Proteas keen to build on lessons learned in India

South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl is striving for more consistency from his players and believes the recently completed tour of India was a solid starting point in preparations for next year’s Cricket World Cup.

The tourists drew the Test series 1-1 and salvaged some pride by winning the last of three one-dayers, albeit against a weakened India side, but Van Zyl is keen to highlight the positives of his first tour in charge.

“Obviously we would have loved to have done much better in the one-day series, but we needed the tour to look at our combinations and options,” Van Zyl told a news conference on Monday.

“I now need to talk with the rest of the team management, [captain] Graeme Smith and the new selection panel and discuss which ones have worked,” he added.

“The positive is that we are much clearer about the conditions, the way individuals perform under pressure and what we will need to be a force in India in 2011.”

Van Zyl was drafted in as a temporary replacement after Mickey Arthur stepped down days before the tour, and welcomed the news that he would retain the role through to next year’s World Cup, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“It was a relief ... not just for me but also for the team. They also felt the uncertainty and the effect of that cannot be underestimated.
Fortunately, it’s no longer something we need to worry about,” Van Zyl added.

Despite missing out on a chance to leapfrog India at the top of the world Test rankings after being pegged back in that series, Van Zyl believes the number one spot is within reach.

“We spoke about consistency ... and it is the one thing we must improve if the team is going to get to number one; it’s one of our big goals,” the former international bowler added.

“Our consistency obviously needs to pick up because it is a concern. We have to make sure that, under pressure, we win the big moments.

“The players must be calm and be able to think clearly so they can execute the game plan under that sort of pressure.”—Reuters

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