I almost missed the story yesterday, the one by Tony Cozier on the forthcoming West Indies – South Africa test series. So what does he reckon will make the series competitive? The presence of three exciting fast bowlers between the two teams. What was that again? South Africa, one can understand having exciting talent, but West Indies?
Well, Cozier was talking about Dale Steyn (who isn’t talking of his recent phenomenal run of late?) and two West Indians, Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor. And Cozier’s comments are based on performances in the one tour match the West Indies have played and the abridged Twenty20 game (why would you have an abridged version of an abridged version anyway?) between the two teams.
Cast your memory beyond the immediate past (or present), Tony. Steyn has a test bowling average of 24.38 over 15 matches, comparable with the best in the trade. At the other end is Edwards with 43.01 in 27, while Taylor turns in a much a more respectable 39.68 in 13.
Cozier’s parting line about the series is perhaps telling.
Who knows, it might even be exciting and competitive.
A plaintive cry of desperation more than a statement of hope, I read it. May be he has a responsibility to keep us fans enthused about the series. Unfortunately, West Indies against South Africa is hardly a close contest. And with South Africa as one side of the equation, it is unlikely to be exciting viewing either. But we are nothing if not inveterate cricket fans – we will follow the series (I almost said contest there). And hope that Kallis bats like Ricky Ponting. And Taylor is the new Michael Holding. And the West Indies draw at least one match.