Sunday, September 12, 2010
Neil McKenzie and Champions league T/20
For the last few days, the champions league has been in full swing, though unfortunately, I haven't been able to catch much of the action as I have been a bit busy. From whatever little live action I have been able to catch, I was impressed by McKenzie's batting against the Mumbai Indians. Yes, youngsters like Theron and South Africa's under 19 star Vandiar have impressed one and all with their cricketing skills, but McKenzie's positive approach against the Mumbai Indians was quite a revelation for me.
Since his debut, McKenzie has always come across as a steady player, who can look tentative against spin. Even when he was forced to open the batting and achieved success in England in 08, he was intent on defending most of the deliveries.Yes, he would play the odd pull, or the cut shot, but McKenzie's batting was more about defence first. In the match against MI though, he was a revelation as he came out with all guns blazing. The couple of shots I really liked were the pull shot he played of Zaheer and the inside out shot he played through the covers of Murtaza Ali. Yes, the six he hit of Zaheer was a half-tracker, but McKenzie of old may have even thought of nudging it for a single, but in the match against MI with his customary short-back-lift, he smashed Zaheer for a six. The shot that was even more impressive was the boundary he smashed of the bowling of Ali. McKenzie has always come across as a batsman, who is very tentative against the spinners, but in the match against MI, he made room and played a glorious shot through the covers. So, the question would be, was that knock just a flash in the pan and would he look to play in a aggressive fashion even in fc matches?
Anyway, it is also good to see that youngsters like Theron and Vandiar are doing well in the champions league. Tournaments like CL T/20 are good for youngsters as it gives a platform for them to showcase their talents to the cricketing world and it is great to see a few youngsters already making an impact in the tournament. Actually, I just can't believe that Theron hasn't yet played for South Africa in the shorter formats of the game as with his control, he can be an asset to South Africa's bowling attack.