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Arlecchino

World Cup Preparation

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Arlecchino    503

On 4th October 2014 the Springboks managed a narrow win against the All Blacks in Johannesburg. 

 

On 8th November 2014 virtually the same team played Ireland in Dublin and were convincingly beaten.

 

One of my fears about South African sportspeople is our ability to bridge the gap between confidence and over-confidence. The latter at times borders on being arrogant, a quality we have been accused of in the past.

 

Between the Ellis Park encounter and the game against Ireland the Boks had not touched a rugby ball in anger. They were rested, well prepared and confident. And the lost.

 

Is that Irish team, winners of the Six nations in the previous season, that good a team as Northern hemisphere teams go? I doubt it. Is Sexton a World class flyhalf? I think not.

 

We failed because we were undercooked and over-confident. Matched on paper man for man, we should have murdered that Irish team. Unfortunately the game of rugby is played on grass not paper.

 

What has this West Indies visit done for the Proteas? It has helped us to introduce a couple of new players to the Test arena - one with moderate success, the other failed. That said, "one swallow doth not a summer make".

 

If we South Africans are perfectly honest this Windies team is hardly better than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

 

The Test matches aside (we are really preparing for a World Cup ODI Series), the Windies sorely miss the two players who have been "disciplined". As the commentators have been at pains to point out, in 12 matches Chris Gayle has averaged 26. None of the remainder have an average above 32. In the bowling department only Taylor gets the ball up to an appreciable pace with any accuracy or consistency.

 

If Buffalo Park is any indication, we should win the remaining games in PE and Centurion at a canter. That remains to be seen.

 

Our next game is against Zimbabwe in Hamilton on 15th February and then then a week later we play India in Australia at the MCG.

 

India have been in Australia for a few weeks now. True they have been less than convincing but they have changed captains and considering the quality of their opposition, I would suggest that they have had better preparation than have we. 

 

Then there is the matter of our attack. Some of our better bowlers wilted under the one time that they were put under pressure. It always seems to me that our captains have allowed themselves to be convinced that our pace attack can subdue a player like Chris Gayle. In my view it is better to take pace off the ball in limited overs cricket and force the batsman to play cricket shots.

 

The question is, what do we have to offer this class of bowling. Duminy was finding his way until he got injured and is now struggling for form. He needs to be bowled much more in the next 3 games. Behardien used to be a favourite of mine but he has never been given an opportunity to settle as a batsman or as a bowler and in my view he is a fine cricketer. Tahir has taken wickets it is true, but what value are his dismissals?

 

In my view Ryan McLaren was inadvisedly left out for Parnell who is lacking in confidence and has never reproduced the form he had as a junior.

 

How will the likes of Sharma, Maxwell, Walker and Morgan treat our backup bowlers?

 

Playing the Windies in our backyard has helped to boost our confidence there is no doubt, but would our administrators not have done better by our team to have invited Pakistan to play in a 3-way tournament such as is the case in Australia right now. 

 

Is it coincidence that the 3 countries playing in Australia at present are those that have voted themselves into such a position of power and influence that they dominate the World of cricket? In their eyes we have been reduced to the same tier as the West Indies and Pakistan.

 

I fear we are making the same mistake as did Heyneke Meyer with the Springboks and much as we are expected to whip Zimbabwe, we may find ourselves short of a gallop  and over-confident in Melbourne on the 22nd February against India.

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taipan    1,432

We were in NZ and Aus in November to test out conditions, so I feel the preparation has been fair. We must also remember not all matches will be played in Aus and I think JP will be useful in NZ. MCLaren is finished as a batsman and couldn't do the job at 7. We therefore have to pick a batting allrounder to bat at 7. Behardien is average but we do not have much else. Maybe Stiaan Van Zyl might have been worth a look at.

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taipan    1,432

BTW who is Walker? Maxwell and Morgan aren't rated particularly highly in thoer respective countries.

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Docker    437

We were in NZ and Aus in November to test out conditions, so I feel the preparation has been fair. We must also remember not all matches will be played in Aus and I think JP will be useful in NZ. MCLaren is finished as a batsman and couldn't do the job at 7. We therefore have to pick a batting allrounder to bat at 7. Behardien is average but we do not have much else. Maybe Stiaan Van Zyl might have been worth a look at.

 

No need to peaking in the round robin section - just need to do enough to get through to next round. The drawn out round robin stage gives everyone a chance to get a feel for local conditions

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Arlecchino    503

Beg pardon Tai - Warner. Maxwell not well thought of but is picked as an allrounder in the national team?

 

Get a feel for local conditions when we play one game in Hamilton and the next at MCG? Then on to Sydney, back to the backwoods of New Zealand and then a game in Auckland then back to Manuka(?) Canberra.

 

If we don't get beaten by the opposition we will be dizzy from travel.

 

Australia by extreme comparison have one game against New Zealand in Auckland and play their other games at MCG, Gabba, WACA, Sydney, Hobart.

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taipan    1,432

Maxwell's nickname is the big show and is commonly referred to as "no show" when he fails in the big moments. His spin bowling is not highly rated but the Aussies are as desperate for an all rounder as we are.

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Arlecchino    503

Tai I am not going to be dragged into one of your typical sideshow (intended) arguments which distract from the point.

 

Name whoever you want, our backup attack is going to get a crick in the neck watching the ball disappear over their heads.

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Docker    437

Beg pardon Tai - Warner. Maxwell not well thought of but is picked as an allrounder in the national team?

 

Get a feel for local conditions when we play one game in Hamilton and the next at MCG? Then on to Sydney, back to the backwoods of New Zealand and then a game in Auckland then back to Manuka(?) Canberra.

 

If we don't get beaten by the opposition we will be dizzy from travel.

 

Australia by extreme comparison have one game against New Zealand in Auckland and play their other games at MCG, Gabba, WACA, Sydney, Hobart.

 

The Australian all rounders are Watson, M Marsh and Faulkner. Maxwell might be called upon to bowl a few of his pies but is unlikely to ever bowl more than 2-3 overs.

 

It is quicker to fly to New Zealand ex Sydney or Melbourne than it is to fly to Perth so flitting back and forward between the east coast of Australia and New Zealand is much better than the east coast of Australia to Perth or Brisbane to Adelaide/Hobart

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taipan    1,432

Charlie, I was not trying to get into an argument. I was merely giving you information which you may, or may not, be aware of.

I have stated here and elsewhere that the 5th bowler is going to be a problem as we do not have the quality allrounders of the past.

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taipan    1,432

The Australian all rounders are Watson, M Marsh and Faulkner. Maxwell might be called upon to bowl a few of his pies but is unlikely to ever bowl more than 2-3 overs.

 

It is quicker to fly to New Zealand ex Sydney or Melbourne than it is to fly to Perth so flitting back and forward between the east coast of Australia and New Zealand is much better than the east coast of Australia to Perth or Brisbane to Adelaide/Hobart

The carthorse has apparently pulled up lame again. If he truly was a horse he would have been shot by now.

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Docker    437

The carthorse has apparently pulled up lame again. If he truly was a horse he would have been shot by now.

 

Another minor heart strain. Must have a pain threshold of near zero. If M Marsh could stay fit Watson would be sent packing.

Edited by Docker

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Stu    863

Quite honestly, Im expecting nothing from the WC. For some reason we are cursed.......strange shit seems to happen to us at nearly every WC

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Arlecchino    503

Included in my point which you may have missed Docker is the issue of the grounds.

 

New Zealand themselves are being too honest by playing on cabbage patches like Dunedin 

 

 

The University Oval became New Zealand's seventh test ground when it hosted its first test match on 4 January 2008, between New Zealand and Bangladesh. This was Dunedin's first Test match for ten years. NZ$6 million was spent refurbishing the University Oval and it has now replaced Carisbrook as Dunedin's test-cricket venue.

Just one month prior to the Test match, a State Championship match between Auckland and Otago, which was scheduled to last four days, ended in less than two due to an under-prepared pitch. Auckland scored 94 and 128 and Otago 170 and 54 for 4.

 

Auckland Coach, Mark O'Donnell, had this to say about the pitch:

"It was an unmitigated cock-up and a disgraceful wicket. I've been five times to [university Oval] in the last five years and on each occasion it's been substandard. They just haven't got it right. If you'd put a test attack on that surface you'd probably have killed someone once the divots dried out."

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Guest Thato   
Guest Thato

Quite honestly, Im expecting nothing from the WC. For some reason we are cursed.......strange shit seems to happen to us at nearly every WC

I'm with you Stu, gonna chill and enjoy the ride - no expectations.

 

Weird shit happens to us every world cup (Klusener/Donald runout, Duckworth and Lewis miscalculation, Amla's weird dismissal against NZ, etc. etc. etc.)

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Docker    437

Included in my point which you may have missed Docker is the issue of the grounds.

 

New Zealand themselves are being too honest by playing on cabbage patches like Dunedin 

 

 

The University Oval became New Zealand's seventh test ground when it hosted its first test match on 4 January 2008, between New Zealand and Bangladesh. This was Dunedin's first Test match for ten years. NZ$6 million was spent refurbishing the University Oval and it has now replaced Carisbrook as Dunedin's test-cricket venue.

Just one month prior to the Test match, a State Championship match between Auckland and Otago, which was scheduled to last four days, ended in less than two due to an under-prepared pitch. Auckland scored 94 and 128 and Otago 170 and 54 for 4.

 

Auckland Coach, Mark O'Donnell, had this to say about the pitch:

"It was an unmitigated cock-up and a disgraceful wicket. I've been five times to [university Oval] in the last five years and on each occasion it's been substandard. They just haven't got it right. If you'd put a test attack on that surface you'd probably have killed someone once the divots dried out."

 

Not sure why you would worried. NZ don't have any express pace like Steyn or Morkel or a swing bowler like Vern. You would have to back the Saffer top six against the Kiwi top six on any surface. If you are a sub continental team you might be concerned but class alone should get Saffers past the post. Plus you only play NZ once in the qualifying stage. 

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Stu    863

This our year...watch this space.

Coming from a Stormers supporter this doesnt give me much hope.

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DbDraad    595

Van n stormer ondersteuner tel dit nie veel nie.

:3_8_14:

 

Ek praat nooit groot nie en ek voorspel nie ons gaan wen nie, maar ek dink ons het die beste kans in jare. Ek glo ook die verwagting is nie so groot soos voorheen nie, so hopenlik kan die ouens dit deurhaak.

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taipan    1,432

:3_8_14:

 

Ek praat nooit groot nie en ek voorspel nie ons gaan wen nie, maar ek dink ons het die beste kans in jare. Ek glo ook die verwagting is nie so groot soos voorheen nie, so hopenlik kan die ouens dit deurhaak.

Agreed. The best chance in the past 4 years.

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Guest Thato   
Guest Thato

Taips and DB getting my hopes up, and I admit the hopes are now steadily rising

 

If I have a heart attack during this World Cup, I'm sending my husband to you both!!!!!

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Guest Thato   
Guest Thato

Taips and DB getting my hopes up, and I admit the hopes are now steadily rising

 

If I have a heart attack during this World Cup, I'm sending my husband to you both!!!!!

And add Docker to that hit list

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J1M1    552

It's almost that time again - World cups which we endure every 4 years so before the fighting starts.................................

Choking is about thinking too much. Panic is about thinking too little. Choking is about loss of instinct. Panic is reversion to instinct. They may look the same but they are worlds apart.

(Malcolm Gladwell - The Art of Failure)

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