‘Van Wyk should open SA ODI batting’

2013-11-06 00:00

MORNÉ van Wyk should be opening the batting for South Africa in one-day internationals (ODIs) right now, said Lance (Zulu) Klusener, coach of the Sunfoil Dolphins.

Van Wyk (34), the Dolphins skipper, has scored 314 runs during the Momentum One-Day Cup campaign this season at an average of 39,25, and has blasted 41 fours and six sixes.

“He regularly had us off to a flyer. Not only do I think he can play for South Africa. He should play. He can slot into the one-day side tomorrow. I would have Hashim Amla bat at number 3,” stated Klusener.

“We have regularly used make-shift opening batsmen. Colin [Ingram] is brilliant, but he should slot into the middle order,” said Klusener, a veteran of 171 ODIs and who represented South Africa at the Cricket World Cups in 1999 and 2003.

“Morné is devastating at the top of the order, and he is not afraid to take on the bowlers.

“One of the problems we have had is a lack of experience at the top of the order, and Morné can fill that gap,” he added.

Klusener said Van Wyk might not be a bad option as glove man behind the stumps, as that would give AB de Villiers an opportunity of fielding in the inner ring, where he could add value to the fielding as well.

“One of the things I like about Morné is that he has a brilliant cricket brain,” Klusener added.

South Africa have struggled the past year when their experienced opening pair, Graeme Smith and Amla, have been absent through injury or personal reasons.

The selectors experimented recently with Alviro Petersen, Ingram and Quinton de Kock, but without success. Petersen averaged 20,33 in three ODIs against Sri Lanka.

De Kock only managed an average of 18,33. Ingram scored 0, 0 and four in his three most recent ODIs.

Van Wyk averages 41,19 in List A-games, and has scored 20 tons with a highest contribution of 168.

He represented South Africa in 13 ODIs, with limited success. Van Wyk averaged 27,58 and contributed three half-centuries.

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