Proteas

Proteas downplay need for batting guru in T20 series: 'Technique is less important'

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Mark Boucher and Enoch Nkwe might have to split up to help the Proteas juggle their assignments against Pakistan and Australia (Gallo Images)
Mark Boucher and Enoch Nkwe might have to split up to help the Proteas juggle their assignments against Pakistan and Australia (Gallo Images)
  • Heinrich Klaasen, the Proteas' stand-in skipper, doesn't believe the hunt for a specialist batting coach needed to commence before the T20 series against Pakistan.
  • The top-order batter argues the series is too short and that batting techniques aren't as important in the shortest form of the game than the others.
  • Klaasen praised the work done by SA 'A' coach Malibongwe Maketa and co while head coach Mark Boucher and his deputies were still involved in the Test series.

Heinrich Klaasen, the Proteas' stand-in T20 skipper, has dismissed the need for a dedicated batting coach ahead of a three-match T20 series against Pakistan that commences on Thursday.

The issue has become one of the hottest talking points in the aftermath of South Africa's 0-2 Test series whitewash at the hands of their hosts though it has been simmering for some time, particularly when Jacques Kallis was enlisted to help England's batsmen on their recent tour to Sri Lanka.

Yet even if the need is pressing, Klaasen, rightly, doesn't see what benefits such an arrangement would hold in a series that will just last five days.

"You don't always need a batting coach," he said.

"To be honest, the series really isn't long enough for that. Also, technique in T20 cricket isn't really all that important compared to the other two formats of the game.

"I don't believe you necessarily need a batting consultant on a T20 trip."

READ | Proteas stand-in T20 skipper Heinrich Klaasen reveals 'tough' battle with Covid-19: 'I was very sick'

For now, a band of batsmen who are inexperienced at international level but seasoned at domestic level will receive varied input from a coaching staff that arguably has an oversupply of batting knowledge in head coach Mark Boucher and assistants Enoch Nkwe and Justin Ontong.

Imraan Khan, the Dolphins mentor who's been enlisted for the trip, also falls into that category.

"Mark is very good with teaching players about batting," said Klaasen.

"Immie is also here, so we really have to more than enough experience between the four coaches who are intimate with batting."

Indeed, the reasonably raw group of players are one of the few beneficiaries of South Africa's postponed series against Australia as Boucher and co have stayed on when the initial plan was to split resources between the T20 and Test sides.

"Yeah, we're at full strength. It's really great having Mark and Enoch now with us," said Klaasen.

"But Malibongwe Maketa, who's the SA A coach,  and Immie flew in with us initially and helped us get on the same page the main coaches wanted us to be on.

"Mali and co were great implementing all the necessary things and we (had) a very good first training session with the whole coaching staff (on Monday evening)." 

Proteas T20 squad to Pakistan:

Heinrich Klaasen (captain, Titans), Nandre Burger (Cape Cobras), Okuhle Cele (Titans), Junior Dala (Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), George Linde (Cape Cobras), Janneman Malan (Cape Cobras), David Miller (Dolphins), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (Lions), Ryan Rickleton (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Lutho Sipamla (Lions), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors), Pite van Biljon (Knights), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Jacques Snyman (Knights).

Pakistan v Proteas T20 series:

11 February - 1st T20 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (12:30 SA time)

13 February - 2nd T20 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (12:30 SA time)

14 February - 3rd T20 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (12:30 SA time)

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