At Last A Real Test For Englands Cricketers
We are lucky enough to live through a time when perhaps the greatest ever England cricket side are plying their trade. They sit top of the test rankings. Top of the T20 rankings. And if it wasn’t for a rained off ODI against the West Indies, they may have launched themselves to top of the one day rankings as well.
It truly gets no better than this for English cricket fans.
All that being said, when England and South Africa meet for their first test it will be the only real test they’ve had this summer. A West Indies team in a decades long never ending decline? A newly crap Aussie team?
Now England have opposition truly worthy of their new status. When the two best test sides - still the purest, finest, most refined expression of the game - clash this week, there will be fireworks. Huge Arnold Schwarzenegger type explosions. Wickets all over the joint. It’s going to be nuts.
If South Africa put England to the sword - something they are very much capable of doing - they will supplant them as the best test side in the World. With so much international cricket played for low stakes, for no stakes; for stake and chips. It’s nice when a series actually means something.
There is a cloud over proceedings in the form of Mark Boucher’s retirement. The South African wicket-keeper was forced into early retirement after an eye-injury. A sad end to an illustrious career that ran for 14 years.
With Graham Smith and Jacques Kallis, the South African’s are a who’s who of international cricket. While Kallis averages less runs against England than all other sides (56.78 to 29.3) he has done some of his best work with the ball against England. But as a batsman he doesn’t like English conditions. Which is odd for a man with such sound technique. We will see if he can overcome this disadvantage in South Africa’s quest for number one.
All the talk, as ever, as it ever was as it shall always be, has been about Kevin Pietersen before the first test. He has been left out of England’s squad for the T20 Worlds in Sri Lanka later this year, after retiring from ODIs. Will KP be a distraction? Will he take a massive strop and put the team off?
Apparently you are not allowed to pick and choose. Even if you’re one of the best T20 players in the World.
The normal rules don’t apply to KP, when will England selectors realise this?
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