Reprieve for Proteas bowlers

Imran Tahir (Gallo)
Imran Tahir (Gallo)

Cape Town - The Proteas bowling attack has conceded 402 runs in 39.4 overs at this year's ICC World Twenty20 in India. 

That is mostly down to England's remarkable run-chase of 230, but minnows Afghanistan then carded a more-than-respectable 172 in their own chase against the South Africans.

Both of those matches were played on the flat Wankhede Stadium wicket in Mumbai, and coach Russell Domingo says his bowlers will be more pleased than anyone to move on to a new venue.

"Our bowlers are very excited because they’d much rather be bowling on this than be bowling in Mumbai," Domingo said from Nagpur, where South Africa will take on the West Indies on Friday in a clash that could make or break their tournament.

"We’re pretty happy to get away from Mumbai. It was hard for all bowling sides, not just our bowling unit.

"It’s a very tough place for bowlers … and it’s good that they’re coming here now, where the batters will have to earn their money."

Recent history suggests that the Proteas should also approach the Nagpur wicket with a sense of trepidation. 

They lost in three days in the third Test against India back in November with scores of 79 and 185. 

But Domingo was quick to remind of South Africa's 2011 World Cup triumph over India at the same venue.

"We played a World Cup game here and chased 300 against India," he recalled.

"It’s got good memories as well. There were a lot of players that were in that team … I know Faf was with Robbie P (Robin Peterson) when they hit the winning runs.

"At least the Test match was a short one so the memories don’t last too long … it was only three days."

Domingo, who suggested that the Proteas will play both Aaron Phangiso and Imraan Tahir on Friday, was also hoping that the slower Nagpur wicket would help curtail the explosive West Indian batting.

"I reckon we’d rather play the West Indies on a pitch like this than play them in Mumbai," said the coach.

"They probably have the most powerful batting unit in the world in terms of big hitting and this slow wicket might nullify that threat a bit."

Play on Friday starts at 16:00.

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