• Disappointment for South Africa in the opening game but not for the tournament organisers, not for 50-over cricket and certainly not for the Sri Lankans who were outstanding in every aspect of the game and showed the world how to play a game which requires more subtlety and thinking than is the case T20.

     

    South Africa may have been a bit rusty after a three month lay-off, perhaps they were also a bit too keen to make a flying start in their quest to end the ICC tournament 'hoo-doo' that has bugged them since 1998, and perhaps it wasn't the best decision to bowl first, but none of that should detract from Kumar Sangakkara's team and the way they overwhelmed their hosts.

     

    South Africa bowled inconsistently during the critical first 15 overs and failed to obey the crucial rule of bowling on one side of the wicket. Some of the credit for that must go to both Kumar Sangakkara and Tillekeratne Dilshan who are both highly skilled in frustrating batsmen with their innovation and

    Read More »from SA’s confidence will have taken a knock
  • Home ground advantage is an international sporting concept on the wane. Crowds are one thing, but as far as on-field conditions are concerned I'm not sure whether the South Africa players have any more idea of what to expect than all the other teams.

     

    It's very early in the season to be playing such a high profile tournament and the grass at the Wanderers and Supersport Park has barely started growing again after it's winter hibernation. That might mean that the pitches are a bit low and slow - bare pitches usually are - but nobody is quite certain!

     

    Even if they do have the pace and bounce of traditional Highveld pitches, the home side has the depth and cover in every department to be able to adapt on the day, even during the course of a match. 

     

    We saw last season how effective Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe can be bowling spin in tandem in the middle overs and JP Duminy is far better than a part-timer, especially if there is some turn on a dry surface.

     

    There is plenty of

    Read More »from South Africa and India are the favourites
  • The ICC Champions Trophy is our first competition after a long, and well-deserved break, from international cricket. The boys are rested, refreshed, in-form and raring to go especially if our 200-run win over the West Indies in a warm-up the other day is anything to go by.

     

    Many of the teams have already played a few internationals and India and Australia will be coming into the tournament with wins under their belts, and so will be feeling very confident.

     

    I know South Africa are seen as one of the favourites, but that is not something we will be focusing on. We do have some things in our favour though - we are going in as the top team in both ODIs and Tests and the fact that we are familiar with the conditions may give us a slight edge over the others.

     

    We play our first match against Sri Lanka, who have not had a good run recently. So that will perhaps be another thing going for us as teams from the sub-continent are not really comfortable with South African conditions. What

    Read More »from SA are seen as one of the favourites

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