking the same language, from Graeme, Mark and Enoch to the franchises. I intend to get my hands dirty and throw lots of balls,” Maketa said.

Conrad, a vastly-experienced coach who has been heading up the National Academy, will now take over the crucial U19 programme.

“I’ve loved every minute of it at the academy and I know what is required to get to those levels as I now get involved earlier in the pipeline. The U19s are a great challenge because it is such an important stage in development and South African cricket as a whole. The challenge is to ensure we give every young cricketer every opportunity to play and perform.

“Excellence in coaching is critical at provincial and school level, and schools have a massive role to play. I would like to work together with them, private coaches and the Hubs and RPC coaches because we have been in our silos for far too long. Plus we have a scouting system and a wonderful database run by John Bailey and Niels Momberg to ensure nobody falls through the cracks,” Conrad said.

Other appointments confirmed on Thursday were those of Eddie Khoza as the Acting Head of Cricket Pathways, Vincent Barnes as the High-Performance Bowling Lead, Dinesha Devnarain as the Women’s SA U19 and National Academy Head Coach, and Dr Shuaib Manjra as the Chief Medical Officer. Follwing the rather dilly stink created over the appointment of certain consultants, these announcements should be sweet-smelling for the majority of SA cricket fans. They all have considerable amounts to add to the high performance programme.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


↑ Top