It’s all fall­ing into place for Proteas

Cape Argus - - SPORT - LUNGANI ZAMA

AHEAD of the Test se­ries be­tween South Africa and Bangladesh at the end of the month, there have been sev­eral, very sen­si­ble de­ci­sions made by all par­ties con­cerned.

The first, and per­haps most per­ti­nent de­ci­sion, was that of Ot­tis Gib­son be­ing con­firmed as the Proteas’ next head coach. While it was an open se­cret, fi­nal con­fir­ma­tion of the mat­ter al­lows the team to look for­ward, and also paved the way for an­other mas­sive de­ci­sion in SA cricket to take place.

The an­nounce­ment by AB de Vil­liers, where he con­firmed that he was avail­able to play in all three for­mats again, was a timely boost for Gib­son and the rest of the team.

De Vil­liers also con­firmed that he would re­lin­quish the one-day cap­taincy, thus pav­ing the way for Faf du Plessis to lead the side in all three for­mats.

Du Plessis is uni­ver­sally recognised as the best man for the job, and he can now set­tle into his plans along­side Gib­son.

The lat­est de­ci­sion made around the Proteas’ camp is the re­ten­tion of the pre­vi­ous regime’s sup­port man­age­ment for the Bangladesh se­ries. Cricket South Africa an­nounced on Wed­nes­day that as­sis­tant coach Adrian Bir­rell, bowl­ing coach Charl Langeveldt and bat­ting guru Neil McKen­zie would all stay in the pic­ture.

Gib­son, it is un­der­stood, was con­sulted on the mat­ter, and agreed with the de­ci­sion to not dis­rupt too much else, with such a short turn­around be­tween his con­fir­ma­tion and his open­ing as­sign­ment.

Gib­son also looks likely to have the re­turn of Dale Steyn to look for­ward to be­fore long.

Steyn opted out of next week’s open­ing round of Sun­foil Se­ries fix­tures, and will in­stead play in a club fix­ture to gauge his fit­ness lev­els. A mas­sive sum­mer will un­furl it­self for the Proteas, so Steyn and his em­ploy­ers will know that a marathon ap­proach is bet­ter than a dash for the start line.

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