Proteas go all out

2013-12-11 00:00

AT the launch of the Sunfoil Test Series against India earlier this week, Cricket SA CEO Haroon Lorgat said the current One-Day series against India was not a dead rubber.

South Africa wrapped up the three-match series in Durban on Sunday, but Lorgat asked AB de Villiers and his men to go for a three-nil drubbing in today’s match at SuperSport Park.

With India’s batsmen still coming to terms with the pace and bounce of the South African wickets, a series whitewash could be on the cards, but there is plenty of rain about and players holding thumbs as to whether they will get on the park or not.

Protea all-rounder Ryan McLaren was hoping the team could finish the job in style and despite the foul weather, was optimistic that the rain could break.

“South African weather changes all the time. Look at Durban in our last game,” he said.

McLaren said it was great to be 2-0 up against the No. 1 ranked One-Day side in the world and attributed this to the Proteas’ outlook before the tour.

“It’s a pity the tour is so short, but having the top ranked ODI side coming to our shores was incentive enough to fire us up,” he said.

“From the start, we wanted to set the tone and play with high intensity and energy. We have achieved that in both games and want to wrap up today’s game in the same manner. We have definitely made inroads ahead of the two Test matches with the way we have dominated.”

It’s been clear to see in the two games to date that the key has been South Africa’s bowlers taking the initiative early on against Indian batsmen who have looked tentative to say the least. With Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock clicking at the top of the order with two massive opening stands, the Indians have been outplayed in all departments.

“We have performed well as a bowling unit. Our depth has allowed players to step up to the mark, adapting to the situation and delivering the goods in the powerplays and at the death. They understand their roles and have done magnificently as a unit so far,” said McLaren.

Although McLaren was full of praise for his Protea team-mates, he underlined that India had the No. 1 ranking for good reason and would not be easy pickings all the time.

“As South African players, we have been through some tough times in recent ODI series and we are enjoying our recent form and success, make no doubt,” he said. “But, we are still a work in progress. We can still improve and there is plenty of behind the scenes work going on.

“We are focusing on what we want to achieve through intensity and playing good cricket and our dominance is due to two great opening partnerships and the bowlers taking wickets up front.”

McLaren has enjoyed a solid ODI season to date. He is the Proteas’ leading wicket-taker with 45 victims at 23,77, but he does not take his position in the team for granted.

“I have enjoyed a successful season with some good performances of late, but I would still like to be more consistent.”

Due to heavy rain, the Proteas trained indoors yesterday and the weather has been forecast to continue today. Today’s match starts at 1.30 pm.

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