Proteas not ruling out 2 spinners for World Cup

Imran Tahir (Getty Images)
Imran Tahir (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas have not ruled out the possibility of fielding two spinners at next year's Cricket World Cup in England. 

While England has historically been considered a country that aids swing and seam bowling, the Proteas may be tempted to go in to certain matches with two specialist spinners in their starting XI. 

Imran Tahir is easily South Africa's first-choice spinner currently, while Tabraiz Shamsi looks to be next in line. 

Speaking after the washed out 3rd T20I against Zimbabwe in Benoni on Sunday, coach Ottis Gibson opened up on the spinner issue and pointed to the fact that in recent times sides that had done well in England were stocked with spin bowlers. 

"If you look at the history of World Cups in the recent past and performances in England and even how England set their team up. England play two spinners all the time; Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali," Gibson explained.

"When Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in England a couple of years ago (2016) they had two or three spinners, so while we feel that in England the ball will swing and seam, spin still has a part to play.

"I’m quite sure that there is a space in our team for two spinners. We’ve settled at the moment on Tahir and Shamsi, but there is still a long way to go."

The Proteas have 13 ODIs remaining before the World Cup, and they start with a three-match series in Australia next month. 

There is still time for some experimentation, but by the end of the Australian series Gibson would like to have a clearer understanding of what his World Cup squad will look like.

"We know what we want and what we've been trying to do for the last while is find the personnel," he said.

"When you're thinking about the World Cup and England in May, we understand what combinations we want. We are looking for the personnel that fits the roles we have that we think would be successful in England."

The first ODI against Australia takes place on November 4 in Perth.

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