Proteas show batting power

Written by kobus. Posted in Cricket

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Published on October 24, 2011 with No Comments

I had this very detailed in-depth analysis post prepared in my head about how Graeme Smith’s limited over career might be over after the series against Australia. I even found some stats showing his weakness against left arm fast bowlers. And seeing how Boulinger and Johsnon swung the ball in the T20 series, I was sure that his head would roll. But with his score of 57 I’m not so sure anymore. Sometimes a batsmen needs some luck to get back into form, and everything fell into place for Smith. Three things gave Smith the opportunity to get his form and confidence back. First and most importantly, Bollinger and Johnson bowled to Smith’s strong areas, i.e. his legs. And when bowlers bowl where you want them to bowl, you hit the ball comfortably and your confidence improves. Look at the wagon wheel graph of his innings below. You can see most of the strokes are on the leg side. But all of the boundaries on the off-side.

Secondly, the pitch provided minimal movement off the seam and very little swing. Which meant that when the bowlers did bowl better line and length, it was easier for Smith to make clean contact. Thirdly, Kallis dominated from the other end which gave Smith the freedom to play only the bad balls until he had the confidence to play freely. You could see clearly Smith was getting more comfortable at the crease at the latter stage of his innings when he gave himself more room to hit boundaries. His confidence grew to such a level that he started reverse sweeping which ultimately led to his dismissal.

I still feel that Jacques Rudolph deserves a spot in the ODI team but after yesterday’s performance with the bat, it becomes more difficult to actually find that spot. Especially with AB de Villiers returning to the team once he recovers from his injury. Miller and Duminy had a gem of a partnership and I quite enjoyed how both of them kept up the run rate.  With Miller dominating from the one side Duminy knew that he didn’t have to take chances and he just made sure that the score board was ticking. It was only at the last 5 overs when Duminy put his foot on the gas by hitting some beautiful boundaries.

Our bowling was as impressive as ever with Morkel dominating with figures of 4/22. Morkel and Tsotsobe arguably won the game for South Africa in the 7th over when they dismissed Clark and Ponting respectively. The bowled extremely well by changing their pace constantly and Lotstobe is extremely effective with his slow off cutters.

I knew that our bowling is up to standard but yesterday showed us that there is hope in our batting department as well. With the series level at 1-1 Wednesday’s game should be a cracker. It really is a pity that this series is show short though. The teams are quite even at the moment, South Africa has more experience and quality but Australia has better form and momentum.

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