Can Tahir do it again?

Even if the South African cricketing fraternity is starting to get used to it, a leg-spinner in the national side still carries novelty value and with it continued scrutiny.

Imran Tahir’s sky-high confidence after a successful tour to the UAE has made many excited but the big question is whether he can replicate his form at home.

The Wanderers, the venue for this evening’s first of two T20s between the Proteas and Pakistan, is hardly an unfamiliar milieu to the Highveld Lions stalwart but its reputation for high scoring requires Tahir to be varied.

Not that it’s troubling his skipper Faf du Plessis.

“Luckily for him and for me, he’s played a lot of cricket here,” he said yesterday.

“He understands that the ball travels a bit further here. With any spin bowlers, it’s really just about confidence and his is very high. And when you’ve got that, you’ll bowl well.”

Tahir, right, showcased a newfound economy to his game in last season’s domestic T20, where he mixed less runs with a healthy propensity for scalps.

Du Plessis believes it’s made the 34-year-old far more rounded.

“On the field, I communicate with my bowlers to make sure I’m on the same wavelength in terms of what they want to do and what I want from them,” he said.

“Immie knows there’s a time for wickets and a time for just building pressure by bowling dots. It’s a nice thing to his repertoire, he’s improved that a lot.”

What this hastily arranged series has provided South Africa is a tinge of continuity in a format they don’t play regularly.

As a result, little change from the UAE is expected.

“When we get to the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh next year, we need to be the team that’s been the most consistent. That’s the best way of chasing success there,” said Du Plessis.

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