Cricket: The time for experimentation is over as SA faces Pakistan

A "new-look" South African one-day international team lost 2-1 to lowly ranked New Zealand earlier this year and narrowly avoided a humiliating and unprecedented whitewash with a last-ball victory in the final game. It was an unusual-looking XI with plenty of experimentation and rotation taking place.

"Rotation can be unsettling, no doubt," admitted national selection convenor Andrew Hudson, "but we had a good opportunity to see the pipeline of fringe players coming through the system and there's no doubt we have plenty of work to do."

A consummate 95-run thrashing by Pakistan in the second T20 last Sunday was a chastening experience and a reminder that Proteas supporters will not be sustained by the glories of the Test team alone.

"The time for experimentation is now over. My discussions with [coach] Gary [Kirsten] have all pointed towards winning the five-match series against Pakistan with a view to winning the International Cricket Council's Champions Trophy in England in June," said Hudson.

"We are under no illusions; the one-day team is some way adrift of the Test team. All our best combinations will be used against Pakistan. We will try to play our first-choice batting line-up too.


"We are playing to win, nothing else, against Pakistan," Hudson said.

Likely team for first ODI in Bloemfontein on March 10: Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, AB de Villiers (captain), Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien or David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Neil Manthorp
Neil Manthorp works from Cape Town. Talk and write about cricket,golf and most sports. Executive Coach. Cook for the family when at home. Neil Manthorp has over 27405 followers on Twitter.
Advertising

It’s just not cricket

Near Makhanda in the Eastern Cape in the village of Salem is a cricket pitch that is said to be the oldest in the country. Watered by blood and trauma, rolled with frontier nostalgia and contemporary paranoia, how does it play?

Three million jobs lost and hunger surging amid Covid-19 crisis...

Income shocks and the breakdowns in social protection schemes have had consequences for hunger and food insecurity in South Africa

SAA creditors give go-ahead on rescue plan

Unions and staff representatives have agreed to severance packages for about 2 700 employees who will lose their jobs.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday