Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Harbhajan Singh

Howzat for a game!

Exactly five years ago yesterday Big Friendly and I left the house grumpy and depressed. It was about 1230 and we had to leave the Proteas, who were being taken to the cleaners by Australia at Wanderers, to go to Tandi’s birthday picnic at Deer Park Cafe. BF and I were sulky and woes. It was a foregone conclusion that the Proteas had lost. Sies. We got home later that arvie and turned on the box. I remember calling Big Friendly and saying, “Look, they’ve got the required rate and the current run rate figures mixed up!” But they hadn’t. It was right. The Proteas were right there, in the game. I remember my brother phoning. He had decided to go to Wanderers for the second half. I remember the crowd screaming so loudly I couldn’t hear a single word he said. The famous 438 game. And we had missed the whole middle section.

Yesterday Big Friendly and I stopped listening to radio 2000 when India were 197 for 1. We had watched the first 20 or so overs, when the Indian batsmen had taken the SA bowlers and fielders to the cleaners. Suffice it to say I was woes. We listened on the radio as the commentators predicted a score of 400, doubling what India had done in the first 30 overs. It felt like a lost cause for sure. We got out of the car at Silvermine; a picnic for Tandi and Nova’s birthday. We nagged everyone who came after us for an update. It got worse before it got slightly better and then everyone had arrived and there was no news for a while.

Imagine our unbelievable surprise when we got into the car and found out that the Indians had not even seen through their 50 overs. They had tumbled to 296 all out! There was a glimmer of hope. Only Smith was predictably out.

What followed was the slow, grinding agony, adding to the misery of me feeling the effects of a cold. I lay on the couch complaining bitterly about Amla and Kallis and how damn slow they were. I felt hopeless when AB needed Hashim to run for him. I was desperate when Botha was out first ball after a 6. And then, Peterson came and won the game. He won the game. I was so confused about why Dhoni didn’t let Harbhajan bowl the last over, but I didn’t care. I was literally on the edge of my seat, looking through my hands, swinging wildly between hope and horror, just like the massive crowd, only wanting different results.

That game took years off my life. If I think about it though, I wouldn’t like to have spent those lost years feeling like I did yesterday. It was all too much. This cricket! Yo!

Most Unimpressive Proteas

I am properly grumpy. I went to Newlands for the second innings of the third ODI yesterday and it felt like the Proteas were like me; all they did was arrive at the venue, not a thing more.

Really, on our way to the car last night R and I were in deep discussion. R suggested that had the Proteas won we would have felt different but I disagreed. It would have felt like an unjustified win. They deserved the loss. There is no other way to describe their performance but shockingly terrible. The Indian team didn’t have to do anything spectacular; the players just had to stick around and play a few good shots.

Now for all those ‘Proteas through thick and thin’ supporters out there, let me say at the outset that there were fabulous moments. One or two great balls bowled, one or two great catches, one or two saving moments; but theses took place in a sea of total disaster. I am going to list all the problems here in no particular order.

1. The fielding. Sorry, but do the Poepteas not actually have a fielding coach? The fielding this whole season has been a little less than mediocre, but last night’s fielding performance was a case study of how not to field. Dropped catches, misjudging the ball, bad running, bad calling, no accurate throwing, and a generally an air of indifference and apathy. Sies. Also, there was an abundance of that hand pointing motion that is my all time worst. The one where the ball sails past the fielder, who doesn’t move to get it but who gestures to the man on the boundary in a ‘it’s got your name written on it’ way. I cannot begin to explain how that ‘it’s not my responsibility’ action makes me see red! In fact, I think that in any game where there are more than three of those hand pointings, we are done for. Last night being a case in point (excuse the awful pun).

2. The captaincy. I am not denying Graeme Smith‘s skill as a batsman (when all of his fingers are fixed) but the guy has very little feeling for leading an ODI. Let him play his natural game and get someone (whose name is Hasheeeeeeeeeeem) to captain the side, gee up the boys, position the field, choose the bowlers and everything else that Graeme is just not managing as a captain. There. I’ve said it. His choice of field, bowlers, and energy and attitude on the field was beyond poor.

3. Teamwork. Pathetic. No support, encouragement, working together. The bowlers were on their own. They were totally unsupported. I would have lost it completely. As far as I was concerned Tsotsobe and Amla were the only two out there earning their salaries. It’s not good enough by a mile.

4. Attitude. This team literally gave up. No fighting spirit, no back against the wall comeback, no energy at all. The players attitude stank. There was no passion, no enthusiasm, no explosion of commitment. It was a dreary little affair. I would have forgiven them their loss if they had actually tried a little harder.

5. Lack of accountability. Sorry, but losing is somebody’s fault, problem, challenge. It’s not like the Proteas gave their best and were totally out classed on the field. They didn’t take responsibility for the game.

6. Spin bowlers. Will somebody please explain to somebody else in charge, and to Graeme Smith, that SA needs a proper spin bowler? Somebody good, like Harbhajan Singh. It’s not rocket science.

I was upset last night that I had made the effort to go and support my team. I (well my friend actually) paid good money to see them perform, which means that they need to do more than just arrive at the ground. Not cricket.

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