Opinion: Conservative Gibson, king Colin and the superior Big Bash

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

Jonhenry Wilson's first opinion piece of 2018 looks at whether or not Dale Steyn is ready for a Test return, the magic of the Big Bash, the Ashes and Colin Munro's third T20I century. 

Gibson for or against Steyn
It will be a real shame if Dale Steyn doesn't turn out in the Newlands Test. Ottis Gibson is being uncharacteristically conservative in not wanting to rush the pace ace back into action. Yes, he would have been advised by the Proteas' medical team, but now really does seem like the right time to get Steyn steaming in at the iconic venue. Fair enough, he shouldn't have played against Zimbabwe - and rightly didn't, but the hosts were going to win without him anyway. India, led by the talismanic Virat Kohli, is a different scenario. The Proteas need a full-strength attack, spearheaded by Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Steyn, not just two of the three.

CSA can learn a lot from Big Bash
Have you been watching the action currently on the go in Australia? No, I'm not talking about the Ashes, but rather the country's premier short-format contest. What a marvel - and on the box at the right time of day, particularly if you're waking up late while on leave and eager to watch a bit of sport. It's a hang of a lot better than the mass-produced Indian Premier League. The quality of cricket and individualism makes for great entertainment. South Africa's Ram Slam T20 Challenge - and eventual T20 Global League - has a lot to learn from the Big Bash.

The Ashes
Here's hoping Australia don't do Mitchell Starc a dirty by playing him in the final Test. They really could have afforded to go without him, but have instead stuck him straight back into the thick of things. They'll need him for a long year - and will now have to trust that his temperamental frame stands up to the challenges in Sydney. The fitness of Pat Cummins, too, is a concern. The youngster has been prone to injury and is now playing a fifth Test in a row. He could have been rested for the final match. Jackson Bird, after a tough gig in Melbourne, deserved another go.

King Colin
How about that man Colin Munro. He wouldn't have been the man many backed to score three T20I centuries. Now he is the first, instead of, say, Chris Gayle or the world's other big-hitters. I'm really liking the cricket New Zealand are playing at the moment - and Pakistan's upcoming visit should test their approach even further. They're experimenting, rotating, playing expansive cricket and sticking to disciplined game plans. It all makes for great competition and solid results. Kane Williamson and Mike Hesson are arguably the best captain-coach combination out there at the moment.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.