Charl Langeveldt, the Proteas bowling coach, has a harsh message for his bowlers: they’ve haven’t necessarily been great in the one-day series against Sri Lanka.
One their biggest shortcomings have been some distinctly ordinary bowling in the first 10 overs, illustrated by the Islanders’ opening partnerships in this series.
Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga have combined for partnerships of 45, 60 and 139 in their previous three innings.
“If this continues, it will become a big concern in New Zealand and England,” Langeveldt said on Thursday ahead of Friday’s fifth and final ODI in Centurion.
South Africa are aiming for a 5-0 whitewash.
“It’s going be be very important to be better, especially in England. We always say if we take three wickets in the first 15 overs, we’ll have a big chance of winning.
“That said, we’re still trying out some combinations. We’re looking for a strike partner for Kagiso Rabada.”
Nonetheless, Langeveldt – a fine opening bowler and specialist at the death – expects his attack to be tighter and more consistent.
“If I had to give marks out of ten, I’d probably give us a five opening the bowling. We really haven’t been up to standard in the first ten overs,” he said.
“I’m very hard on that. But the bowlers have shown character in getting themselves back into games. Wayne Parnell has been in good in that regard. He took vital wickets in Cape Town after a bad start. Overall, we’ve been a seven. But it needs to improve to eight or nine out of ten.”
The feeling though still exists that the national selectors will be monitoring Morne Morkel’s progress for the Titans in the upcoming domestic One-day Cup.
The 32-year-old lanky quick has arguably been the Proteas’ best ODI bowler the past five years as 181 victims at an average of 24.60 illustrates.
“Given that we’re currently playing three all-rounders, I feel we’ve probably got space for another genuine strike bowler,” said Langeveldt.
“Morne will be playing in about a week’s time. That’s a really good sign for us. He’s got a great record.”