New kids on the block ready to step into the spot­light for Proteas

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

FARHAAN Be­har­dien has re­ferred to it as a squad with “fresh” faces. All the new Proteas play­ers may be mak­ing in­ter­na­tional de­buts but, as Be­har­dien in­di­cated, they have plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence in high-pres­sure games.

Stu­art Hess looks at the six new Proteas, hop­ing to make an im­pres­sion in the three T20 In­ter­na­tion­als against Sri Lanka

Jon-Jon Smuts (Age 28)

He was the out­stand­ing bats­man in the T20 Chal­lenge this sea­son, com­bin­ing ex­plo­sive hit­ting with re­mark­able con­sis­tency which saw the War­riors through to the fi­nal in that com­pe­ti­tion. There’s lit­tle subtlety about Smuts’s ap­proach with the wil­low – he hits a cricket ball very hard. If there’s a bit of fi­nesse it’s with the ball and his slow left-arm ortho­dox bowl­ing was a cru­cial part of the War­riors’ strat­egy. It will be a use­ful as­set for South Africa too.

The­u­nis de Bruyn (24)

A prodigy of sorts who has al­ready de­liv­ered some im­pact­ful per­for­mances across var­i­ous formats at fran­chise and SA A level. There are huge ex­pec­ta­tions of De Bruyn, not just from coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tors, but the player him­self. A stylish bats­man, with a wide range of strokes, his en­quir­ing mind stands him in good stead for a long and pros­per­ous in­ter­na­tional ca­reer.

Andile Phehluk­wayo (20)

Has had a taste of the in­ter­na­tional scene al­ready this sea­son, hav­ing played six ODIs, but this will be his first out­ing for the na­tional T20 side. An ex­plo­sive player with a real sense for the oc­ca­sion. Loves the spot­light and when it was on him in the se­ries against Aus­tralia in the ODIs he rel­ished it. Has great va­ri­ety with the ball and an en­thu­si­as­tic if un­re­fined ap­proach with the bat.

Man­gal­iso Mosehle (27)

Gets a chance to cre­ate some new mem­o­ries for him­self and the pub­lic. Mosehle’s out­stand­ing mo­ment in his ca­reer thus far was in the fi­nal of the do­mes­tic T20 tour­na­ment at Su­per­Sport Park last sea­son when he smashed 87 off 39 balls as his then fran­chise, the Ti­tans, over­came the Dol­phins. Ooz­ing with tal­ent whether with the bat or the wick­et­keep­ing gloves, it’s his self-be­lief that needs boost­ing.

Dane Pater­son (27)

Has been spo­ken of for a while as a pos­si­ble mem­ber of the na­tional lim­ited-overs teams, and now gets his chance. An ac­tion sim­i­lar to that of Proteas’ bowl­ing coach Charl Langeveldt, he is like Langeveldt, a good ex­po­nent of “death” bowl­ing. Varies his pace well but it will be in­ter­est­ing to see whether he can be in­spired by play­ing in the Proteas shirt, for his show­ings for the Co­bras this sea­son have been medi­ocre.

Lungi Ngidi (20)

Tall, strong and ath­letic, he has ev­ery phys­i­cal at­tribute you could want in a fast bowler. As Be­har­dien pointed out, he’s also en­joyed play­ing in high-pres­sure games, and his spell in this sea­son’s T20 Chal­lenge Fi­nal helped to set up vic­tory for the Ti­tans. A bit like De Bruyn, there are enormous ex­pec­ta­tions of Ngidi, but watch­ing him play and hear­ing him speak sug­gests he’s ready for the big time.

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