• AB inspires confidence

    AB de Villiers’s leadership and man management will stand up to scrutiny at the World Cup.

    The captain has a massive role to play at the World Cup, both as a leader and individual contributor. Indeed, if you look back at past global tournaments, the eventual winners have relied heavily on their captain to get them over the line.

    Come the end of the 2015 installment, we could see AB de Villiers joining a group of influential World Cup leaders that includes Clive Lloyd, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and MS Dhoni to name a few. If the Proteas win the title, De Villiers will have played no small part in that triumph.

    I’ve liked what I’ve seen from De Villiers over the past few months, both in terms of his batting and his captaincy. While it’s true that the pressure of leading a team at a World Cup will be very different to what he’s experienced before, his record as well as his attitude does inspire confidence. With De Villiers at the helm, the Proteas have a great chance of winning the World Cup.

    I’m pleased that somebody else other than De Villiers (Quinton de Kock) has been tasked with the wicketkeeping duties. This will allow De Villiers to focus on his captaincy as well as his batting. Usually, I would say that a team’s best batsman should not be burdened with the captaincy. But I have to admit, the captaincy has brought the best out of De Villiers as a ODI batsman.

    In recent times, the batting contributions of Hashim Amla and several other South Africans has alleviated the pressure on De Villiers in the middle order. The presence of Amla as well as a few other senior players has also helped De Villiers in terms of his strategy in the field. That senior core should be counted on to do the job at the World Cup.

    My only concern is around the selection at No 7. Regular readers of this column will know about my feelings regarding this position, and why I think Rilee Rossouw is the best man for the job. Rossouw can provide the Proteas with another quality batting option down the order. This selection will force somebody like JP Duminy to bowl more overs, but I’m confident that Duminy is up to the task.

    I have less confidence in Farhaan Behardien occupying that No 7 batting position with much success, and don’t feel he is a good enough bowler to warrant selection. If the Proteas selectors persist with this option, which I suspect they might, it will put the team under pressure.

    The batting lineup will be stronger if Rossouw is backed at No 7, and Duminy is good enough to provide De Villiers with 10 overs on a consistent basis. Those selections will ensure that there is a good balance between the batting and bowling, and ultimately that will make the captain’s job a little easier.

    Graeme Pollock played 23 Tests for South Africa, scoring 2256 runs at an average (60.97) that remains second only to Don Bradman’s. He was voted South Africa’s Player of the 20th century in 1999, and inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.

    Due to a series of health problems that have impacted on his financial position, Pollock is now reaching out to fans in hope of some support. If you are able to contribute to his Trust in any way, please do not hesitate to call his agent Basil O’Hagan on 083 4124459 or make a deposit, however small, to the following Trust Fund.

    Name of Account Holder: Rudolf Buys & Associates Trust
    Name of Bank: Standard Bank
    Account Number: 281 464 359
    Branch: Fourways Crossing
    Branch Code: 009 953
    Type of Account: Trust Account
    Ref: Mr G Pollock

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    Graeme Pollock