New Year Thoughts - Part 2

I'll move onto the next series the one I enjoyed watching the most, not least because there are great commentators to listen to. Funny how it makes such a difference. Michael Slater, Tony Greig and Mark Nicholas are just a few of a great batch. Channel Nine do great cricket coverage compared to some of the commentary I’ve had to listen to in South Africa. Anyway, I believe England are the best team as we stand today and I say that because they have all the bases pretty much covered. Diversity in their bowling attack with James Anderson and his prodigious swing, Chris Tremlett with height and bounce, Tim Bresnan with swing and stock bowling attributes as well as a wicket taking ability and of course the best spinner in the world Graeme Swann.

The batting is well balanced with only Paul Collingwood the man struggling at the moment and now has announced his Test retirement. India have a relatively inconsistent bowling attack. Zaheer Khan is their best bowler only averages 31 in Test cricket, Ishant Sharma is inconsistent and Sreesanth is playing a different game half the time, but has shown capabilities when he channels his thoughts wisely. South Africa on the other hand have the best batsmen and best bowler in the world and without them certain holes do appear. I really feel that England are in a great place, it just looks like such a close knit team and so much has to be said of Alastair Cook and how he's worked it all out. Along with Andrew Strauss England are looking ominous up front and it has to be said Andy Flower has forged a strong combative and tough test unit. So as I sat below Table Mountain watching my long time batting hero Jacques Kallis moved his way to a second century of the game, not only did I marvel over this great man and his achievements, but I was also annoyed that someone like Jacques has received so much criticism for being selfish and boring over the years.

How can someone who manages to block out distractions, control his emotions better than anyone else, show super human concentration abilities and discipline and well pretty much every conceivable batting positive that has ever existed be regarded as selfish? I mean if he is not a legend then I don't know who is. Here was me as a 12-year-old hoping to be in such company. Sitting with Gary Kirsten under the fading light, sharing a beer under the Mountain witnessing the most spectacular cricket ground in it's true beauty was a moment to savour. Kallis stumbled down and we managed to catch him on the way. Gary made a smirk “Kallis are you ever going to get bored of batting” to which he replied “you can talk... I learnt from the best.” There I was sitting with two of Cape Town’s favourite children as the sun closed in on what I hope will be a great year ahead.

Published 21 January 2011