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India Tour of South Africa: Two Major Talking Points

Ongama Gcwabe and Bet Central bring you an analysis from @prasannalara, the man who has served as Video Analyst for South Africa for over a decade and has applied his skills with Royal Challengers Bangalore amongst other IPL teams and has featured in many other top T20 leagues around the world.

Proteas Squad Talking Points

The highly-anticipated Test series between South Africa and India will start this December. Like any other big series, there’s a lot at stake, there’s a lot of opinions making rounds about who will come out on top between these two cricket-loving nations.  

Ongama Gcwabe and Bet Central bring you an analysis from @prasannalara, the man who has served as Performance/Technical Analyst for South Africa (later promoted to Assistant Coach) for over a decade and has applied his skills with Royal Challengers Bangalore amongst other IPL teams and has featured in many other top T20 leagues around the world.

Cricket South Africa has announced the 21-man squad to take on India in three Test matches starting on December 26th in Centurion: 

Batters: Dean Elgar ©, Temba Bavuma (vc), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Quinton de Kock, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rcikelton

Fast Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Duane Olivier, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, Glenton Stuurman 

All-rounders: Marco Jansen, Wiaan Mulder, Sisanda Magala 

Spinners: Keshav Maharaj, George Linde, Prenelan Subrayen

Proteas Lack of Preparation: India to Win First Test

“India have more of an edge over the Proteas because they have fringe players currently playing 4 Day cricket in the SA A side. None of the players in the SA A side are expected to be in the Test squad, I can’t understand the reason for that. Guys like Keegan Petersen and a few other guys should’ve played there. Sisanda Magala should’ve been playing there, I even wanted Rassie van der Dussen to be playing there to get first-hand experience. India are playing Test match cricket against New Zealand at the moment, so they will be well prepared for when they arrive on South African shores.”  

“The last time South Africa played red-ball cricket was way back in June in the West Indies and since then they’ve understandably been focusing all their energy on white-ball cricket because of the T20 World Cup. It was very surprising for me to see that guys are back in South Africa a month before the series, while there are domestic games going on, apart from Wiaan Mulder none of the players have been asked to play domestic cricket for their respective teams.”

“It would’ve been great preparation for players like Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der  Dussen, Aiden Markram and even Kagiso Rabada to have played a few games. They have rested well; they came back a month before and the time the body needs to rest well is seven to ten days unless you’re carrying a niggle. It’s surprising for me to see that these guys haven’t been told to play and turn up for their domestic sides. Especially with the Lions guys – Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dusssen; there have been two games played at Wanderers (in the 4 Day series) which they could’ve been a part of. This is important because the first Test will be played at the Wanderers. I don’t believe six or seven net sessions will be ideal preparation for such a big series against a big team like India.”  

“For this reason, you can expect the core of the Proteas players to be raw just coming back from playing white-ball format and having to adapt to red-ball cricket. Even though the basics are going to be the same, I still feel on this front as well, India will have a clear advantage going into the series and this is an area where South Africa have failed.”

The Ideal Bowling Attack: Proteas Bowling Attack to Have the Upper-Hand

Prasanna Agoram’s Test XI 

1. Dean Elgar 

2. Aiden Markram 

3. Keegan Petersen 

4. Temba Bavuma 

5. Rassie van der Dussen 

6. Quinton de Kock 

7. Wiaan Mulder 

8. Sisanda Magala 

9. Kagiso Rabada 

10. Anrich Nortje 

11. Duanne Olivier

“You need to have guys who can swing the ball early and also have a couple of guys who can bowl those hard lengths. If you look at the line-up that I have here, Anrich  Nortje & Kagiso Rabada select themselves into the starting eleven, there’s no rocket science about that at all. The third seamer that I would bring in is a guy that is on form with 28 wickets in the four domestic matches he’s played and has given his arrival in style. He can swing the ball and can bowl those hard lengths which will be key in South African wickets.” 

“Sisanda Magala has really come a long way now, he’s generating some red hot pace, has become a lot more consistent and has worked on his fitness because he has shed off a lot of weight. And not to mention Sisanda Magala at 8 to really help you with the bat with 30 or 40 important runs.” 

Two Test matches will be played at SuperSport Park and Wanderers which are two grounds formally known for offering a lot of pace and bounce for fast bowlers. Prasanna Agoram reiterates the importance of having four fast bowlers at these grounds.

“Taking all this into consideration, the life the two pitches offer the fast bowlers, it is no rocket science for you to go for four fast bowlers who can consistently bowl at over 140 KPH and who can also swing the ball around off the pitch and through the air. This is the ideal bowling attack that should take on a seriously talented India batting line-up.” 

People will often bring fitness into the equation when Sisanda Magala’s name is thrown into the conversation for Test selection or for selection in any format of international cricket. Having been employed by Gauteng Cricket, Mr Agoram has worked very closely with the Lions squad, including Sisanda Magala. This is what he had to say about Magala’s fitness. 

“Yes you need some basic fitness which Magala has got but it really irritates me when people choose fitness over skills. I’m 100 % sure of the hard work Magala puts in in the gym because I work with him at the gym as well. He has bowled seven eight-over spells throughout the domestic matches with absolutely no problem. So,  yes Magala is ready. Magala is raring to go. Magala is ready to win matches for South  Africa.”

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