Kevin Pietersen: Superb Will Jacks illustrates England's depth
The Betway ambassador previews the South Africa v England Betway ODI series and reviews the first half of the SA20.
England can overpower South Africa
I’m expecting the ODI series between South Africa to be a really good contest. All of the top players have been playing, so they’re in rhythm.
I do think that across three matches, England will have way too much firepower. Buttler is in good form, and they have Phil Salt, Harry Brook and Moeen Ali also providing a boundary threat throughout the batting order.
But the big story is the return of Jofra Archer to international cricket.
The world of cricket needs entertainers and Archer is one of those. The effortlessness with which the bowls is something special.
I know, speaking to a lot of bowlers, that they wish they had his talent.
It’s so exciting that he’ll be back in an England shirt. I feared it may not happen again, so I just hope he gets through these games, impresses, and then it will feel like he’s properly back in business.
The SA20 has South Africa buzzing
Growing up as a kid, we used to go to cricket in South Africa and the ground was full, the atmosphere was spectacular.
That’s exactly what we’re now seeing during the SA20.
Newlands grass banks - FULL— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 15, 2023
St George’s grass banks - FULL
Kingsmead grass banks - FULL
Paarl’s grass banks - FULL
Centurion’s grass banks - FULL
Reminds me of growing up watching cricket in SA again.
WELL DONE, everyone! ❤️🇿🇦
It’s so refreshing that South Africa cricket has got itself back to where it was 20 or 30 years ago.
I’m loving the fact that there’s such wonderful support for this tournament. There’s an energy and a buzz in the country, people are talking about cricket.
Most importantly, the product is good. We know that T20 cricket is a great game, and the players are producing world-class sport. It’s delivering some exciting games as well, so it’s been amazing.
Will Jacks is some talent
Will Jacks looks like a very, very good player. He hits the ball nicely in conventional areas. He’s not afraid to take a risk.
He is the third top run-scorer, hits at the best strike-rate and is by far the top six-hitter at this tournament. He can bowl and he also took a spectacular catch, the type that will raise the profile of the tournament because it goes viral on social media.
Now THAT Will Jacks' stunning one-hander deserves a share of Betway's Catch a R2 Million! 😎#Betway #SA20 | @Betway_India #JSKvPC pic.twitter.com/0A0fwnSjJY— Betway SA20 (@SA20_League) January 17, 2023
These English guys have been built for T20 cricket, they practice for it, and they have long futures – and are going to make a lot of money – in the game.
Some of these guys, like Jacks, aren’t even getting in England’s first-choice white-ball squads, which just shows the depth of talent they have now. It’s an exciting time.
South African youngsters impress
There was a lot spoken about Dewald Brevis at the start of the competition and he’s shown some an incredible potential.
He’s one of a few youngsters who should give South Africa a lot of hope for the future, Marco Jansen being another one.
I think Brevis needs to play a bit more first-class cricket. He’s not the finished article.
He needs to play pace bowling better. He can whack it on occasion but he’s quite limited against the very quickest bowling.
I’ve been really impressed with Bjorn Fortuin, the spinner for Paarl Royals. He looks really good.
And there’s loads of fast bowling talent, too. I’ve spoken so many times about how the IPL is an academy for cricketers in India – well it looks like South Africa has its very own academy now.
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