Strong bench key to Proteas’s world cup campaign

South Africa’s impressive depth was underlined in their emphatic world cup win over West Indies on Friday, and with paceman Vernon Philander and JP Duminy out injured, the Proteas will again rely on their “bench” to shine against Ireland.

Captain AB de Villiers may have grabbed the headlines with his sparkling 162 off 66 balls against the Caribbean side, but South Africa’s reserves gave the team a big boost after their confidence was rocked by the 130-run thrashing by India.

Rookie batsman Rilee Roussow, scored 61 off 39 balls after replacing Duminy in the middle order, while Kyle Abbott, in for seamer Philander, took two wickets including the prized scalp of West Indies talisman Chris Gayle for three runs.

All-rounder Farhaan Behardien said building a strong bench had been an “emphasis” for South Africa for some six months leading into the world cup.

“We played against the West Indies in South Africa, and … our bench was so strong,” Behardien told reporters at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, where they play Ireland on Tuesday.


“Rilee, what a wonderful player. He came in and scored two hundreds in South Africa against the West Indies when he was on the bench.

“[All-rounder Wayne] Parnell was on the bench against West Indies, picked up four wickets in the last [One Day International], and similarly [left-arm spinner] Aaron Phangiso is waiting in the wings, and when he steps up to the plate, he’ll be asked to do a job.

Vitally important
“The squad of 15 is vitally important to our cause, and going forward, you never know there might be an injury or somebody might pick up a stomach bug or whatever. The emphasis is on the 15 instead of 11.”

After playing West Indies in Sydney following the India loss in front of 87 000 at Melbourne, Behardien said the team were enjoying the relative quiet of the Australian capital.

Two players, paceman Dale Steyn and batsman Faf du Plessis, have been worried about events back home however, tweeting pictures of a bushfire near family homes south of Cape Town.

Family members have travelled with the South Africa camp to Canberra and Behardien said a good support structure was in place to help Du Plessis and Steyn, who will play his 100th one-day international against Ireland.

“We all know what a wonderful performer he’s been over the years,” Behardien said of the 31-year-old fast bowler.

“We’ll try and celebrate his 100th game with a win and we’ll be fighting tooth and nail come tomorrow.” – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

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.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Ithala fails to act against board chairperson over PPE scandal

Morar asked to settle with the state and pay back the profit he made on an irregular tender

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

More top stories

‘Extreme’ tactics and lockdown buy rhino more time

The Rockwood Conservation reserve boasts zero poaching incidents in six years and its breeding project is successful, but costly

What is EFF’s party funding quest?

Its court application to force disclosure of donations to Cyril Ramaphosa may mask a bid to portray him as a capitalist puppet

North West premier in phone tapping claims

‘Agents’ working for Job Mokgoro allegedly tapped ANC and cabinet members’ phones

Judicial committee orders Mogoeng to apologise for SA-Israel remarks

The JCC said that by the chief justice straying into politics, he breached the judicial conduct code and ordered him to issue an apology and retraction
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…