Conrad wants Proteas to play 'aggressive cricket' with World Cup qualification in doubt

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Shukri Conrad
Shukri Conrad
Charle Lombard/Gallo Images
  • New Proteas coach Shukri Conrad wants his side to play aggressive cricket in the three-match ODI series against England.
  • It'll be Conrad's first assignment as he stands in for white-ball coach Rob Walter.
  • Conrad says the Proteas understand the circumstances regarding their qualification for this year's Cricket World Cup in India.

The no-nonsense Shukri Conrad is hoping the Proteas play aggressive cricket as they look to make a stance in the three-match ODI series against England.

Despite being South Africa's permanent Test coach, Conrad's first assignment will be standing in for white-ball boss Rob Walter, who begins on 1 February.

The three ODIs will form part of the all-important World Cup Super League as South Africa hope to become one of the eight automatic qualifiers for October's World Cup.

The Proteas currently sit 11th on the standings and need to win most of their ODIs if they want to avoid playing in the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

Temba Bavuma will lead a 16-man squad.

READ | Proteas ODI squad dissected: 5 talking points, from Bavuma to Brevis

South Africa face England in the opening ODI at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday, with the Proteas looking to revive their poor run of late.

"Rob and the national selectors obviously put the squad together. The good thing is that it's a very settled group. They fully understand where we're in terms of what's required in this series," Conrad told reporters on Wednesday.

"We certainly won't be spending too much energy explaining the importance of this series. We are all raring to go on Friday.

"Both mine and Rob's philosophy is that we want to invest all our energies into playing really good cricket."

Conrad is clear on the brand of cricket he wants his side to play as the Proteas understand the significance of sealing a spot in the 10-team Cricket World Cup in India.

"We want the guys to identify when a key moment is and what option to take. Hopefully, that is an aggressive option and that goes a long way in ensuring us winning the game," said Conrad.

"We certainly won't be burdening that they have to win, I think everybody's well aware of that.

"We know that England's world champions in both formats and if we can win against the top side in the world, it will go a long way in setting up for the rest of Rob's tenure."

ALSO READ | Conrad 'well-prepared', talks up Proteas synergy with Walter ahead of England ODIs

Conrad is confident the Proteas will be able to match themselves up against a formidable English side in the Free State.

"I'd like for us to still play as a top cricketing side and our position in the World Series doesn't necessarily suggest that. We know that top teams play a certain way and we've got to come out on Friday night and deliver that," said Conrad.

"I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, I want to challenge. I want to be up against the best sides in the world and get a pretty good idea of where we are as a side."

Play on Friday starts at 13:00.

Proteas squad for England ODIs:

Temba Bavuma (captain, Lions), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Sisanda Magala (Lions), Keshav Maharaj, (Dolphins), Janneman Malan (Rocks), Aiden Markram (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Western Province), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions).

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