Henrich Nortier and a fit Heinrich Klaasen are back in the ODI ranks and Keshav Maharaj has been given the captaincy in Temba Bavuma’s absence, but what do the Proteas want from their three-match ODI streak against world champions England? which starts at Chester-le-Street on a Tuesday afternoon?
This series is not part of the Super League, so important World Cup qualifying points are not at stake.
Settled composition of batting
Temba Bavuma’s injury has given someone else the opportunity to show what they are capable of at the highest level. Jannemann Malan will want to continue his phenomenal ODI form (59 average with 87 scoring) as Quinton de Kock’s first partner, while demonstrating the ability to match his approach to the game situation.
Aiden Markram could move up to the No. 3 position for another chance to establish himself in the ODI team, while Riza Hendrix and Haya Zondo are also options. However, Zondo is a mid-level batsman for KZN, and therefore likely to compete for space with Rassi van der Duessen (average 71, strike rate 88) or the duo of David Miller and Heinrich Claasen.
It’s perhaps an ambiguous compliment: England have recalled on-foot player Adil Rashid to their squad, and southpaw Miller and Klaasen, arguably South Africa’s best spin player, will play a crucial role in countering him.
ODI cricket is a different game these days and Proteas batsmen need to show they are keeping up with the new strategic demands.
Fast bowlers that can make batsmen squirm
The England squad was at the forefront of a bold new approach to ODIs. But India’s superior offense showed their run of wins over them last week that quality bowling could defuse the threat.
Resting Kagiso Rabad will be missed, but fast bowler Nortier is back to provide tough lengths and a fiery pace that’s hard to hit, while Lungi Ngidi has been in great white-ball form lately and Marco Jansen brings a left hand. heat, which can be uncomfortable.
Maharaj will use intelligence
Given England’s recent defeat of two of the teams that competed in last year’s World Testing Championship final, New Zealand and India, and #1 in this categoryA test series against England is probably a priority, especially without Super League World Cup qualifying points on the line.
Keshav Maharaj, besides having another opportunity to showcase his skills as a captain, is probably delighted to take the opportunity to get used to the English fields. The left hand spinner is a great ODI bowler and the two wickets he took in the first over of the last warm up went against England Lions showed what a factor he can be in the series.
De Kock is the man to lead the batting
Now that he no longer has the burden of captaincy, Quinton de Kock will want to show that he is the leader of the Proteus batting team.
While his T20 form has been disappointing lately (last 6 innings, HS=34, averaging 17.50, SR 110.53), he has consistently excelled in ODIs with 751 runs in his 14 innings since 2020, averaging 53.64 and blow-course 101.34.
The 29-year-old wants to show that he is still the man bowlers fear.