Proteas captain Keshav Maharaj’s decision to bat first despite predicting rain in the third and decisive ODI against England last weekend drew brashness from critics, but as he later explained, it was to ensure that South Africa stuck to their strengths and their games. a plan that relies heavily on their spinners.
While rain eventually washed the match out and made it moot when the T20 series kicked off in Bristol on Wednesday night, we can expect the Proteas to stick to roughly the same game plan they use in ODI cricket.
Rise of South Africa to fourth place in the T20 ranking was built around the power of their attack and Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, No. 3 in the T20 world rankings, were the key performers with their ability to both take wickets and stop the flow of runs. The game plan was a security blanket they clung to because it got them through some very difficult times.
“We want to make sure we always stick to our plan and don’t go back to our downturn,” Maharaj said.
“We really came to play in the last ODI, it could have been a spectacular end to the series, so it was a shame not to get the result, but we can’t control the rain.
“Overhead conditions at Headingley tell a different story, but the pitch was pretty dry and we put in our two spinners. We wanted to let the wicket go bad and use the spinners at the second opportunity,” Maharaj said.
Despite their terrible drop to 83 points in the second ODI, the Proteas gained some confidence in their roster. Aiden Markram (3rd) and Rassi van der Duessen (10th).th) are both high in T20 World Rankingand Quinton de Cock is 15 years old.th and he showed in the final ODI that he still has that winning x factor.
“Obviously the batting crash wasn’t perfect and it was really disappointing after the spectacular batting in the first game,” Maharaj said. “Recently, however, batting has generally been pretty good.
“What first ODI was probably the most unbiased in the last 18 months, and we want to repeat this in T20. Adaptation to the field is the most important thing.
“It’s great that Queenie is also back at his best and his skill factor is one of the best in the world. He made it so much easier to hit than it actually was, and it’s always nice to see your older players raise their hands,” said Maharaj.
David Miller is the captain of T20 and this series will likely see the return of both Markram, who missed matches in India due to Covid, and Riley Rossow to the Proteas top three.