National selectors will look to 1 Day Cup compeition for finishing power

2011-11-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Finding good finishing batsmen will be a priority for the national selectors when they cast their eye over perfor­mances during the 1 Day Cup competition this week.

An important sub-plot will be the opportunity for AB de Villiers to get back to the middle after his hand injury ahead of the Test series against Australia.

He will have the injury x-rayed again tomorrow and, if he gets the necessary medical clearance, he will play for the Titans on Sunday.

The recent ODI series against Australia confirmed the perfor­mance of the Proteas’ Test squad during the 2011 ICC World Cup, that the team is strong in most areas of batting and bowling, but lacks finishing power.

The ICC rankings confirm the overall health of the squad.

Morné Morkel has dropped off the number one ranking he held last week, but he, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are all in the top 11 while Johan Botha’s form against Australia has also got him back into the top 20.

The Titans play their opening match today against the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park.

The other four franchises will open their campaigns on Friday, while all six franchises will be in action on Sunday.

Form in this competition will be particularly relevant to the selectors as the playing conditions are identical to those used for ODIs.

The franchise players will have to get used to two new balls neither of which are used for more than 25 overs.

There is one important change to the qualification for the knock-out stage. The franchise that tops the log automatically qualifies for the final.

Dolphins team

Imraan Khan (Captain), Daryn Smit, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Loots Bosman, Ahmed Amla, Kyle Abbott, Robbie Frylinck, Cameron Delport, Friedel de Wet, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Paterson, Matthew Hulett

Fixtures for this week

Today: Titans v Highveld Lions, SuperSport Park, 15:00

Friday: Warriors v Knights, Buffalo Park, 15:00

Dolphins v Cape Cobras, Kingsmead, 15:00

Sunday: Dolphins v Warriors, Pietermaritzburg Oval, 10:00 — Highveld Lions v Cape Cobras, Wanderers Stadium, 10:00 — Titans v Knights, Willowmoore Park, 10:00

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