Plenty of depth in SA cricket
LINDA Zondi, the national convener of selectors for the Proteas, is confident South African cricket can push on from a tough week off the field, and focus on the third and final Test against Sri Lanka this week.
“The loss of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw has obviously disrupted us a little bit, because they were both good players who were a big part of our plans,” Zondi said.
“Not just for the Champions Trophy later this year, but also for the World Cup in two years. But, we must also respect the fact that players are free to make their own choices in life,” Zondi said.
“We are very confident of the depth that we still have in the system. Some people may question whether the guys coming in will be of the same level, but you have to give them a chance to prove themselves.
“The same thing happened when players in the squad now started out. The talent is there, and we will keep looking for it and trusting it to play for South Africa,” Zondi said.
“Wayne Parnell has been in good form, and Duane Olivier has also done well at franchise level. We look forward to them showing what they can do at the next level. It is exciting.”
The whirlwind nature of the Kolpak deals last week took significant gloss off the Proteas’ series-clinching win in the second Test at Newlands.
The match also saw Kagiso Rabada help himself to his third 10-wicket haul in Test cricket, and Dean Elgar continue to establish himself as the rock upon which South Africa’s run mountains are built on.
Zondi, no doubt mindful of the negative energy that is currently circulating in some of the more cynical corners of South African cricket, was quick to reflect on a very successful week to start the year.
“It was a very good performance to win the series in the manner that we did. The team has been doing very well, and it would be fantastic if they can finish off the series and seal a whitewash,” he said.
Zondi, a product of KZN cricket, added that the week was a significant one for another son of Dolphins’ country, Hashim Amla.
“We are all very excited for the Wanderers Test, because it will be Hashim’s 100th Test. It is a magnificent achievement, and one that we should all be proud of. Very few players have reached this landmark, and Hashim deserves all the praise he gets this week.”
The Proteas will hope to mark the regal occasion in style, but the emphasis will be on the collective before the individual. It is exactly what Amla himself would prefer, with the Proteas’ No 3 happy to have a low-key build-up to his big day. READY FOR THE BULLRING: South African bowling coach Charl Langeveldt says Kagiso Rabda will relish the chance to bowl on a friendly surface at the Wanderers.