Will South Africa turn to spin?
Two group-A teams within three days have described South Africa’s bowling attack as lacking variety and it appears captain Graeme Smith might be starting to listen.
After Scotland hit 55 runs in the last five overs on Tuesday to record their best World Cup score of 186, captain Ryan Watson hinted South Africa might hold an edge over Australia—but not due to their bowling.
“I like the way South Africa are playing at the moment, although I worry about the fact they don’t have a spinner in the side,” he said. “These wickets are quite flat and they can be slightly one-dimensional.
“Their fielding gives them a massive edge. I think they’re a better fielding side, but I think I’d get a spinner into the side to break up that attack.”
Dutch captain Luuk van Troost offered a similar appraisal on Sunday after a 229-run defeat to Australia, when left-arm wristspinner Brad Hogg extracted turn on the flat Warner Park pitch.
First- and second-change bowlers Andrew Hall and Charl Langeveldt were South Africa’s best on Tuesday to take a combined five wickets.
But both were expensive in the closing overs, and Smith didn’t rule out selecting left-arm fingerspinner Robin Peterson for Saturday’s key game against Australia.
“There’s a few possibilities we’re looking at; we haven’t written off anyone for Saturday,” Smith said.
“We’ve got those options and we’ve got our game plans against their options also. It’s not a very big field, so we’ve discussed a few things and hopefully they’ll come off on Saturday.”
Langeveldt, who took 2-48 off 10 overs compared with Hall’s 3-50, was a slightly surprising selection over Andre Nel on Tuesday and would be the player most likely to make way if Peterson was picked.
But Smith is clearly concerned over exposing a slow bowler on such a small ground.
“With the winds blowing strongly, that changed a bit of our death-bowling tactics,” Smith said. “I think at the death on this ground you’re going to go for a few boundaries. We came up with a few game plans, and can now think about that and plan for the Australia game.”—Sapa-AP