With all that has happened within the South African cricketing fraternity over the last few weeks has had tongues wagging within the media environment as well as social media and around the fires.
The appointment of Jacques Faul as acting CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Mark Boucher as head coach and Jacques Kallis as a batting consultant along with the axing of Proteas vice-captain Temba Bavuma from the current squad (albeit he was injured and kept out of the team by Lions teammate Rassie van der Dussen), has had people up in arms around transformation.
CSA were quick to release a press statement on the morning of the second day of the second test against England in which CSA President Chris Nenzani, said that the organisation is still very much committed to the transformation agenda that has been in place since 2013.
People have been discussing the fact that Bavuma was not selected for the second test on the basis that he had to go back to domestic cricket and force his way back into the side based on ‘weight of runs’.
So, I decided to go and have a look at the stock available to the selectors and have come up with a team – although raw in some facets – could well play some very good cricket as well as satisfy the transformation question without “lowering the standards” as some draconian quarters might elude to.
1 – Dean Elgar: There is no question that Elgar has to maintain his spot in the side based on his experience and grittiness at the crease. He has been South Africa’s best batsman over the last while.
2 – Sinethemba Qeshile: The young 20-year old has already been capped in the T20 format for South Africa, although not facing a ball, the young wicketkeeper batsman has a bright future ahead while averaging just under 40 in first class cricket.
3 – Zubayr Hamza: The 24-year old from Cape Town boasts a first class average of 49.97 and already has a test half-century to his name. Hamza could just be the next Hashim Amla batting at Number three.
4 – Temba Bavuma (capt): Despite under-performing in 2019, Bavuma does have the aptitude to take SA forward. His test average might be just over 30 but Bavuma has almost 150 first class games to his name along with 14 centuries and 40 fifties.
5 – Rassie van der Dussen: With Bavuma captain, I have left Faf du Plessis out based on the fact that he is already 35. Van der Dussen has shown that he has the class to be a good test player with two half-centuries to his name already.
6 – Quinton de Kock (wk): De Kock will keep his place based on his wicketkeeping experience, weight of runs and the fact that he can take the game away from the opposition in double-quick time. De Kock will also be able to mentor Qeshile as part of a succession plan.
7 – Andile Phehlukwayo: Phehlukwayo has been part of South Africa’s One Day sqaud for some time, playing over 50 ODI’s and at 23 years old, the allrounder can become an integral part of the test setup – with the right guidence.
8 – Keshav Maharaj: Maharaj has just proven that he is forming an important cog in the Proteas bowling lineup. His 27 overs in the first innings against England in the second test proves that he has the mettle to bowl long spells and build pressure from one end.
9 – Kagiso Rabada: Any questions? Rabada has proven to be one of the best bowlers on the world stage and many asked about ‘over-bowling’ the speedster but KG proves time and again – when in need, give him the ball.
10 – Anrich Nortje: Nortje bowls between 145 and 150 km/h and along with Rabada, can form a very potent new-ball pairing in world cricket. Nortje is still very green in terms of test experience but is proving to be a handful for batsman already.
11 – Lungisani Ngidi: The 23-year old from Durban would have been playing against England had he not been injured but Ngidi has already become a pivotal member in all three formats of the game.
Comment below on what your thoughts are and what changes you would make – if any?