Proteas coach Russell Domingo is planning to play all 15 players in the squad in the three One-day internationals against England that precede the Champions Trophy, also in England.
“Every international game is important, but the games against England are very important, both in terms of results and giving guys game time so they can get used to conditions. Some guys have not had much game time recently so I want to make sure they all get a chance to play,” Domingo said as the Proteas prepared to leave for England, where their first warm-up match is on Friday, against Sussex in Hove.
They also play Northamptonshire before the first ODI against England next Wednesday at Headingley in Leeds.
Domingo said the series will also provide a chance to settle on the best combinations for certain conditions in the Champions Trophy, with South Africa’s group matches being played at the Oval (Sri Lanka), Edgbaston (Pakistan) and against India, also at the Oval.
“The top six pretty much look after themselves, and then we want to play the form all-rounder and decide whether to play two spinners or not. We’re just looking to find the suitable combination for whatever the conditions are, whether that means playing Keshav Maharaj as well to give us more batting depth or do we go with both Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada?” Domingo said.
Captain AB de Villiers said the team had the combinations required to win the Champions Trophy for the first time since 1998 in Bangladesh.
“It would be nice to repeat that, it was a long time ago, but we’ve been playing good cricket and we’ve raised the bar since the 2015 World Cup disappointment.
“We go with confidence, even though England is a good destination because you get a bit of everything when it comes to the conditions and you need to cover all the bases. But the biggest strength of this squad is the balance we’ve got, plus the batting line-up has played together for quite a while.”