Monday, 16 July 2012

Out of Africa

Ladies and Gents, grab your seats and let battle between to the two best Test sides in the world commence. The South Africans have arrived on these shores and due to the weather are extremely short on match practice. Led by Graeme Smith for the third time in England, he has a reputation for making the English captain lose his job. However, Andrew Strauss' job is one of the safest in the country, along with the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, and I do not expect him to go the same way as Hussain or Vaughan.

Smith on his third test tour as captain to these shores

I think the whole world is looking forward to the battle between the English batsmen and the pace trinity of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel. Steyn and our very own Jimmy Anderson are the two finest bowlers in the world at present, and this series should see who is the best in the world. I expect Anderson in English conditions to come out on top. Philander had a brief spell earlier this season at Somerset and has had a fantastic start to his international career. Morkel is a tall man, who generates bounce and on home conditions can be a handful. However, his performance in the warm up was extremely untidy, and I'm sure Boris Johnson has woken up with less scruffy hair. All three, however do have genuine pace and this attack is as sharp as debris on a French mountain road during the Tour de France!

In the spin department Imran Tahir will start, although this English summer isn't exactly conducive to leg spin bowling. Thami Tsolekile will replace Mark Boucher after his horrific eye injury down in Taunton which has finished his career, although AB De Villiers will don the gloves for the first test.

The battle of the the guys with the same surname will be interesting and hopefully South African born Kevin Pietersen will outshine Alviro Petersen or Robin Peterson! The bulk of the runs will have to come from captain Smith, De Villiers or Hashim Amla. All three are fantastic fielders and removing these guys is the key to who will win the series.

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Amla...a top bat and a fantastic fielder

Finally we have the enigma which is Jacques Kallis. A legend and arguably the best all rounder of his era? Or a selfish player who hasn't scored his runs quickly enough when the situation dictated? Whatever you think you cannot argue with his Test average of 57 gained over 150 tests, although it is only a shade over half of that in England. When you think of the wickets he has taken and the safe hands in the slips, the man is an absolute legend surely on his last tour to England. The man must have been born with Duracell batteries in him.

I think the Proteas best chance lies in the first game on the pitch at the Oval which will be the best suited to their attack, but they are going into this game seriously undercooked in English conditions. I am going to go for England to win 1-0, but one thing is for sure - this will be our sternest test for a while. No matter how much Australia were promoted, or even a very poor, and ageing Indian team, this lot will be well up for it, and will be a cracking series. If only it was longer than three games.


  1. Man for man, the SA team comes out on top, but this will be a close series as usual.

  2. i agree with the above but given the fact they will playing in the wet and cold ,i see England/Wales just nipping it!