Cricket 8.2.2018 11:28 pm

Selections the Proteas need to ponder to restore pride

AB de Villiers never disappoints in pink. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

AB de Villiers never disappoints in pink. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

AB de Villiers is hopefully back for this weekend’s “Pink” ODI at the Wanderers. But there are several others they need to consider too.

The Proteas on Thursday only added AB de Villiers to their squad for the remainder of the ODI series against India.

Team management confirmed, however, that his bruised finger still needs to be assessed when he joins up on Friday for this weekend’s “Pink” ODI at the Wanderers.

Nonetheless, his presence is a huge boost for a side badly starved of confidence.

De Villiers’ selection is only one of a few that needs to be pondered if the Proteas are going to fight back from 3-0 down.

WICKETKEEPER: Heinrich Klaasen or De Villiers
Titans man Klaasen shouldn’t be judged solely on his single figure score at Newlands earlier this week.
He’s a class act at his franchise as a top order batsman and the only full-time keeper in the squad.
De Villiers could open up a spot by taking the gloves but he’s said numerous times he doesn’t like that responsibility as it places his back under stress.
A fit De Villiers is more of a priority now.
SELECTION OUTCOME: Pick both Klaasen and De Villiers
MIDDLE ORDER FINISHER: Khaya Zondo or Farhaan Behardien
Dolphins captain Zondo hasn’t exactly been given the easiest introduction to international cricket.
He looked compact and organised in Centurion but froze at Newlands.
There might be a case to keep him if the view is long-term yet the need for a result makes the experience of Behardien a better bet. He’s a fighter, the best finisher in domestic cricket and can bowl a few overs.
SELECTION OUTCOME: Pick Behardien
SPINNER: Imran Tahir or Tabraiz Shamsi
In some countries, a player who takes 26 wickets in 9 domestic one-day matches would immediately be picked as the national side’s frontline ODI spinner.
The Proteas though stuck to pedigree and chose veteran Tahir.
He’s been found out by the Indian batters though and his recent form is underwhelming.
Shamsi didn’t have runs to play with in Centurion but surely there’s still some of his red-hot form left over?
SELECTION OUTCOME: Pick Shamsi
FAST BOWLER: Lungi Ngidi or Morne Morkel
There was widespread criticism for the lanky Morkel being “rested” for Newlands, given his fine record at the ground and that South Africa were in a must-win situation.
Ngidi struggled on his debut though took 4/19 last year in a T20 against Sri Lanka at the Bullring.
It’s probably now advisable to stick to the youngster though – again – the need for a result might mean Morkel is in favour again.
SELECTION OUTCOME: Pick Ngidi (but there’s doubt)
TWO ALL-ROUNDERS (Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris) OR AN EXTRA BATSMAN (Farhaan Behardien/Khaya Zondo)
Morris seems in the type of batting form that suggests he can hold his own in terms of making a decent score.
Given the struggles with the bat overall, the batting surely must be strengthened.
The Proteas won’t out-bowl India at the moment, only (maybe) out-hit them.
SELECTION OUTCOME: Pick the extra batsman


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