Imagine this weekend if you hated sport
I seem to be the only person in the country who doesn't think the Proteas were a disaster against India. At 127 for nothing after 21 overs who would have expected us to hold India to 331 on a dead easy track with small boundaries?
At that stage they looked on for 400.All this was done missing Dale Steyn and the last three over of Morne Morkel who went for a measly 4 an over in his spell. At 31 for two with Amla in the hutch it looked all over didn't it, until AB and the majestic Robin Peterson took us into a position from which a win looked as though it was on.
Yes, the run-outs were unfortunate but I saw a level of confidence in the body language and stroke play of the players that I haven't seen before in big limited over tournaments. At times the players even looked as though they were enjoying themselves and surely that is significant. In this they differed from their choking predecessors who mostly looked like they were at the dentist during ICC tournaments despite the regular great starts.
I haven't written us off. Not by a long chalk.
I cannot wait for today's rugby test against Italy in Durban. Heyneke Meyer has finally realised that he has two years to go before his big exam and he has to have some fun before it is too late. His bold selection indicates that now is the time to experiment and, based on the quotes that have come out of the squad; he is going to give the players their heads.
Jano Vermaak is a fine scrum half. He does the basics well but also has an eye for the unexpected that in this day of predictability is what sets nines apart from the flock. The coach might also keep an eye on France.
Did you see Rory Kockott win the local championship with his boot and marvelous try? Both of these players, given the chance, could be the ones to take over the great Fourie mantle in the game plan. Willie le Roux has been told to play his own game and that is exciting. We keep hearing that he has the X factor; well can he produce it at test level? Half of the challenge here is the other players covering for him when he tries the unexpected and that mindset might take time to inculcate.
However, in attack, finishers like Habana and Basswopn might actually find themselves finishing rather than just chasing kicks and running at walled defenses. As in the cricket the key is confidence. What do opponents hate about playing the Boks? Grunt and groan and physical pain in contact and, when you give them an inch, green jerseys running at you from everywhere.
Also when you transgress a points machine keeps rattling up the scoreboard. I know because I have been there. This is a selection that can do the job I reckon. I also want to see Jan Srefontein get a decent run at some stage. As with Jose Mourinho I think he is a special one.
Both these encounters will be fun but not so in Yaoundé. This is the crucial game of the weekend and let's hope the team can turn the anger at their travel woes into a positive, C.A R have been comfortably ensconced since Sunday while we only arrived on Wednesday night after two cancelled flights and a six hour bus trip. We beat them well in Cape Town but, even at the neutral venue, this is a different challenge.
Defense will be key and Itumeleng Khune will surely be tested. I love the look of May Mahlangu and Dean Furman together in the middle. Let there be no thought of Ethiopia either. Both of these fixtures are like World Cup Finals for Bafana Bafana because the World Cup is at stake isn't it?
After the excitement and boost given to us by 2010 can you imagine us not being in Brazil next year? Confidence backed by massive concentration and a bit of luck.
You could also be churlish and ask why we played a team on a plastic pitch in preparation? If we win it won't matter a jot.
Well done the man's hockey team as well. Mugg and Bean have put up the cash and the side repaid them with a dramatic last minute win in the first test against Malaysia.
Hockey has now no excuse not to start competing and beating the very best in the world. That goes for the men and women.
Imagine this weekend if you hate sport?