Proteas CWC spots still up for grabs

Ottis Gibson (Gallo Images)
Ottis Gibson (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson revealed that his side are still tinkering with their options and will be able to close in on their final Cricket World Cup squad next month when they face Sri Lanka.

Despite clinching the five-match ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan at Newlands, the Proteas are still left with some selection headaches ahead of this year's showpiece.

The tournament, which gets underway on May 30, sees the Proteas take on hosts England in the opening fixture.

With only five ODIs left against Sri Lanka, Gibson admitted that there is some clarity in certain positions but injury concerns have produced some question marks.

"Lungi (Ngidi) and JP (Duminy) is injured, guys that would most likely be in your best teams. They are the guys that you've been looking at," Gibson told reporters at Newlands on Wednesday evening.

"History tells us the World Cup is won by a squad and not just a team. Obviously you have eleven guys but you need your bench to be as strong and as your starting eleven. You want to have options for every single game you play against various oppositions," he said.

"We've been trying to build a squad for the last twelve months, we're getting closer and to win this series is something good to take forward toward... (against Sri Lanka).

"I was hoping to be done (with the selection of the World Cup squad) now, but once you get people who are injured it gets difficult to balance your team. Hopefully the guys who are injured will be good to go for the Sri Lankan series and we can get close to the team and the squad that we have in mind."

Gibson also revealed that Ngidi and Duminy will be participating for their respective franchises in the upcoming One Day Cup, which gets underway from February 8.

READ: Faf: We responded well to a high-stakes game

Following the three T20Is against Pakistan, the Proteas play two Tests against Sri Lanka with first of five ODIs starting on March 3.

"Selection is tough, there's no question about that," Gibson added.

"At the back of my mind, I know pretty much who we want. Hopefully by the Sri Lankan series, if everyone is fit, we'll have a better idea of who we want to take forward."

Gibson was also delighted with the Proteas getting over the line in a high-stakes game at Newlands.

"All of these games are dress rehearsals for the World Cup," the coach said.

"When we have opportunities like this in a winner take all kind of sense, it's good for the confidence of the team and tonight was exactly that."

The Proteas now focus their attention to a three-game T20I series against Pakistan which starts at Newlands on Friday (18:00). 

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