sloandog wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:53 am
It’s a real shame we never saw the best of Sibanda.
@ encore, would you agree he was one of Zimbabwe’s most naturally talented batsmen who didn’t have the mental strength to consistently succeed? For me he had the best technique in the country and probably still does, after Ervine.
It's not a new topic that's for sure. Natural talent. That's a tough one.
Because I'm a Mat'land guy, and he's one of the batsmen that I got to see when still quite young and could do quite a bit, even when up against seniors in domestic at the time (eg AC, Andy, Grant etc), I'd have to go with Charles Coventry.
ZIM has developed a lot of orthodox bastmen who are glorious to watch. I think Matsi just shades all of them, followed by Dion Ebrahim. What makes Vusi Sibanda so attractive is that just as Elton could smash the very best bowlers in the world, Vusi could be dominant as well, but in a more classical fashion, not slogging. But Madondo, Matsi, Vusi, Hami and Ebrahim are 'trained' and technically correct so to speak, not so much natural. Regis. Tari the same and we saw a bit of that in Munyonga too. Still, you have to have the raw talent to be coachable, and one would have to say a Matsi had it, but a lot of the guys are coached products. Kasuza is probably the most naturally talented of the Black ZIM batsmen I've seen.
What I find strange is that while most cricket nations have got plenty textbook white batsmen, ZIM have only had Grant and Vermeulen as far as I can remember - that's worse than Bangladesh
(I'm not sure about Welch, but Byrom and Ballance certainly aren't textbook). And I remarked the other day that if Mark could play off the backfoot, he would've been a 40+ avg Test & ODI batsman.
I think part of the reason is because the more naturally skillful guys turn to rugby and hockey I think, just like Sean Williams. Funny enough Sean is related to another one Mike McKillop. I think he played cricket. There's another guys I can't remember his name. It's been decades. I'll tell you once I recall.
I don't think Craig Ervine would feature in terms of technique, but he does have a lot of raw talent. Although quite some way behind Coventry, Kasuza and Sean in my book.
Going back to what you said, I'm still adamant that Vusi would have had more productivity if he batted lower. Not too much but he would have averaged 35+ in Tests and ODIs, more than Hami and Matsi. So I don't think it's necessarily lack of mental strength. It's actually mental strength. Vusi is arguably the only batsman who tried to develop his backfoot game. He was forced to open where he was contronted with fast guys bowling short at him, and he tried to adapt. Likewise, many wouldn't say Goodwin had lack of mental strength, but in all honesty he flopped for ZIM many times in key matches and moments. He fell cheaply. And that's partly because he tried to change his game too much. ZIM didn't have many fast guys, and rarely played matches then too. So Goodwin often found himself playing off the front footin domestic. But when ZIM had internationals, the adjustment became hard at first drop.
This is why natural talent is important. It's easier to make transitions. Recently, think AB, Michael Clarke and Rohit Sharma. You know both would have struggled opening in Tests, but eventually they would've gotten it right. I don't have the same confidence in Kohli and even Sachin opening in Tests.
So don't argue with me when I say Sean and Craig should have opened for ZIM, and someone responds yeah but Hami and Vusi had better techniques. You guys have it the wrong way round
. Jayasuriya, Hayden, Sehwag, Gibbs, Cook, Elgar Kirsten, are all either dazzling or dull natural talent. None technically correctly.
Voice of reason.