Now that the ODI series between England and South Africa has been complete, it is clear to me that Gary Kirsten still isn’t sure about what his best team is and at what position each player should play. There wasn’t one time where the top 6 came in, in the same order as another match, also the bowlers changing for each and every game made it difficult to get a feel for what our settled combination will be.
The 2nd ODI was probably South Africa’s best performance as they really outplayed England in all aspects of the game, and after such a magnificent performance many people, including myself, thought SA would be too good for England in the ODI’s as they were in the tests. This didn’t pan out though as England outplayed us in both the 3rd and 4th ODI to take a 2-1 unassailable lead in the series with only one to play. Now considering that SA were 1-0 up, they would be disappointed that going into the final match, the best that they could do is draw the series, but thankfully they really did come to the party in the final ODI (well at least some of them did) and managed to level the series after the 5 ODI’s (the 1st being rained out) and if you offered SA a drawn series with England in the English conditions, with the home fans cheering them on, I’m sure SA would take it.
Now I also have a few comments and opinions about some of the players and choices etc that I would like to share. Firstly I assume that Kallis will take Elgar’s place in the coming ODI’s which I definitely feel is the right swap as while Elgar by no means embarrassed himself, he didn’t do anything worthy of keeping him in the team either. Also we need to get rid of Faf and replace him with Rudolph, who has shown his capabilities in the one day format with the Titans, and also put Philander in for Parnell.
My last point is that it seems to me that SA are picking a team of all-rounders that can bat a bit and bowl a bit, now I hope that isn’t the case in the future as in my opinion, you need specialists to win series, and I hope Kirsten realises this sooner rather than later.
So all in all, a good ODI series, a bit boring at times with mostly low scoring games but an interesting series nonetheless. I hope that Kirsten does change a few things for the future, and I’m sure he will, and that SA reclaim that number 1 spot, that they held for a couple of days.