Something surreal about South Australia

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Something surreal about South Australia

Postby from_the_stands » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:57 pm

South Australia is a curious place. It is geographically larger in area than Germany, and therefore considerably bigger than the United Kingdom, and yet it's only the fourth largest state or territory in Australia. With a population slightly higher than Birmingham, and a population density comparable to Mongolia, South Australia is indeed a weird place, and is similarly populated by weird people (not dissimilar to Birmingham!) Exports include some of Australia's best wine (our premier wine region is in fact the Barossa Valley, about an hour from Adelaide), Cooper's Pale Ale (which is far from the worst thing you can pour into your mouth), the occasional more than handy Aussie Rules footballer, and the less occasional handy cricketer!

The Redbacks, as the local cricket team is known, took a huge leap in faith this season when it appointed South African Johan Botha as captain/coach. Following a stint with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big bash League, the powers that be at the Adelaide Oval decided to take a punt on the international fringe player, as they obviously liked what he brought "to the table." This was accompanied with the acquisition of Phil Hughes from New South Wales, effectively giving the perennial cellar dwellers some hope of not finishing last. As the season finds it's way almost at the halfway mark, the Sozzies find themselves fourth, which is not bad.

Batting wise, South Australia do have a reasonable top 6. Phil Hughes is obviously the ace in the pack, and has proved his value by finding himself at the top of the domestic run scorers at this stage of the season. The evergreen Michael Klinger must have been close to a national call up earlier in his career, these days he's doing the business at number 3, and is doing it well! Former ODI batsman Callum Ferguson is another enjoying a prosperous season, with last season's Test drinks carrier and fielder extraordinaire Dan Christian well cemented in at number 6.

The bowling front is a little less lavish. Chadd Sayers (right arm medium, 33 wickets from 8 matches @ 25.06) and Gary Putland (left arm fast medium, 63 wickets from 15 matches @ 24.20) might not be household names, but they are both having good seasons for the men in red. Johan Botha appears to have found domestic cricket in oz a little tougher than he might be used to, as he only have 5 scalps from 5 matches. Kane Richardson might be one for the future, after being a key member of the Oz under19 side in 2010. Nathan Lyon looks to be Australia's premier spinner... for now.

So what of the future for South Australia? They've lifted two short form trophies in the past two years, but haven't lifted the Sheffield Shield since the heady days of David Hookes and co. Johan Botha said that they lacked heart after losing the first couple of matches. Their recent shock victory over the mighty Bushrangers might suggest that a lack of heart might indeed be a thing of the past. For me, they are a decent quick or two away from being a pretty good team. Without being an expert on the club scene in Sozzie-land, I'd like to think that the state that gave us Dizzy Gillespie might just unearth somebody else just as good, and just maybe this team might get to lift another trophy soon... maybe.
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Re: Something surreal about South Australia

Postby mikesiva » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:21 pm

I am surprised that South australia have not been more successful....this blog has been an eye-opener.
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Re: Something surreal about South Australia

Postby GarlicJam » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:15 pm

Something surreal about South Australia alright. Picking a bowler with a very dodgy action to be your captain - on debut - adds to the sur-ness.

If my memory is any good at all, I would say that Botha was reported for chucking and went to be tested*, and on his return to cricket suddenly started wearing long sleeved shirts.

That worked for some years, but he must've got lax with his doosra, as he has been reported again:

*something that I have long thought to be akin to someone getting pulled over for suspected speeding, gets sent for testing and doesn't speed under test conditions. Then is sent back onto the open road.
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Re: Something surreal about South Australia

Postby braveneutral » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:10 am

I don't know how I missed this originally. A good read as ever!
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I suppose.

At times.

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