Coach Mark Boucher explained the controversial selection issues around the Proteas T20 team on Thursday and it would seem the chances are slim that rising star Kyle Verreynne will be playing in the fourth and final match against Pakistan at Centurion on Friday.
Verreynne was one of the stars of the last ODI against Pakistan, scoring a tremendously composed 62 off 53 balls, and has been one of the form batsmen of the summer, averaging 97.14 for the Cape Cobras in first-class cricket. But in the domestic T20 Challenge he scored 123 runs in five innings, at a strike-rate of 128.
The 23-year-old’s career strike-rate in T20 cricket is 123 and he hits an average of 1.86 fours per innings and a six in roughly every second innings. Pite van Biljon, who is probably the batsman Verreynne could replace, has a career strike-rate of 130 and an average of 1.58 fours per innings and one six per innings.
“I want to win games of cricket, that’s the focus for me, but I am one of four selectors and we choose from a squad that was selected for us,” Boucher explained on Thursday.
“Kyle was chosen by them as the back-up wicketkeeper to Heinrich Klaasen when we spent two days discussing who was the back-up for whom. Wihan Lubbe (career SR 137) was chosen as top-three back-up. I understand Kyle was very good in the last ODI, but T20 cricket is a bit different.
“Directly after the franchise T20 competition, the computers were brought out and we considered the aggressive brand we want to play, and the collective felt that Lubbe should get an opportunity in the top-order.
“Kyle is growing and we believe he can still add to a couple of parts of his game and become a world-class performer in all three formats,” Boucher explained on Thursday.
The seeming imbalance of the side, with just about every bowling option under the sun being included but Andile Phehlukwayo batting at seven and not bowling has also come under scrutiny.
“Andile is playing as an all-rounder because you can’t go into a T20 with just five bowling options; that won’t work,” Boucher said.
“It’s always nice to have options, we had seven in the last game, but the captain has to make the call when to use them. We bowled really well in the second T20 which is probably the reason why Andile didn’t bowl then.
“In the last game we couldn’t pick up wickets and we went to death bowling fairly early, and there are certain guys who then come into the game like Sisanda Magala and Lizaad Williams, as the captain wanted to make it difficult for Pakistan to score. But it didn’t come off,” Boucher said.