Proteas still have to work on their middle order

2013-11-22 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa may have won six matches in a row against Pakistan, but there are still rough edges that will have to be smoothed out before the Proteas can be seen as a top competitor in international tournaments.

The batting order presents the main questions, especially in the middle order.

The Proteas batted first in five of the six wins against Pakistan and the bowlers won those games.

On Wednesday the middle order floundered against Pakistan in the first T20 match at the Wanderers.

Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla laid an excellent base for the team with 72 in eight overs for the first wicket. The Proteas, however, struggled to continue their pace and eventually managed only 153/7.

JP Duminy yesterday said it was a disappointing batting display. “I think a good score in Johannesburg is somewhere between 170 and 180, especially after the good start we had. We know we can do better in all facets of the game,” said the Western Cape left-hand batsman.

It is also not certain if the Proteas can chase a target when they are under pressure.

Duminy yesterday admitted the team were more comfortable batting first. “We have always fared better when we bat first. Our bowlers can then put the pressure on the other team to chase a target.

“I think we still have to find our feet when we bat second in one-day and T20 cricket. Hopefully we will get a chance to show what we can do when we chase a target,” said Duminy.

Henry Davids has meanwhile been released to play for the Titans against the Lions in a four-day match at Centurion.

The right-handed batsman and useful right-arm off-spin bowler has to date struggled to transfer his excellent form on local creases to the international arena.

AB de Villiers, Ryan McLaren or David Wiese could be chosen in his place. De Villiers has been given a break and the Proteas team management have not yet indicated whether he would be playing today.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, David Wiese, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morné Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanveer, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti.

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