Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Made in Africa sticker as eleven from the Veldt pad out England, NZ squads

Yes, New Zealand are about to play England in a cricket series. But a curious observation will be how the South Africa vs South Africa contest-within-a-contest unfolds.

Of the 25 players named in England's Twenty20, one-day and test squads, seven were born in South Africa.

Four of the 26 players New Zealand had in the Republic were of a similar origin. It continues an immigration trend in recent years for both countries.

Those numbers also make for a hypothetical first XI ... here's the batting order.

Michael Lumb (Eng)
Born: Johannesburg
Age: 32
Squad: T20
Pedigree: 11 T20 internationals
Despite 150 first-class matches, Lumb has fashioned a career as a Twenty20 specialist at international and franchise level. Earned his pedigree contributing to England's World T20 title in 2010 with heavy top order blows. Recently starred for the Sydney Sixers in the Champions League final, hitting an unbeaten 82 off 42 balls to help defeat South Africa's Lions by 10 wickets and finishing as the tournament's top scorer.

Nick Compton (Eng)
Born: Durban
Age: 29
Squad: Test
Pedigree: 4 tests
Broke the ceiling as Denis' grandson last year when threatening the exclusive mark of 1000 first-class runs by the end of May (in the English season). Only eight players have done it. Compton fell 50 runs short on nine not out (which he turned into a century on June 1). He has made a steady test start, averaging 34.66 in four tests against India. His top score is 57 but four other opening knocks yielded between 29 and 37.

Jonathan Trott (Eng)
Born: Cape Town
Age: 31
Squad: Test/ODI
Pedigree: 38 tests, 54 ODIs, 7 T20s
Trott has ensconced himself as England No 3 which included a key role helping retain the Ashes in 2010-11. Nicknamed Booger, (after a resemblance to the Revenge of the Nerds character), Trott is familiar with New Zealand. In 2005-06, then Otago coach Mike Hesson brought him out as their overseas player. His father, Ian, is premier coach at Auckland's Parnell club and sister Gayle is a publisher in the city.

Kevin Pietersen (Eng)
Born: Pietermaritzburg
Age: 32
Squad: Test
Pedigree: 92 tests, 132 ODI, 36 T20s
The polarising Pietersen is only playing the tests but will spin turnstiles as he edges towards his ambition of 10,000 runs at an average of 50 with 30 centuries. Those statistics currently sit at 7414, 49.42 and 22 respectively. After the texting saga which led to a rift within the England team during last year's South African series, perhaps he could offer tactical clues to the South African-born New Zealanders?

BJ Watling (NZ)
Born: Durban
Age: 27
Squad: Test/ODI
Pedigree: 10 tests, 19 ODIs, 3 T20s
Sound efforts with the keeping gloves in South Africa mean Watling - who has been in New Zealand 17 years - can expect to retain his spot against England. Batting in the middle order, he was also second on the test batting averages (42) behind Dean Brownlie (43). Two top-score 63s in the second test tried in vain to edge New Zealand to respectability. Will be wary of the threat posed by Wellington's Luke Ronchi.

Grant Elliott (NZ)
Born: Johannesburg
Age: 33
Squad: ODI
Pedigree: 5 tests, 40 ODIs, 1 T20
In South Africa, Elliott proved that the tactic of selecting players on reputation rather than form can still work. He gave centurion Kane Williamson valuable support in the Kimberley ODI win on his way to 48. He also led the fightback with 54 in the Potchefstroom loss. Before the series, his last ODI was in December 2010 and his form prior to selection was patchy as a batting all-rounder. Go figure.

Matt Prior (Eng)
Born: Johannesburg
Age: 30
Squad: Test
Pedigree: 62 tests, 68 ODIs, 10 T20s
Fits into the category of veteran wicketkeeper and has bolstered England's batting order at No 7, with an average of 43.19. A core part of the juggernaut which ploughed England up the test rankings. Prior also played a key role reintegrating Kevin Pieterson into the dressing room with a candid phone call before the Indian tour. New Zealand could take note re Ross Taylor.

Colin Munro (NZ)
Born: Durban
Age: 25
Squad: Test/ODI/T20
Pedigree: 1 test, 2 ODIs, 3 T20s
Emigrated aged 15 after growing up emulating Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. Munro's better than a-run-a-ball 269 in the Plunket Shield for the Auckland Aces against the Wellington Firebirds plus two other hundreds and a fifty this season led to selection across all formats in South Africa. Showed signs of promise in the last ODI with 57 off 62 balls. Likely to be persevered with against England.

Neil Wagner (NZ)
Born: Pretoria
Age: 28
Squad: Test/ODI
Pedigree: 3 tests
The leading wicket-taker in the last two Plunket Shields has to convince he's ready to continue at test level. That will continue with his appearance for the New Zealand XI against England in the first T20 warm-up in Whangarei tomorrow. The attacking left-armer replaced Chris Martin for the second test in South Africa but took one wicket for 135. He was also the most expensive bowler, sieving 4.09 runs an over.

Stuart Meaker (Eng)
Born: Pietermaritzburg
Age: 24
Squad: T20
Pedigree: 2 ODIs, 2 T20s
Has earned a reputation as a whippy right-arm quick who can swing the new and old ball both ways. Remains the fastest bowler recorded at England's national cricket performance centre at Loughborough. Meaker was Surrey's leading wicket-taker in the 2012 first-class season with 44 wickets at 22.56 apiece. Pays close attention to his hygiene judging by the foot deodoriser he carries in his kitbag.

Jade Dernbach (Eng)
Born: Johannesburg
Age: 26
Squad: T20
Pedigree: 22 ODIs, 18 T20s
Produces a potpourri of bowling deliveries from slower balls to yorkers touching 150km/h which make him useful in the shortest forms. If you are watching the ball out of the hand, don't be distracted by two arm sleeves of tattoos. Dernbach's anticipating plenty of joie de vivre in New Zealand, judging by a tweet from Mission Bay in reference to the team's arrival: "Some pasty rigs looking for some action."

- Herald on Sunday

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