Proteas

Proteas stand-in captain Maharaj highlights importance of backing spinners

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Keshav Maharaj (Gallo Images)
Keshav Maharaj (Gallo Images)

Stand-in Proteas captain Keshav Maharaj says it is "crucial" for spinners to be backed after South Africa secured a T20 series whitewash against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.

South Africa's bowlers were on song, with Bjorn Fortuin (2/21), Kagiso Rabada (2/23), Aiden Markram (1/4), Wiaan Mulder (1/11) and Maharaj (1/14) restricting the hosts to 120 for eight.

Quinton De Kock (59*) and Reeza Hendricks (56*) then partnered to steer South Africa to a 10-wicket victory to complete the series clean sweep.

"It's crucial for a spinner to be backed," Maharaj told reporters after the match.

"It's often we bowl an over, and we may go for 10 or 12 runs; it’s important that we give them the confidence to come back.

"Bjorn showed that, Shammo's (Tabraiz Shamsi) been exceptional, he might go for runs in his first couple of overs, but he finds a way to come back still go under six runs an over and picks up wickets."

Maharaj added: It's about backing, about giving support. That's what spinners have needed in our country.

"It's good that the coach and selectors have started to back spin more and see the impact that we can make. It's a confidence booster to know you have the backing of the hierarchy in the team.

"It's about adapting on the field and trying to read conditions as soon as possible. I try to identify periods in the game where we can go for the kill.

"Fortunately, the bowlers I've called upon at various stages have stepped up to the plate. I'd like to credit my bowlers. Whenever I've called upon someone, they've picked up wickets or bowled a containing spell."

The 31-year-old was entrusted with the captaincy following Temba Bavuma's thumb injury.

Maharaj has excelled in the position with his tactical approach and timely switching of bowlers when the Proteas are fielding.

"I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity. Temba is the man for the job right now.

"I'm just filling in his shoes and following up where he left off. I'm sure he'll make a speedy recovery and take over the reins.

"He's done a sterling job so far, and everyone is looking forward to having him back with the team."

The Proteas will now return to South African shores before travelling to the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup next month.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
India 325/10 & 69/0
New Zealand 62/10
Voting Booth
What are your views on the World Rugby men's Player of the Year nominations for 2021 not including any Springboks?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a disgrace! Both Siya Kolisi AND Eben Etzebeth should have been nominated!
39% - 5542 votes
Siya, at the very least, should have been included after a superb season
7% - 936 votes
Etzebeth has been SA's best player this year and should feel hard done by
20% - 2886 votes
Get over it! Moaning about this just sounds like sour grapes!
34% - 4724 votes
Vote