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Q&A with Haze - SA v Pakistan

Mike Haysman hosted a Question & Answer session on Wednesday, focusing on the South Africa - Pakistan tests.

We really appreciate Mike taking the time out of his busy schedule!

Thanks to everyone who participated - we tried to cover as many questions as possible in the time available and endeavoured to deal with as many issues we could possibly get to.

Enjoy reading through Haze's answers below, and keep your eyes peeled for the next session.

The question and answer session has closed.

Questions and answers
Mark Naidoo asked:
Why did Smith not wait for Amla to get his 100 before he called for the declaration,cause they stiil finished the match inside 4 days.
Haze answered:
South Africa wanted to bowl before lunch and it was a team decision to construct it like that with AB being the aggressor.
anele ncapayi asked:
I agree with makhaya ntini dat if thami is white he''ll be playin long tym ago, cause boucher was not perfoming with a bat and deviliers dnt want to be a weeketkeeper, now what happens if AB doesn''t what to Keep, thami or de cock?
Haze answered:
AB wants to keep. Simple as that. Problem solved.
Charles asked:
Good Day Haze, I strongly believe Proteas have an unstopable test side, however the middle order batsmens are not solid to a point both Dean and Jaques Rudolph are struggling to cement the position with an all rounder role played by Jaques kallis that might leave the Proteas soon. Do you think we can cope without Jaques Kallis ?
Haze answered:
South Africa have clearly been very fortunate with Kallis, however, his reign will come to an end in a couple of years and although it will be a massive void as he can claim to be one of the best ever, others will take the opportunity and succeed. We will not see the likes of Kallis again.
Vic Long asked:
As far as I''m concerned Jacques Rudolph MUST be brought back into the team & drop Elgar. I don''t think Elgar is up to International standard as a batsman, despite having made a couple of centuries, which were actually made against rather lowly rated teams with weak attacks, namely Zimbabwe & NZ. His fielding is also POOR..!! Your comment...??
Haze answered:
The test before the Wanderers he scored a 100. What more do you want?
Barry Hyde asked:
Where do you think this current SA teams ranks in the great sides of the past.(West Indies/Aus.)
Haze answered:
West Indies (70s/80s) number one, South Africa (current) two, Australia (90s) three.
Johann asked:
Hi Haze

I had a look at the FTP. There is only once that SA play 4tests in a series and that is against england.

why on earth would SA like to play 7ODI,s against India and inly 3tests?

As the best test playing nation we surely should play more tests.

Well done to the proteas on the 1st test victory.. 2 to go!!!
Haze answered:
I agree. Tests are considered the ultimate challenge by the players and South Africa's excellence surely means they should play more in a series. However, commercial interests dictate often.
Ashraf asked:
Hi Hazey, I''m a die hard protea''s fan and quite happy with what we''ve been doing in the test arena lately, my only worry is that we do not carry the same form into the oneday game. Are we perhaps taking the foot of the paddle ofter convincing victories in the tests? Please also let us know how far Merchant de Lange is with the progress on his injury.
Haze answered:
The one-day team is still a work in progress. I would prefer rest & rotation of players once a one-day series is won. The only resting that should be done is Steyn & Kallis. South Africa have a real issue with death bowling - what a pity De Lange is not fit yet as he was showing great promise in New Zealand and could fill that role. No real update re his fitness yet but he is starting to play again with apparently a reworked action.
Michael Masson asked:
What has surprised you about how Pakistan went about their business at the Wanderers? How did the outcome and gameplay compare to your expectations before the game? Are the South African batsmen good enough players of spin to survive the Pakistani attack on less flatter surfaces? Will we see similar conditions at Newlands to that of the New Zealand test?
Haze answered:
Nothing surprised me and yet again Pakistan application & planning was questioned. Their preparation to bat against that attack and technique scrutiny was not good enough.
My expectations were that I thought South Africa would win in four days. I expect Pakistan to be better at Newlands, but, again, South Africa will be lethal on that surface. I expect similar lively conditions.
South African batsmen are good enough against spin and have already gained important ascendancy against Ajmal.
Katlego Magoro asked:
Hi Mike,
As witnessed in the previous test match that South African pace bowlers can do the damage, do you think South Africa would feel that they don''t really need a spinner and drop Peterson? I personally think he should be retained in the team and get used in conditions that most suit the spinners. Thanks
Haze answered:
A spinner is an important component and apparently Peterson fits the bill, and importantly deserves an opportunity to belong at test level.
Macgyver asked:
Robin P. was not effective in the first test, will they give Tahir n run or another fast bowler
Haze answered:
Peterson will play. They will not tinker with a winning line-up.
Brandon asked:
I think the only thing that are a little bit worrying if you can call it that way, is when the new ball gets old taking wickets seem to be a bit harder,this is when the spinner comes in robin petersen is okay and does his bit,but is not a world class spinner, so if think we can get a world class spinner we would be unbeatable.
Haze answered:
World-class spinners are pretty hard to come by. At the moment, Peterson importantly knows his role and does an excellent job for the team.
Sifiso Mabaso asked:
Morning Haze, I share the same sentiments with Dav regarding Dale''s bowling on the morning of Day 2 @ the Wanderers, "best fast bowling I''ve seen". Do you think Dale will the first SA man to get to 500 test wickets (I know he''s still some 177 away) and do you see Pakistan defying the odds and pulling off a win in atleast 1 of the 2 remaining tests?
Haze answered:
Yes re Steyn and No re Pakistan winning one test.
Cornel asked:
Haze, Big Protea fan, Will the pitch be a lot different from the pitch at the Waderers in the next test? And if not what will be the biggest difference?
Haze answered:
South Africa will want to continue pressurising Pakistan - they will ensure the track is lively in Cape Town.
Not so much bounce, but certainly swing and seam.
ian asked:
Hi Mike
with the Pakistani batsmen obviously struggling against our pace attack do you not think that it opens the door for Tahir to come back as an attacking spin bowler.Robbie P has bowled well but he doesnt get much turn and Tahir has been very good in the sunfoil series of late? With Elgar there seeming to find his feet as well i dont think it would affect the batting depth much either.
Haze answered:
They won't change a winning team... and rightly so
Stix asked:
Hi Mike

Where do stats and projections rank Dale in terms of the all time quicks great?Is he better than the likes of Walsh,Lille,Ambrose,Pigeon and Wasim Akram?
What is the scheduled upcoming series?Maybe we can surpass Steve''s invincibles!
Haze answered:
Different eras and different types of bowlers are difficult to compare. Steyn's strike rate is extraordinary and that is always considered a great bench mark. Rest assured, he will go down in history as one of the very best ever.
Zebbie asked:
Rory Kleinveldt in a place of Morkel what do you think of that Hazey.
Haze answered:
Morkel is one of the more feared bowlers around, and although Kleinveldt was highly rated by the New Zealanders, he will have to wait in the wings. What a superb option as replacement if needed. Everyone must understand that winning combinations are not changed, unless enforced.
Craig Moore asked:
Hi Mike. Your thoughts on Dean Elgar @ 7 in the batting line up...Is he the right man? Who else would you recommend?
Haze answered:
Dean is the man in possession. He got a century in his third test - that's not bad going, is it?
Waheed Vadi asked:
Hi Haze, thank you for your time.

I''d like to ask about sucession plans within the Proteas camp. I ask this because if you look closely at the ages of our players, we are going to run into a situation like Australia ran into with their great test side - a lot of great players will retire at the same time.

I don''t think we should "cross that bridge when we get there" - we should have plans to avoid going down the same road Australia went down.
There are definite plans in place to guard against that. I do not agree with you that South Africa will run into the same situation that Australia did. If you look closely at the South African ages, it's a pretty good spread with a blend of youth & experience in both test and one-day squads.
Gerhard asked:
Hi Mike, I know AB is scoring runs while keeping but don''t you think we should give Quinton de Kock a chance at keeping and batting 7 in the third test if we win the second test, and do so in the feature if we win the series and there is one test left just to bring him into the test arena.. I really rate him, and would be sad to see him not make the test squad just because AB likes the keeping role... To what i''ve heard AB will be keeper as long as he wants it.. Will be sad to lose Quinton to the test squad.
Haze answered:
You need to be happy that South Africa have someone of the ability and skill level of AB de Villiers. He is a rare talent and if fit, needs to play all the time as a keeper-batsman in tests.
I hate rotation policies. You only need to look at how Australia have confused the matter by resting players.
Michael asked:
Hi Haze
Whats your take on Graeme Smith declaring before Hashim got to his 20th test century. Surely he could have waited 5 more overs. Hash looked dissapointed when Graeme declared.
Haze answered:
I spoke to AB before play started on day three, and even he didn't think he would have enough time to get a 100. SA were extremely keen to bowl a good stint before lunch and Hashim would have been kept in the loop. AB clearly decided he was going to have a crack. If you remember correctly, Hashim was feeding him the strike.
Ryan asked:
Hi there
The only change I would make it to bring JP Duminy in for Elgar.

Otherwise don''t you think Donald should be spending more time with Morkel to perfect his bowling and brig him up to more a consistent bowling dislpay? And also is there not an up and coming spin great in South Africa???
Haze answered:
JP is not fit and when he is, he certainly deserves an opportunity back in the side, providing he has some form.
Morkel & Donald are always working together to strive for consistency. I think your memory is a bit short - think back to the Adelaide test when he got 8 wickets and has bowled without luck at times since. He is quality and highly rated by opponents.
Re an up-and-coming spin genius, the answer is no.
mujahid asked:
Do u have any idea when duminy come back? Cos I believe that our side would b even more powerful if can get rory fitted in2 the team cos jp is a more than capable spinner wu is improving all the time. Your thoughts please??
Haze answered:
Last I heard, JP is aiming for Champions Trophy, although that may be premature. No room for Rory at the moment.
Andre Frauenknecht asked:
1. Would you have enforced the follow on - or rather why did we not?

2. Suggestion for A. Peterson leave the short ball alone like Steve Waugh did for the better half of his career.
Haze answered:
I definitely would have enforced the follow-on.
Petersen must not forget the pull shot as it is one of his strong points. He is a fine player who will work it out and be more selective without dropping the shot totally.
Chris asked:
Why are we not performing in ODI''s as well as the Test matches. Considering that we almost play with a similar side with the similar strengths.
Haze answered:
Six regulars were missing against New Zealand, through injury or rest. There needs to be more clarity re selection in some areas and less trialling. Players knowing their settled roles are crucial.
Raj asked:
Hi Mike.
WHat an awesome Test team we have. Just wondering what the thoughts are regarding depth, should Smith, Kallis retire. Who are the incumbants. How do we keep this form going for years on end like the Aussies of old? Is there a worry of burnout for Steyn? (even tho we never go to day 5 :) )
Haze answered:
The management of Steyn is superb. He is always primed to be at his best with the red ball. He and Kallis are the only ones that should benefit from rest in the one-dayers. There is no concern about burnout from Steyn.
South Africa are hungry to perform at test level and the maturity of the team demands respect and this unit will be successful for a long while yet.
Enjoy Smith & Kallis whilst you can, and hopefully that includes a few more years. Rest assured young talent is being monitored.
Beaver asked:
Hi Haze ,

Are we really that good , or is the opposition that poor ?

Haze answered:
Yes, it's simple. South Africa is that good.
Shannon Theron asked:
No balls seem to be an issue with the SA bowlers which could end up costing us big wickets/partnerships, Noted this problem is mainly with Morkel but is creeping in with the other bowlers who have had wickets on no balls and seem to be very close to no ball at the popping crease. Surely there must a be a simple way to rectify this, what are your thoughts on how this can be fixed as it could be a negative affect on the team should it happen when a batsmen is on triple figures or a partnership is proving tough to break.
Haze answered:
The simple answer is for the players concerned to understand that no-balls are totally unacceptable. Morkel is getting close to a dozen wickets off no-balls. Someone needs to read the riot act and ensure this ceases. This should not happen at international level. South Africa rectified the problem in Perth and did not bowl a single no-ball and they need to do the same in Cape Town.
Steven asked:
Hi Haysie, what are the chances of Duminy getting his place back with Faf doing so well, does Elgar deserve his place in the Test team, i believe Ingram can offer so much more with batting that Elgar
Haze answered:
Sport is littered with stories of players taking opportunities when presented. Faf has certainly done that. It does complicate things in the middle order, but what a great problem to have. Sheer weight of runs will ensure who plays.
Sunel asked:
Hi Mike,

Firstly, the test team has been performing brilliantly over the last few years and we deserve to be ranked as the no.1 side in the world. The limited overs teams however has not been performing as consistently which is concerning. My view is that this is mainly due to unsettled batting and bowling combinations in this format. What are your views on this and what do you think should be done to rectify the situation? Pakistan has a very good ODI and T20 team and I think we may struggle to beat them in these two formats.

Secondly, although we have been performing very well with bat and ball in general I feel that our fielding and bowling discipline in terms of giving away extras through no-balls and wides so far this summer has not always been up to scratch with the high standards that SA teams have set post-1991 (apart of course from AB''s excellent performance in the last test and a few brilliant pieces of fielding and catching in between). Would you agree with this and should we be concerned about this going forward? As long as we keep on winning it is probably not that big a problem, however in a tense test that can go either way fielding and bowling discipline may make the difference between winning and losing.


In answer to your first part, I think you are correct. But remember, some players are being tested to see if they have what it takes. I think you'll find things will be more settled against Pakistan, and whilst I agree they are dangerous in the short formats, they will be battered & bruised physically and mentally after the tests.
The lapses with disciplines does worry the team and they will rectify it. Don't forget the last three tests have been won inside four days!
Brandon asked:
Good day Haze, Nothing really to fault the Proteas test side, My question is just that we dont really get a good opening stand from Smith and Peterson, one of the pair often going out cheaply, Do you think this is the best opening pair SA can put on the field? i personally would like to see Smith and Amla opening again, thought they did well together.
Haze answered:
Yes. This is the best pairing and their opening stand at the Wanderers in trying conditions went a long way to South Africa posting a solid first innings total. They thought 300 was par and only 50 short on a lively track at the Wanderers was more than acceptable as 200-run difference after both sides batted once, proved.
Smith and Petersen average close to 40 as an opening combination.
Hussain ahmed aboo latif (TINY) asked:
hey Hazy
I am concerned about a future test captain for the proteas.How long do you think Captain fantastic Graeme Smith will still play for and captain the side AND do you think that perhaps Graeme should return as captain for the odi side to provide more stability and confidence?
Haze answered:
The captaincy issue in the future will be interesting. Smith must captain in the test arena for as long as he wants. Keep a close eye on Faf du Plessis's development - I think he's a better option than AB. Besides, I believe South Africa will get more out of AB if he's not encumbered.
Sean asked:
How much of an influence do you think Boucher has had on AB''s keeping ? He seems to have improved with his keeping over the last couple of months .
Boucher has had plenty of influence over AB's keeping - they are very close mates. Not so much from a technique point of view, as AB has developed his own style, but certainly as an ally mentally.
Fanie asked:
Do you think that the Protea team is realy so good that thy dismissed the Pakkies/Black Caps so easily?
Haze answered:
Yes, South Africa is that good. And, by the way, they are called Pakistan!
Stephan Schenck asked:
Hey there haze.how is jp duminy''s recovery coming along..not that i dont rate elgar,i just feel more relaxed with him there instead of elgar..and do u think there will be any changes for the newlands test?
Haze answered:
JP's recovery is on track, but still plenty of time to go until he's fit. There will be no changes for the Newlands test, providing all are fit, which seems probable.
Eugene Els asked:
Obviously South Africa has a fantastic Test team at the moment. What is the problem with our one day team? We rest so many players for the one day matches but when it comes to the world cup we want to use them. Like Steyn, Morkel and Kallis. I understand the workload for fast bowlers but not for batsmen.
Haze answered:
Players are being tested, but continuity is important. I am old school and once a series is won, that's when new players can be introduced.
In saying that, as I have said previously, it is essential that Steyn is at his best with the red ball, and if that means resting, fair enough. He is so good, he does not need to bowl lots, unlike Morkel.
Marco asked:
Haze - Although we have the best bowling attack in the world as shown in the last year, do you think that someone like Marchant de Lange can still add value to our attack? I know he''s been changing his action and by all accounts will be quicker (hopefully)and have more control. My question is also :do you think SA Cricket sees him as the next generation of "Dale Steyns"?
Haze answered:
De Lange's injury was obviously at an unfortunate time, as he was very much in the future plans. The fact that it has happened so early in his career, may benefit South Africa in the long run as he has had to rework his action. Let's give him some breathing space and hope that he comes back strong.
Chase asked:
hi Haze

When marchant de lange is fit do you think there is a spot for him in the side?
Haze answered:
Not at the moment. I would like to think he can fill that death-bowling role in one-dayers as he showed promise at that in New Zealand.
Johann Taljaard asked:
Hi there. Will South Africa field a stronger one day side against Pakistan during the series to get the players ready for the ICC Champions Trophy later this year? Or even go as far as to field the strongest possible team? And what do you think is Kallis'' chance of playing in the ODI series and the ICC Champions Trophy?
Haze answered:
Yes, they will. Time is running out to get the best combination for the Champions Trophy in England.
Elize Cape Town asked:
When will Jackers be back.
Haze answered:
My very good mate, Jackers, is on track to return to the microphone soon and we're all hoping he can join us in Cape Town or SuperSport Park. We miss him.
Warren asked:
How''s it Hazey? I think for the next test I would like to see the team the same, I have no dought we will win! But for the final test if the series is rapped up do u think it would be good to rest players and also make quite a lot of changes and put in a young team so we can see how we look for the future?
Haze answered:
No, the best teams are ruthless.
Rudi asked:
Hi Mike,

What a wonderful position we find ourselves in as south african supporters. 1. Is Faf the next Test captain? 2. Will Mr Whatmore query the problems encountered with Hot spot?
Haze answered:
Faf is definitely a potential future test captain, but still has plenty to prove and has time to do so.
Dav Whatmore did query technology in a mature, dignified way, by addressing it with the match referee and not publically.

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