Cannon fodder

Picture espncricinfo.com

They say that there’s a first time for everything, today is certainly the first time that I’ve sat down and watched a complete innings of test cricket over breakfast and 2 cups of coffee!

Reminiscent of that famous demolition of Australia back in 2011 (also at Newlands, 47 all out, 18 overs, 95 minutes, Philander also bagged 5!) scorecard here. The Kiwis lasted 8 balls and 5 minutes longer!

I used the term cannon fodder on my Boxing Day post after watching the woeful Kiwi performance in the T20i it seems appropriate for the dismal performance that I watched today.

Why did NZ choose to bat after winning the toss?

John Mackie

I heard and tend to agree “to avoid the follow on” 😉

I’ll be at St George’s next Friday (Jan 11th) for the start of ‘our’ test (as mentioned elsewhere,  I wont be buying a 5 day ticket)

I fully expect the Aussies to similarly demolish the Sri Lankans in Sydney tomorrow

9 thoughts on “Cannon fodder”

  1. We did, we did! But just the ladies beach volly ball team, we’re always nice to lady beach vollyballers!
    (vollyballers? vollyballists? I give up ;))

  2. Hi Soutie, thought I’d pop in before I go to watch the feast of cricket on offer today(Tests, ODI and big bashes). Don’t know the Aus/SL score so will watch the highlights later. Need to run, the J-man will reveal the score.

    P.S Collective New Year’s are OK as long as they are in the seven day cut-off period.

  3. Howzit TR

    If the West Indies were playing a home game yesterday we could have had non-stop live cricket for over 30 hours, perhaps even too much for an aficionado such as yourself!

    Proteas in cruise mode yesterday, judging by Smith’s relatively early declaration I have to assume he has a family weekend planned before his short trip here for Friday’s test.

    I see that the Aussies are making heavy weather of whitewashing the tea merchants, I suspect that the sponsors have had a word and ‘suggested’ that there is more mileage for them over 5 days than 3!

    Thanks for the heads up on the New Year etiquette I’d hate to unknowingly offend someone 😉

  4. Reproduced from the SA Times http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2013/01/03/kallis–a-cricketing-colossus-ignored-by-sa-for-far-too-long

    HERE is a question with a curious answer: what do Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Bryan Habana, Percy Montgomery, Josiah Thugwane, Ryk Neethling, Lucas Radebe, Roland Schoeman, Irvin Khoza, “Cheeky” Watson and Sepp Blatter have in common?

    They have all won national orders for excellence in sport from South Africa’s government. Missing from that list, however, is Jacques Kallis, South Africa’s greatest cricketer and, arguably, our greatest sportsperson. His omission is typical of South Africa’s attitude to the man.

    For those not familiar with cricket and its history, let me try briefly to give you a glimpse of Kallis’s genius.

    He is our greatest run-scorer, our greatest century-maker, has scored more 50s, won more matches, held more catches, been involved in more 200-run partnerships, achieved more batting and bowling doubles, won more series, been awarded more man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards, and has held more records than any other South African — indeed, very often, than any other sportsman, anywhere, ever.

    And this is before you consider possibly his greatest contribution: he is the rock around which South Africa has constructed the best cricketing team in the world; the centre that holds.

    And he is not done yet.

    Consider this: Kallis (57) averages more in Tests with the bat than Sachin Tendulkar (54), Brian Lara (53), Ricky Ponting (52) and Rahul Dravid (52), his contemporary challengers for the title of world’s best; and by at least three runs, which, at the very top, is a significant gap.

    There are those who will argue that others are better. They are wrong on the statistics. All they have in their arsenal is rhetoric: Tendulkar is beautiful; Ponting more dominating. Say what you want, Kallis averages more. But here is the thing: even if you were to concede on some subjective aesthetic that he is beaten into a close second by those others, he has 282 Test wickets. Case closed.

    (And let me say I have never understood this criticism of Kallis. He has a near-flawless style and technique. Surely that is art and, if not, worthy of much admiration.)

    If he gets another 18 wickets and about 2,000 more runs, he will boast 300 Test wickets and 15,000 Test runs, and breathe air so rarified even the other cricketing gods would gasp.

    Here is a title, then, that is more difficult to dispute: he is, in the history of Test cricket, and on the evidence, the most valuable player ever to have taken to the field.

    Many, usually those of an older generation, instinctively point to Garfield Sobers. Kallis is a pretender to the throne of “greatest all-rounder”, they say. Their analysis is somewhat tinted by nostalgia. Sobers was a great, he was brilliant in his own right, and an argument can be made that he just shades Kallis on the batting front. He averaged 58, although, even then, I believe there exists a more powerful case that Kallis is superior.

    For one, he has batted at positions three and four throughout his career; Sobers batted at six (and was thus less likely to face the more difficult and newer ball, near the beginning of an innings). But Sobers falls short when it comes to their respective bowling records. Not only does Kallis have more wickets than Sobers (282 to 235) at a slightly better average, but he has taken them at a strike rate of 69. Sobers took a wicket only every 92 balls. That substantial difference sets the two apart and wins the day for Kallis.

    Only relatively recently has Kallis been part of a world-dominating team. For much of his career his team was in trouble, making his runs all the more valuable. And he has scored them against some of the greatest bowlers of all time: Shane Warne, Muriah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Anil Kumble.

    In turn, the more you argue his batting contemporaries are all-time greats, the more impressive his bowling average is (32).

    India’s Zaheer Khan averages that and he has been the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack for a decade. Kallis is a fourth-change bowler.

    I believe Kallis is not merely South Africa’s best cricketer, but our best-ever sportsperson, in any field.

    Think about that for a moment. To my mind, the most serious contender for that honour is Gary Player.

    He was, indisputably, a great — one of the greatest — and, as it is difficult properly to compare achievements in different sporting codes, it would be a close call separating the two.

    Nevertheless, it is a comparison worth indulging, if only because history will mark Kallis as exceptional and we owe him some contemporary acknowledgement. My point is that it is both credible and deserved to have such a discussion about Kallis. He has earned it. Certainly we have celebrated far more extensively far lesser achievements than his.

    All of those people awarded national orders in sport, I am sure, have done great things. But often their achievements are relative to their present-day peers (the exception, perhaps, being Shaun Pollock).

    Kallis is peerless in his field, if not in the world or in history, then in South Africa. Take your pick.

    Why is it that we don’t celebrate and promote his achievements with more enthusiasm? It is true that cricketing heroes on the Indian subcontinent are treated as superhuman (Tendulkar has recently joined the Indian parliament in recognition of his standing) but, even when it is not excessive, other countries do not fail to give contemporary greats contemporary recognition.

    Stands, pavilions, statues, academies — all are designated as tributes to those who embody excellence. Not Cricket SA and, one feels, not our sporting public at large.

    The truth is that, in South Africa, recognising excellence is often an exercise in political correctness (Blatter?) and historical damage control (Watson?).

    We suffer low self-esteem and thus so much emphasis on the part of the government is directed exclusively to elevating past heroes in the public mind. At the same time, we are mired deep in mediocrity and we often hesitate fully to appreciate the truly outstanding when we see it.

    Egalitarianism has been so rammed down our throats that we are too scared to speak up with pride when we are the best, for fear we might choke on our immodesty or, worse still, evoke some moral outrage about elitism.

    Well, history cares not. Kallis has achieved that rarest of things: greatness in his own lifetime. We should revel in it. What good is excellence if we do not recognise it?

    The Western Cape is the only government outside of the national administration able to confer honours. It has two: the Western Cape Golden Cross and the Order of the Disa.

    The Western Cape government is in the process of constituting a committee to determine to whom those orders should be awarded next year, and Kallis is one of the province’s most famous sons. He should be nominated for one of them, and the public and cricketing fraternity should be canvassed for support. Perhaps the Western Cape can lead where others have failed.

    Kallis has set a standard generations will aspire to, at home and abroad. In doing so, he has raised our collective aspirations in the field of cricket.

    He is the one of the very best cricketers the world has ever seen. And we are all lucky to be able to see him set out before us his genius.

    So, watch him while you can. And take a moment to recognise and appreciate the cricketing colossus who walks among us.

  5. Morning Soutie,

    Yesterday was one long, lazy day for me, I’ll last five minutes at the five-a-sides tonight. Surprised you didn’t roll over the Kiwis and make my two day Test prediction be right. I’m off to the Evil Empire to see if NZ can last the out the day. With Chris martin still to bat, they still have a chance. 😉

    Happy New Year, Sipu.

    Difficult to argue with Kallis’ statisitics. You don’t think the hair has something to do with his non-recognition, do you? The hairpiece seems at odds with his unassuming personality.

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