‘Writing’s on the wall’

December 29, 2015
Faf du Plessis was a big wicket for England before stumps

What Shaun Pollock and Michael Holding had to say after the fourth day’s play between South Africa and England at Kingsmead.

South Africa were 136-4 in pursuit of 416 at stumps on day four at Kingsmead.

On the state of the match
Pollock: ‘At tea time, I had a little bit of hope for South Africa. Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar got going and they were 50 without loss. You thought, ”I know it’s a long way to go. but if they carry on in this vein they might have a chance”. But now they are four down. I know AB de Villiers is still there, but you would think that the writing is on the wall.’
Holding: ‘When AB de Villiers is at the crease, you can never give up. I don’t think South Africa should ever think it’s all over. With AB at the crease; he could go out there and score a big century on the last day with a few other batsmen getting fifties, and that is pretty much the game won. It’s not over.’

On picking an specialist wicketkeeper
Holding: ‘I am biased because I used to be a fast bowler. Every time I hit the edge of the bat I wanted someone behind the stumps very competent to take the catch. Catches will get dropped. No-one will go through their entire career and not drop a catch. But you want to make sure the best possible person does that job.
‘In the modern game you want a wicketkeeper who can also score runs and not just keep wicket.
‘If you are going to have someone that’s going to be able to provide a lot of runs with the bat, but he’s going to drop catches and miss stumpings on a regular basis, I see that as being counter-productive. If he’s going to do a good job with the gloves as well, fine, but if he is going to cost you matches, it’s counter-productive.’
Pollock: ‘I hear where Mikey is coming from. It has been the modern way to go with someone who can contribute runs. But in the end of the day, to win a Test match it’s all about 20 wickets. If you give players like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers a second chance, it could cost you a game so you have to make sure a specialist is filling that role.’

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