It’s a new day for SA

2013-11-01 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa and Pakistan both have to depend on their bowlers to win today’s second one-day international in Dubai.

Both teams have good bowling attacks, but poor batting by their players has caused sleepless nights for the captains and coaches.

The first match, which the Proteas won by a single run, focused the spotlight once again on poor batting by both sides.

South Africa escaped defeat by a whisker in Sharjah after the team had been bowled out for a paltry 183. It was only a good partnership between two bowlers — Wayne Parnell and Lonwabo Tsotsobe — of 52 for the ninth wicket that put a decent target on the scoreboard.

The fact that the Proteas still won the match merely emphasised Pakistan’s batting failure rather than the success of South Africa’s bowling. Tsotsobe, Parnell, Morné Morkel and especially Imran Tahir bowled well, but no successful international batting line-up should lose six wickets for 17 runs on such a pitch.

South Africa have the wonderful prospect of fielding Hashim Amla, who will strengthen the team’s batting.

Amla, the world’s leading batsman in the shortened version of the game, however, is still in SA while he awaits the birth of his second child. Up to yesterday there still had not been any word on when he will join the team.

The Proteas also need to quickly devise a plan to counter Saeed Ajmal.

The Pakistani spinner is currently — with England’s Graeme Swann — the world’s best turner of the ball and a major headache for many teams.

He apparently has a fondness to haunt South African batsmen and has troubled many of the green and gold players this year.

SA, who are currently in the United Arab Emirates for the series against Pakistan, also played a home series against Pakistan earlier this year.

During the five Tests against the Proteas, Ajmal took 23 wickets and added another 13 in the 7 ODIs.

The two batsmen who struggled the most against Ajmal were Graeme Smith and Faf du Plessis. Smith had been given out against Ajmal six times during this year’s Tests and ODIs while Du Plessis had to walk back to the pavilion on four occasions. Ajmal, who has the potential to turn the ball to both sides, is also lethal against the tail enders.

When it comes to using spin bowlers SA’s strategy is also somewhat unclear.

It had been expected that SA would use two specialist spinners on the UAE’s dry wickets, but judged by the first match, it seems that a left hand bowler such as Robin Peterson will still have to wait for an opportunity to play.

Proteas part time bowler JP Duminy only bowled one over against Pakistan on Wednesday.

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