Both the Cobras and Dolphins were inadequately prepared for the Champions League tournament.
I’m disappointed with the performances of the two South African sides in India. It was clear to me that both teams were short on experience, and that both teams were inadequately prepared for the competition. That said, the standard of play throughout the tournament could have been far better.
It’s tough for a team that is already short on experienced players. Take the Cobras, for example. They went into this tournament with a young side, and I think they missed somebody like Graeme Smith or Jacques Kallis weighing in with the big contributions.
You can’t compare these South Africa teams to some of the other international outfits. The Mumbai Indians are a classy side, and a couple of the Australian teams boast some seasoned heads that play an aggressive brand of cricket.
You simply don’t see top teams losing their last seven wickets for 30 runs, as the Cobras did in their final match against the Kings XI Punjab. That should never happen, but when it does, you have to wonder if the coaches as well as the players are doing enough.
Both the Cobras and the Dolphins went into this tournament a bit ring-rusty. The players should have been better prepared, and the only way to do that is to spend time in the middle. Perhaps there should have been more cricket played in the buildup to ensure the youngsters took some form and confidence into what is a demanding competition.
What the Champions League showed was that Cobras and Dolphins were out of their depth. They were always going to be tested in foreign conditions and against teams studded with international stars. But as I said before, I expected the two SA teams to put up more of a fight than they did.
They were disappointing across the board. That last batting performance by the Cobras was particularly bad, but then there were some abject bowling and fielding efforts too.
I question some of the decisions made by the coaches and captains over the course of the tournament. As I wrote last week, you have to get your tactics right in the field. You have to get the best fielders in key catching positions, as that can lead to wickets and possibly ensure the opposition score 20 fewer runs. And in Twenty20 cricket, that can be the difference between winning and losing.
Hopefully all these lessons have been taken onboard, and we will see a more competitive showing in future.
Graeme Pollock played 23 Tests for South Africa, scoring 2 256 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
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