Have Proteas found all-rounder solution?

David Wiese (Gallo Images)
David Wiese (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The absence of genuine all-rounders in the ODI set-up has long been a concern for the Proteas, but the performances of Chris Morris and David Wiese in the final two matches against England suggest that things are looking up.

2-0 down in the series after Port Elizabeth, South Africa seemingly lacked the balance of their opposition. 

But Morris' electrifying hitting display in Johannesburg on Friday night and then Wiese's performance with both bat and ball in Sunday's series decider in Cape Town have given a renewed sense of optimism. 

With Wiese and Morris occupying the No 7 and No 8 positions, the Proteas have powerful batters in their lower order.

The decision to play both players for the last two ODIs meant that South Africa had to move away from their formula of playing seven specialist batsmen. 

It was a change that needed to be made, according to captain AB de Villiers.

"It helps a lot," De Villiers said of having two genuine all-rounders in his side.

"I still like to think that we haven’t moved away from the 'seven batsmen' option. That is something that we can still revisit given the conditions and situation.

"David and Chris definitely brought a different dynamic and change was needed after the first two ODIS. They really breathed a fresh confidence into the side. The way they played is phenomenal."

There are still question marks over Morris' bowling - his series figures 4/185 in 27 overs at a run rate of 6.85 will be of concern - but he has done enough to earn himself an extended run in this side. 

Wiese has also taken his chance. 

His figures of 3/50 on Sunday were perhaps a touch flattering given that two of his dismissals would have been called 'wide' had the batsman not played at them, but it was with bat in hand were the towering big-hitter impressed. 

Wiese finished 41* off 32 balls and closed the game with authority - a job that Farhaan Behardien has has been expected to perform in the past.

Both Morris and Wiese are in the Proteas T20 squad that will play at home against England and Australia before jetting off to the World Twenty20 in India next month, and more good returns from them will go a long way towards convincing supporters that they are the men to take South Africa forward.

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