Saturday, 2 January 2010

Random thoughts on the England/SA Test series

So the 3rd Test starts at Newlands tomorrow, huzzah! England are 1-0 up, the 1st Test culminating in a draw. I've been pondering on a couple of things related to the Tests, today...........

The Makhaya Ntini selection problem rumbles on, the answer as to whether or not he will be picked for the 3rd Test will only be known just before play starts. Ntini is an iconic figure for black South Africans - he has been a World class bowler and has obviously been in the South African team purely on merit; but surely no-one could argue against the fact that he is a shadow of his former, devastating self and that Friedel de Wet is the right person to be chosen ahead of Ntini in the 3rd Test? Various commentators are muttering about 'political pressures', that the South African government want at least one black player in the team - but surely that devalues Ntini as a person of whatever colour? Would he really, having been one of the best fast bowlers in the world, want to retain his place purely as a token? I don't believe he would - it would be patronising, undignified and a sad way to end his career. Surely apartheid will only truly be dead when people, black or white, are chosen solely on ability?

Collingwood's injury, although it looks as though he may now be fit, raised some interesting issues. Why was Michael Carberry rushed into the squad? Luke Wright is already with the squad and is an all-rounder; he is also familiar with the England dressing room. Strange............

Update: Ntini has been replaced by Friedel de Wet for the 3rd Test. According to the Daily Telegraph, Ntini is going to play for Middlesex as a Kolpak player


  1. They'll pick him - not just cos he is black but out of loyalty. For Ntini a re-evaluation of his approach might help - less pace & more guile would put a couple more years on his career.

  2. Luke Wright thought he would get "minutes" for the test team this tour too.

    Carberry has been in top form. I think the selectors want to bed in a player so they can drop Bell the next time he is crap. Also want a player to have tests before the big series in November.

  3. On a personal note, I also feel Makhaya has done well for the national team, but has run his race, and all South Africans should come to terms with that, black or white, we need to save the series, if we play him tomorrow, it will just mean there's surely political interference which I doubt! I hope the selectors (Smith said he doesn't have a say in selections) make the right decision, for the good of national pride ;)

  4. I've never seen Carberry bat but I'm told he is excellent.

    Personally, I'd drop Cook and Bell, despite their centuries in the last test.

    As to Luke Wright, he's a bit of an enigma but I think he's more suited to one-day and 20-20 matches at the moment.

    Sad to see Ntini go...he might last this series and then gracefully retire.

  5. Hi Pam! Well, re Ntini, the SA powers selected wisely.

    "Kallis revives South Africa", from cricinfo:

    Now all England have to do is get Kallis out early tomorrow, skittle the remaining three wickets by lunch, and bat for two days :-)

    In the other Test match, love what Asif, 6-41, did to Australia, but I fear the Paksters will succumb to lower than 127.