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Ken Borland

4 Boks who knocked the door down to be named in October for EOYT 0

Posted on November 16, 2022 by Ken

The next Springbok squad will be named in October for the end-of-year tour and here are four players who knocked the door down during the Rugby Championship and must be included in the group for the Tests against Ireland, France, Italy and England.

Jasper Wiese

The Leicester Tigers loose forward turns 27 in October and is clearly entering his prime, knocking over opponents on the gain-line and just being constantly busy in terms of work-rate. While it remains to be seen whether he will depose Duane Vermeulen at the World Cup next year, the great eighthman has some bouncing back to do after his injury problems, although he made an encouraging cameo off the bench at Kings Park this weekend. At the moment, Wiese is certainly bringing the fire though and is a real thorn in the opposition’s flesh.

Jaden Hendrikse

A series of polished displays means young Hendrikse surely now owns the No.9 jersey. Despite his tender 22 years, he has taken on the key tactical kicking role of the Springboks with aplomb, and has generally been slick and precise with his service, as well as offering some variety on attack. This Rugby Championship has proven he belongs in Test rugby.

Kwagga Smith

The former Springbok Sevens star made a series of crucial contributions at the breakdown through the tournament and, coming off the bench, he has been able to form a great partnership with whoever his other two loose forwards are, showing his experience and versatility. And it’s not just the flashy stuff Smith has been doing, he gets through a lot of ‘dirty work’ too. Most important has been the sheer energy he has brought from the bench, which is exactly what you want from your replacements.

Damian Willemse

The highly-talented 24-year-old will no doubt be in the Springbok squad, but will he be earmarked as a flyhalf, centre or fullback? Hopefully he will play flyhalf because the Springboks will need to sort out this key position post-haste. Handre Pollard will still be around, but has just battled to get the attack firing of late, while surely the time has now come to ditch Elton Jantjies, who is making more headlines off the field than on.

Willemse showed enough when he did play flyhalf in the Rugby Championship to suggest he has great potential there. He has an attacking mindset, is a steely defender and seems confident enough to be the team’s general. He will need to work on his kicking, but that should not be a problem for a player as skilful as he is.

Elgar has sympathy for fellow batsmen, like an elder brother 0

Posted on October 27, 2022 by Ken

Proteas captain Dean Elgar admitted he found the batting conditions in their Test series in England to be extremely tough and, like an elder brother protecting his siblings, he said he had nothing but sympathy for the inexperienced other batsmen in their squad.

South Africa were bowled out for just 118 and 169 in the third and decisive Test at The Oval, losing by nine wickets on Monday. In the second Test at Old Trafford, they could only manage totals of 151 and 179 as they lost by an innings.

Elgar, who has now played 79 Tests, scored just 107 runs in five innings in the series. He, Sarel Erwee (127 at 25.40) and Keegan Petersen (122 at 24.40) were the only Proteas batsmen to score over a hundred runs in the three Tests.

The rest of South Africa’s top seven at The Oval had only played 44 Tests in total and they were all on their first Test tour of England. No wonder Elgar identified inexperience as the key weakness of South Africa’s batting.

“This series was really up there with the toughest conditions I have faced in my career. So I can imagine how the guys with just one or two Tests to their name must feel,” Elgar said.

“We had a lack of experience, a lack of exposure to Test cricket and the conditions in the UK. There was swing and the ball nipped quite a lot. Coming to England, you can be exposed if the conditions are tough.

“It was tough for them, they are trying to learn at the hardest level with no experience around them. I always bank on experience, but we don’t have that at Test level.

“We’ve got to try and ease the blow for them, but who do we have in first-class cricket back home?” Elgar said at the post-match press conference.

Having now lost the series, Elgar was once again subjected to the questions about ‘Bazball’ he loves so much, but he said England had played good, accurate Test cricket rather than anything ultra-aggressive.

“I thought England played at the correct tempo, nothing extraordinary, but when their tail was up then they would strike when they had to. They showed just general, good Test awareness.

“They weren’t ultra-aggressive, they just played at a really good tempo. But you can manage and control that when you are ahead of the game.

“I didn’t see the B-word come to the fore at all. They just controlled the last two Tests well, they played really good cricket and they were pretty accurate,” Elgar said.

Unavailability of Rassie made squad selection easy, but now Bavuma or Hendricks to the fore 0

Posted on October 21, 2022 by Ken

The unavailability of Rassie van der Dussen due to injury made the selectors’ job an easy one when it came to choosing South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup, but the obvious headache of how to fit in both the captain, Temba Bavuma, and Reeza Hendricks, the player of the series against both England and Ireland, is now to the fore.

Van der Dussen broke his finger in the second Test against England and his absence has allowed Bavuma to return from the torn elbow ligament that kept him out of the entire UK tour, while powerhouse batsmen Rilee Rossouw and Tristan Stubbs keep their places.

Hendricks has been in the type of form that makes him all but undroppable, with four half-centuries and a 42 in his last five innings for the Proteas, and he has continued that red-hot form with 257 runs at an average of 85.66 and a strike-rate of 154.81 for the Central Gauteng Lions in the Namibia Global T20 they won on Monday.

But convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said on Tuesday that he could not envisage a situation where the Proteas would leave out their captain at the World Cup.

“Rassie broke his finger in the last Test and needs surgery, which will leave him with up to six weeks of recovery. The timings are just not right, which is why he was excluded,” Mpitsang said at the squad announcement at Cricket South Africa’s offices on Tuesday.

“Temba has been playing in Namibia over the last week, he is well-recovered, and good to go. I think he will open the batting, that’s been his role for the last year or two.

“Previously, Reeza opened in India and Temba was at three, but Rilee has now done a great job at three against England. We will have to see how we balance the top-order, to get the best out of them.

“It would be a tough decision to leave out your captain, I can’t see that happening. But nothing has been decided yet and it’s so difficult to make calls now,” Mpitsang said.

The 15-man World Cup squad and the three travelling reserves – Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen and Bjorn Fortuin – will play a three-match series in India that ends on October 4.

Three ODIs will then be played over the next week, for which Janneman Malan and Phehlukwayo come in for Stubbs and Rossouw, before the Proteas leave for Australia and their opening World Cup match against a qualifier in Hobart on October 24.

Mpitsang believes the Proteas have an attack to adapt to whatever conditions confront them.

“There are good headaches to have because it means we have a lot of bases covered. We have definitely selected with consideration for the pitches and we feel the 15 will cover conditions well.

“We will make adjustments when we get there. We can make the right calls for the conditions we face, we have got the right options.

“We have two spinners and Aiden Markram, a left-armer in Wayne Parnell if we need that. The crucial thing is we’ve got bowlers who can take wickets, because that’s the only way to restrict teams in T20.

“We are more than capable of putting other teams under pressure and I’m excited by the brand of cricket we’ve played for the last few months,” Mpitsang said.

Squad: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Heinrich Klaasen, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Rilee Rossouw.

Bavuma will be the captain of the Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup 0

Posted on October 21, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month will be announced on Tuesday and Temba Bavuma will be the captain of that side.

Bavuma has returned to action again after the torn elbow tendon that ruled him out of the entire tour of England, and has played four matches for the Central Gauteng Lions in the Namibia Global T20 that finished on Friday. He scored 103 runs in those four innings, including a determined 56 off 46 balls against the Lahore Qalandars, at a strike-rate of 122.61.

Reeza Hendricks has been in fine form in that same tournament, racking up 257 runs off just 166 balls in his four innings. He was the leading run-scorer in the event by miles and scored a matchwinning 94 not out off 59 deliveries in Friday’s final. Given his spectacular displays in England with the Proteas, he is a certainty for the 15-man World Cup squad.

Heinrich Klaasen has also done well for the Proteas this year and is likely to be included as the back-up wicketkeeper to Quinton de Kock, while Rilee Rossouw and Tristan Stubbs showed exactly the sort of aggression and intent in England that will be required in Australia.

That unfortunately means Rassie van der Dussen, such a stalwart of the Proteas team in recent years, is likely to miss out, especially since there are doubts over whether he will be fit, given the fractured finger he suffered in the second Test.

But even if he was fit, Van der Dussen, whose strike-rate in his last dozen matches has been 115.20, would probably lose out anyway because De Kock, Bavuma, Hendricks, Markram and Rossouw are all vying for the same spots in the top four of the batting order.

Three members of South Africa’s inspirational Test pace attack – Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje – should make the squad, with all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell, who took a rousing five-wicket haul in the Proteas’ last T20, against Ireland, as back-up.

Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj will be the spinners.

Andile Phehlukwayo, who has the ability to pull off the miraculous with the white ball, but has not been able to perform consistently enough, is likely to miss out on selection, as is the exciting Marco Jansen.

Likely squad – Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Heinrich Klaasen, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Rilee Rossouw.

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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.

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