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Posts Tagged ‘ashwell prince’

Ashwell Prince made a triumphant return to Test cricket, almost certainly becoming the first South African to make back-to-back Test centuries despite spending the intervening period between those two innings (the first against Bangladesh back in November) getting injured, being effectively dropped, being made captain, and then being demoted back again after expressing discontent about being forced to move up the order and open the batting.

The decision to have Prince open was generally regarded as a ‘gamble‘, but he seems to have made his peace with the relatively unfamiliar role, and South Africa will be pleased to have uncovered an interesting new partnership in Prince and Imraan Khan.

Bryce McGain, meanwhile, had a day to forget. There are worries circulating that he could turn out to be another Jason Krejza.

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Imagine for a moment that you are Ashwell Prince.

You have an outstanding English summer, but then you pick up an injury.

Upon recovering from said injury, you find yourself excluded from the South African side as they have beaten Australia on their own patch and are surely about to become the top-ranked side in the world.

That doesn’t happen, but the captain does get injured and the other opening batsman has a shocker, so you get called up again and made captain.

Less than 24 hours later, the selectors change their minds and replace you with an evil penguin.

How do you feel? Not as bad as Mark Boucher.

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Ashwell Prince has been recalled to the South Africa side, and made captain in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith (a victim of Mitchell Johnson).

Prince will also open the batting in place of the dropped Neil McKenzie, alongside Imraan Khan (not that one, obviously).

Having done well in the English summer, Prince was dropped for the home series against Australia having missed the away series through injury. An entirely new opening partnership is perhaps a bit risky against Australia’s newly powerful pace attack, although Prince’s experience is likely to prove a useful counterbalance to potential debutant Khan’s lack of exposure to Test cricket, so it could work.

Whatever happens, Australia – having wrapped up the series – will remain the number one Test cricket side in the world, although some will suggest that India may soon lay claim to that status for themselves.

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The two best Test cricket teams in the world move on to the second leg of their epic clash (the first was, of course, the recent series in Australia) as the Aussies embark on their first Gilchrist-less and Warne-less (and, for that matter, Lee-less, Hayden-less…) tour of South Africa. The series will be the first for either team to make use of the referral system, and it will be interesting to see how Smith and Ponting choose to utilise it.

For the tourists, much of the focus will be on the less familiar faces – the likes of old Bryce McGain and young Philip Hughes. Marcus North, recently signed by Hampshire, is also in line for a debut, probably in the First Test.

For South Africa, the faces will be more familiar given the team’s performance in Australia- even to the extent that a fit-again Ashwell Prince can’t break back into the side. The pace attack (especially Steyn), so potent in December, will be crucial once again.

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Bangladesh, despite another good performance from Shakib Al Hasan, weren’t able to capitalise on having South Africa 134-5 during the Second Test between the sides. Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher both ended the day unbeaten, having also both made centuries.

Yesterday, the Bangladeshi batsmen continued their lacklustre form, with only two batsmen making decent scores as the side made 250. There are signs of some progress from the kittens/cubs, but not enough to suggest that they’ll win a Test anytime soon.

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…as if anyone would want them on current form. Those who will be involved in the second Indian Premier League auction include Misbah-ul-Haq, Brad Hodge and Mohammad Ashraful. Also involved will be Ashwell Prince and Mohammad Yousuf, who nobody wanted last time around.

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The IPL auction extravangana is now done. M S Dhoni went for the biggest amount ($1.5m), the Jaipur team may be penalised for not spending enough, and no-one wanted Mohammad Yousuf or Ashwell Prince.

If all this has left your head spinning, try here.

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