The Roar
The Roar


Two targets with one strike: Get Botha on board

Callum Ferguson, left, has been unlucky for a long time. (AAP Image/James Elsby)
Roar Guru
29th November, 2016

Former South African cricketer Johan Botha has recently become an Australian citizen, leading many to argue that he should be selected for the Aussies.

Perhaps this would be the easiest solution for Australian cricket to add depth to their lower middle order as well as to get a good spinner on board.

Two targets at one strike. No Nathan Lyon, no Glenn Maxwell, no inconsistency.

After receiving his citizenship Botha announced that now he wants to make an international comeback.

Botha, who last featured for South Africa, in the 2012 T-20 event in Sri Lanka, is hoping to make a comeback, now for the Baggie greens.

Besides being a consistent, economical off-spinner, Botha has excellent captaincy credentials.
He captained South Africa to a 4-1 ODI series win in Australia, back in 2008-09.

While he may be 34, he has featured in every multi-nation event since 2007. He even had a great IPL season with Rajasthan Royals in 2011.

A quintessential limited-overs player, Botha himself said he preferred limited overs cricket, “I’ve always enjoyed the shorter format the most. Going back a bit, three years ago, when Darren Berry [South Australia coach] asked me to go over to South Australia, I really wanted to take that chance. I did not want to sit at home in ten years’ time and think, “I should have done it.” ”

As a regular player for the Sydney Sixers, he still has a two-year contract up his sleeve.


Coming to the Australian line-up, Nathan Lyon may seem to have a batting technique like him, yet Botha is more fluent and efficient.

While Glenn Maxwell is certainly an explosive number 5, yet his bowling is nowhere as consistent or economical as that of Botha’s.

Maxwell’s batting average is a tick over 33 from 67 ODI outings, even lower than South Africa’s ever-inconsistent, J.P Duminy. In T-20s, he is no better with an average under 30.

Players like Maxwell add nothing but hype to a team. A century in Sri Lanka does even hide that.

Australia can definitely get a good all-rounder in Botha at seven (or perhaps at eight), with a specialist, consistent batsman at five.

Adam Zampa might go in as the number one spinner in limited-overs, yet Botha’s all-around abilities (not to forget he is a brilliant fielder) is not something to be taken lightly.

This might be a daring move, but it has high chances of paying off.

A proven player, smart captain, good fielder, this can be Australia’s Kevin Pietersen moment.