"How shit you must be if I got you out twice!"
-Paul Harris to Andrew Symonds, Perth 2008

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The plot thickens

Mike Procter and his merry men have been sacked. I want to do a little dance but it's really late here. Maybe tomorrow.

I am happy about the fact that Procter is gone. He is the fucking idiot that dropped Morne in the beginning of the season and kept Makhaya for the second test. Or was it CSA's quota policy that he was following? Something tells me we will never know.

Or maybe we will, if the interim selection panel magically brings Makhaya back in the squad. In which case who do we talk to to fire Gerald Majola? It might not happen, but it's good to keep a back up plan for everything. And a backup-backup plan. Meaning if there is nobody who can fire Majola we will need to kidnap Makhaya and send him off to Brazil. For his own good.

A part of me thinks they were fired for KEEPING Makhaya in the second test. That move had fucking politics written all over it. Then of course the utterly nonsense decisions to exclude Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel from the ODI's against England, not picking Alviro Petersen or Loots Bosman for the Champions Trophy when Hersch was injured (weren't you surprised when these two came out of nowhere against England and did well?), the injustice done with Friedel de Wet etc.

What I don't understand is why everyone is so upset about this. Have you people not realized the Saffers were becoming so predictable a toddler could crawl all over them? Or are you still thinking about 2008? Hello, this is 2010. There was a year in between where the Saffers were T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. And their strategy still sucks in the ODIs. Arthur, Procter and the gang had their contracts till the 2011 World Cup. If they hadn't been sacked now, that would have been another disastrous campaign.

They would have lost/drawn in India with or without Mickey and his safe tactics. It's not so bad. Trust me.


Mahek said...

I think it's a bit harsh on Arthur and the selectors who have to deal with quotas and what not. There was an interview on cricinfo in which he touched on things you need to do to be successful in the subcontinent. I thought it was quite good. There have been a couple of politically motivated moves in South African cricket since they beat Australia.

The first was to persist with Ntini even though he didn't look like getting wickets. They respected his pedigree and his place in South African society but in the process tarnished his legacy as the bowler who made it against the odds.

The second was to replace McKenzie with Prince at the top of the order. Neither Smith nor Prince were happy about it but it still happened because Duminy had done well in Australia and they couldn't drop him but at the same time they had to bring Prince back because he'd scored close to a thousand runs in 2008.

Morne had never been good in LOIs so it wasn't a surprise that he wasn't the first-choice bowler for the Champions Trophy or the ODI series against England. Parnell was picked but he got injured and missed a couple of games against England. It didn't help that two of the games were abandoned due to rain.

Purna said...

Mahek, he always knows what he is doing. He is not a bad coach, just one that hasn't been able to execute them lately. Same with Biff. Honestly, I feel Biff should have been gone too..problem is no one's ready to take over the test side yet.

JP's form came as a shock to us all. He was doing quite well up until the England tour. But they couldn't drop him then because of his role with the ball. He troubled the batsmen and took important wickets. McKenzie was dropped I think because the Saffers wanted to play more attacking cricket and he just does not fit the bill.I got mad at Prince because he didn't even try to step into the role. At least give it a shot and then fail dumbass!
Morne was doing quite well at domestic cricket at the time. Plus he replaced Jacques in the T20 world cup and did fine. I meant Parnell in the Champions League. If I remember correctly, he was released along with Peterson on the eve of the series.
Then there is the Albie issue. Arthur and co seem to be thoroughly confused about how to use him.

Mahek said...

What does Parnell have to do with the Champions League when his domestic side didn't make it? I'm even more confused now because I think you might have meant Champions Trophy and he did play that tournament.

Smith opposed McKenzie's ouster from the side but ultimately Procter's decision prevailed. I don't think Prince didn't try to perform in that role, he just wasn't good enough for it. Opening the batting in South Africa is tough at the best of times and there was something in the pitch at the start of play in every test with England having the bowlers to cash in on it.

Things might have been different if they knew how to dismiss Onions. I'm not an insider but if I had to venture a guess I'd say this is a case of the suits in CSA using the bad run of results to push their agenda. It's always a delicate balance between putting out the best side and having a more inclusive team, and the balance can be tipped to either side based on the on-field results and who is running the board.

Purna said...

Yes, I meant Champions Trophy. Too many champions shit around. And no, he came back when the Saffers lost. I think...I watch so much cricket I lose track of what happens when. There is a good chance that happened against England. Wait...yes, it was against England.

You may be right about the suits pushing their agenda, but really after five years, Mickey either had to come up with radical ideas or get the boot. The selectors were stupid to begin with. I mean, they couldn't even hold onto the number one position after attaining it so wonderfully from the most dominating team in cricket...with the same squad. That was not CSA, that was the team and the management. 2008 and 2009 was like day and night for the Saffers, something had to be done no? If it had gone up and down, I would have opposed Mickey's resignation. They crashed out of the Champions Trophy because everybody knew their robotic moves. They chose Albie over say Tsotsobe to replace MORNE, against Australia at home. I mean, seriously? You are replacing a bowler with an all-rounder who can't bowl?
Of course, you can't blame Mickey for everything. The players themselves had a lot to do with the way things went. But then again, isn't it the management's job to work towards getting the team morale and confidence up when they are shit all together?

Mahek said...

Parnell played all three of their Champions Trophy games and got 13 wickets in those three games. If you're talking about Albie replacing Morne in the test side then I should point out they won that game.

Arthur didn't need to be radical for the sake of it. The selectors first went against what the coach and the captain wanted and then the coach copped flak when the team didn't do well. It's not the first time this has happened. It's a sorry situation and that's what makes coaching such a thankless job.

Purna said...

Oh yes, he wont that shitty ball. I remember now. And they won that test because of Dale. Albie had nothing to do with it.

The selectors should have gone a long, long time ago. Agreed. But I just can't feel bad for Mickey. Even I can predict what SA will be doing next and I just watch them on tv!! Mickey will land a good job, don't worry.

Mahek said...

Albie may not have had a memorable test but he didn't have a bad game either. Morne was really struggling that series and I think the selectors were spooked by the batting collapses in the previous two games so they went in with Albie who does a bit of both. To be fair to him he's not that bad a bowler in first class cricket. I'm surprised you're unaware of this, Amy kept talking about it all the time :)

Purna said...

HAHA. I know about Albie's first class cricket abilities. I just don't care, as it has yet to transcend in the national level. I think he is a bit over-rated...possibly the most over-rated Saffa all-rounder. No wait...that would be Andrew Hall.