Graeme Smith and Kevin Pietersen share many characteristics. They are both South African, both aggressive batsmen and both very opinionated. After the retirements of Tendulkar and Kallis, loosing these players is international crickets loss. While Smith was in total control of his retirement it was taken out of KP’s hands. It cant be argued that either player has not become a great for their country. Smith being the inspirational captain for South Africa whilst Pietersen was his sides star man. Below I have listed a comparison of the players in different categories to see if there is any separation of these two greats.
The left handed Smith was a very determined has always opened the batting for South Africa, this may have given him a slight advantage over the England star. The former South Africa captain scored a total of 37 international centuries. KP has an equally impressive 32 centuries to his name. This seems to make them both equal on batting ability seeing as Smith has played a few more games, that probably explains the slightly higher batting average for Pietersen also. In terms of paying money to watch one of the two I would have to give KP the slight edge., for his extra flair and flamboyance. Winner: Pietersen
Neither player was renowned for their bowling, but both took a few wickets. Smith taking 26 international scalps and Pietersen 17. This is not really a category that we should be judging them on. winner: N/A
Having such a big frame both players found it hard to be top class fielders. Smith was useful as a slip fielder whilst KP was mainly employed around a boundary. I think this is another draw. Winner: draw
Whilst Pietersen could have been a good captain, he didnt last long. Too many arguments throughout his career seems to be a running theme. Smith on the other hand was probably the best captain of the last ten years. Winner: Smith
If you sat down with a group of guys and introduced them to both Smith and Pietersen they would think both are ultra aggressive people. KP is far more controversial, having been a problem in almost every team he has played in. Over the years Graeme Smith has mellowed down, he is now a likeable character for opposition players. He always put his team first, the classic example of this would be his dislike to Pietersen, which has now fizzled away.
Please list below who you think out of the two is better and why? Also dont forget to vote in the poll:
We have just seen the climax of a very fascinating U19 world cup held in the UAE. A tournament that any of the teams could have won, was eventually claimed by South Africa. This was the countries top honour in their cricketing history. We saw the next crop of future international stars going head to head to produce some fascinating cricket. South Africa the champions went a bit under the radar beating one of the favourites Pakistan in the final. other teams were more fancied over South Africa, this being teams such as England, Australia and India. Although this competition is about winning it also is a good opportunity to see the talent that is coming through.
The majority of the teams performed as their senior counter parts do. For example India have a classy batting line up but lack the one class bowler who could rip through the opposition. The batting and fielding bailed out India up until the quarter final. England showed spells good batting and bowling but were undone twice by sub-continent sides in pressure situations. Pakistan had a few lower order collapses just like the senior side have suffered so much. The only exception to this were South Africa, they overcame their nemesis in Australia. That to in a semi final, they went on to win a major ICC trophy, something that no South African side has done before.
Many players stood out, here’s a list of the players to look out for in the future:
Inam-Ul-Huq/Sami Aslam: These two players have big futures in the side. The two openers will be buoyed on by Pakistan’s record of blooding young players. In many games these two carried the batting line up. Sami being the captain showed good leadership throughout the competition. Inam has the talent to be a player in the mould of his uncle the great Inzamam.
Aiden Markram: He will be fondly remembered in South Africa is the man who guided the side to their first ICC trophy. His leadership and calm play under pressure was a reason why South Africa did so well. He will find it hard to immediately break into the senior side but has a good chance if he develops his game.
Nicolas Pooran: If you had to back one player to hit a six at any time, you would pick him. His clean striking and composure under pressure will in no doubt attract many IPL sides in the future. He is also a good wicketkeeper. Definitely a player to watch and possibly the next cab off the block after Gayle and Pollard.
Ben Duckett: Like Bairstow and Butler England have another player who is multi talented. He is the sides best batsman, a good wicket keeper and can also field anywhere. Unfortunately England do not have the best record of blooding young players but Duckett should push his way through in the next five years. Often compared to Eoin Morgan for his ability to handle spinners.
Sarfaraz Khan: An allrounder, he did a similar role to what Yuvraj Singh used to do for India. He has a similar personality aswell, being the life of the Indian side. On the face of it he doesn’t look the greatest player, but when the pressure is on he seems to play better. Also a good fielder, like many of his under 19 team mates. He now faces the challenge of forcing his way into an IPL side and keeping up these performances.
Other players to look for are Matthew Fisher, a good English swing bowler, put many teams under pressure. Rabada from South Africa who showed good pace on grounds that didn’t really suit him, Zafar Gohar who didnt have a great tournament but showed on occasions why he will be the next big spinner. Also Vijay Zol the Indian captain and Sunju Sampson also from India both have good careers in front of them.