Hashim Amla in action. Picture: GALLO IMAGES / DUIF DU TOIT
Hashim Amla in action. Picture: GALLO IMAGES / DUIF DU TOIT

London —To Hash or not to Hash? Who is the first-choice allrounder? How about the back-up fast bowler?

Since you ask‚ the obvious answers are‚ in order: hell yes‚ Andile Phehlukwayo and Anrich Nortjé‚ fitness permitting.

This reporter’s opinion is final and he will entertain absolutely no correspondence on the issue.

Besides‚ all will be revealed at 1pm on Thursday when SA announce their World Cup squad.

But that means there is still time for the legion of cricket tragics out there to bore the rest of us to golf with their tedious arguments in favour of or against the picking of particular players. And they are all tedious.

Here is some harsh but fair news for those sad people: what you think does not matter. All of you clam up and push off and come back on May 30‚ when England and SA play the opening match of the tournament at the Oval.

Then we can talk about the facts of the matter but‚ like it says above‚ nobody cares what you think. Capiche?

In that vein‚ all sorts of contrived nonsense has been written about Amla’s form when the fact is he scored a century and a half-century in his most recent five innings in the relevant format.

Also factually‚ SA have won seven and lost only three of the ODIs in which Phehlukwayo has batted at No7. On top of that he is also the only player to be deployed in that role in SS’s ODIs in 2019. So take the hint already‚ tragics.

Nortjé bowled up a storm in the ODI series against Sri Lanka‚ taking eight wickets at 18.75 and an economy rate of 4.76.

Only Kagiso Rabada‚ Imran Tahir and Phehlukwayo have taken more wickets in ODIs for SA in 2019 and‚ among bowlers who have played more than one game in the format in 2019‚ only Lungi Ngidi has a better average and only Tahir and Ngidi have better economy rates.

So‚ if Nortjé will be over his shoulder injury by the start of the World Cup‚ he has to be on his way to England.

But do not take this reporter’s word for it. Like the rest of us‚ what he thinks also does not matter.