Get to know the South African team

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This is a guide to a few of the newer South African players. You shouldn’t cut it out, nor should you keep it. You should read it once, sigh and think to yourself: ‘I already knew all that. I remember when this site was good.’

Paul Harris

Paul Harris is a South African spin bowler. Don’t let his competent record fool you. He’s still a South African spin bowler.

Like all South African spin bowlers, he’s 29 already, even though he’s ‘new’.

Hashim Amla

You sort of remember him from when England toured South Africa in 2004, when his beard was all the more lovable for the short periods of time it was inside a batting helmet. It wasn’t a great series for Amla.

Unfortunately Hashim Amla has rather pushed on. In his last ten Tests – against New Zealand, West Indies, Bangladesh and India – he’s bearded three hundreds and averaged 58.8. It’s customary at these times to remove any scores against Bangladesh, so let’s do that.

Now he averages 64.4.

Hopefully this form won’t last and having hit a hundred in each of South Africa’s warm-up matches, Amla’s clearly frittering away his reservoir of runs at the wrong time. The hirsute fool!

Dale Steyn

Think James Anderson with another 5mph of pace and no bad days.

Morne Morkel

Morne Morkel’s one we’re looking forward to seeing. He’s fast and ludicrously oversized. Not ludicrously oversized in a lanky Steve Harmison way, more in an undue pressure on the pituitary gland kind of way.


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  1. In the interest of furthering my cricketty knowledge I have been beard-comparing – Monty v Amla. Amla’s beard is clearly the longer – but as Monty has tache and beardy cheeks – has he more beard?

    Will Luke on Cricbeardinfo tells us Amla has the BEST beard in cricket – this is however clearly rubbish as that honour (and I know Miriam and her vast cricketty knowledge will back me up on this) belongs to Dirty Dirk.

  2. I can confirm, having conducted exhaustive investigations, that the finest example is that which sits atop the face of Dirty Dirk Nannes.

  3. Excellent shoe horning of Charlie Byrne in there.

    Man, I love that dead, lanky, tragic and drunkard get.

  4. As a some-time beard wearer, perhaps I can clear things up here (although Keith Flett of the Beard Liberation Front always seems to be hovering around cricket pages, so maybe he’ll show up to trump me).

    Anyway: Amla sports what is known as the upside-down beard, or “Eavis”. The benefit of this style of beard is that your face looks the right way up even when inverted, which can be used to entertain small children or confuse predators. The downside (or upside, depending) is that soup that would normally be caught in the moustache area tends to fall chinwards, leading to unsightly streaks (or nosewards in the inverted case, which is clearly disastrous). Amla’s particular Eavis is utterly exemplary, however; were it a pomeranian, it would surely be Best In Show.

    Monty opts for the full face natural, which is a look much favoured by those who favour purity of vision, or are simply pressed for time. The idea is congruity of style; witness Herbert Dobner, competitor in this category at the World Beard and Moustache Championships. No-one can argue that his beard is not an essential part of his identity. While perhaps not in this class, Monty is clearly of the same school.

    This brings us to Dirty Dirk. While his is a decent effort, I’m afraid it’s no more than workmanlike. Were he a footballer, in which sport there is no tradition of great beards, he would surely be applauded for his efforts (think of Olof Mellberg, for example). Cricketers should aspire to greater things, however. Perhaps some other Dirky attribute is clouding certain people’s judgment – I couldn’t possibly say.

    No, I’m afraid that at the moment Amla quite clearly has the best beard in active service. Were Monty to abandon his naturalistic approach and go freestyle, though, we’d have a real competition on our hands.

  5. It’s alright, Harris will be dropped half-way through the series in favour of another fast bowler. Andre Nel, with any luck.

  6. Paul Harris had Pakistan by the balls last tour – but then all left arm spinners do… but he did well against India too.. I think..

    I think Amla scored against Pak as well and Steyn is definitely faster than that. 120 wickets in 20 tests or thereabouts..quite remarkable..

  7. Have you got this right – isn’t Harris the pituitary gland disorder, he is rather Lurch like [don’t be fooled by the blond highlights]!

  8. Andre Nel – bring him on. Yes, Yes, YES!

    I love this South African Team. More nuts than a coconut palm. Can’t wait!

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