Posted by: tootingtrumpet | May 21, 2011

A Mea Culpa, and Other Things South African

Rajesh Kannan on why he loves two South African batsmen.

In Feb 2010, I wrote this in a preview of the India-SA Test series (2 matches, some series) – “Hashim Amla almost always looks good but he is in a woeful trough of form”.
Obviously, it’s not as stupid as “Dewey Defeats Truman” but it belongs in that category. Yep, that was smart, writing Amla off before the series. He averages 75 in 10 Tests since my idiocy. What a player, and what a joy to watch, for purists and statisticians alike. Certainly the inheritor of Sachin/Ricky’s mantle as the World’s Greatest Batsman, though his presumptive captain, AB, will contest that.
Which brings me to AB. I love him. I think he’s the greatest thing that has happened to cricket in this century, and I think cricket does not cherish him enough. When he was fifteen, he could have chosen to be the world’s best in three sports – rugby, cricket and tennis. He chose the greatest game, and we love him for it. I was at the India SA game at Nagpur, and there was a catch he “dropped” at Long Off, directly in front of me. Only, he ran all the way from Deep Mid Wicket, just attempting to catch it (and he actually saved 2 runs in the bargain). Just seeing this freak of an athlete “drop” a catch was incredible enough.
Ah, it’s wonderful watching the two of them. In my book, they are the twin reasons cricket will be watched for the next decade – poetic beauty plus unfathomable athleticism. They are the George Best and Usain Bolt of today’s cricket.


  1. Sorry readers – the absence of paragraph breaks is my fault. I can’t seem to make wordpress do the job!

  2. well also watch out for 2 equally good sub-continent players Virat Kohli and Umar Akmal.

  3. AB is a fantastic outfielder, at no point should he EVER have to don the wicket-keeping pads & gloves. The South African selectors owe it to the game to ensure one if its greatest outfielders is on show when the Proteas play.

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