'One for the selectors' - Heinrich Klaasen sidesteps Kyle Verreynne's contentious omission

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South African batman Kyle Verreynne (AFP)
South African batman Kyle Verreynne (AFP)
  • Heinrich Klaasen said Kyle Verreynne's contentious omission from the Proteas XI against Pakistan was one that the selectors should answer.
  • SA's batting, with a debutant at No 3, looked a touch light even though they made 188/6 in their 20 overs.
  • It was a total that was overhaul by Pakistan, who took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. 

Proteas stand-in T20 captain Heinrich Klaasen neatly sidestepped Kyle Verreynne’s controversial omission from the Proteas’ match-day XI for their first T20 against Pakistan at the Wanderers.

A rejigged Proteas side saw debutant Wihan Lubbe coming in at No 3 while left-arm spinning all-rounder George Linde batted at No 6.

Neither of them made noticeable contributions in South Africa’s 188/6, a total that was chased down by the visitors, who won by four wickets.

READ | Kyle Verreynne's bizarre omission raises eyebrows as SA crash again

Verreynne has been a big run-maker this season and showed his wares in the third ODI against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Pakistan have taken a 1-0 lead in the four-game series and have now pressed South Africa to respond in the affirmative in Monday’s second T20 at the Wanderers.

“That question is for the selectors. I’m not part of that group so I probably have half a say in that so that question needs to be directed at the selectors,” Klaasen said.

Lubbe’s and Linde’s batting failures were masked by decent showing from Aiden Markram (51), Klaasen (50) and Pite van Biljon (34) as SA stuttered at the start and finish.

That frittered away excellent middle-order batting that saw the hosts primed for a 200-plus score.

Pakistan pulled the game back superbly with 3/37 in the last five overs to leave themselves with a manageable target.

READ | Proteas skipper Klaasen calls for better death bowling execution

Klaasen blamed himself for the lack of batting bite at the back end of the innings.

“Pite and I were in a good position to take the game away from Pakistan. Unfortunately, I went out and Pite followed quickly. We were the set batters, and it was our job to go through till the end. I wouldn’t say it was that costly with the ball, even though there were one or two overs. The rest was good execution, and we were unlucky here and there,” Klaasen said.

In what can be termed as a seven-match series, with Pakistan now having won three games, SA have moved players around in the absence of their first-choice stars.

For the away series, they were withdrawn with the Australian Test series that never took place in mind while for this one, five players were lost to Indian Premier League duty.

Klaasen said they’ll still have to experiment, but their game plan doesn’t need alteration.

“We’re forced to experiment with players, but our game plan is set in stone because we want to go forward, especially with the T20 World Cup. It’s time for us to execute the game plan and the right one going forward,” Klaasen said.

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