Tsotsobe to get the nod?
Mohali – One of Imran Tahir, Johan Botha or Robin Peterson might carry the drinks for the Proteas on Thursday in spite of the five-star bowling effort that won them their first World Cup cricket match.
GALLERY: SA in the World Cup
South Africa will play the Netherlands on Thursday.
Assistant coach Vincent Barnes hinted on Monday that Lonwabo Tsotsobe may get his first chance in the tournament after being a surprise omission in favour of a third spinner – Tahir – in the clash with the West Indies in Delhi.
Tahor justified his selection with figures of 4/41 in South Africa’s seven-wicket win.
“We know after that game that three spinners are a good selection, but it’s definitely not our only option,” said Barnes.
“It’s still too early to say which one of Imran, Johan or Robin, if any of them, will sit out. We first need to have a look at what the wicket holds before we decide on our best possible team.”
Even so, Barnes believes that Tsotsobe, who has enjoyed a dream season, and even the struggling Wayne Parnell will still “play a very important role” and at least one of them is likely to feature at the Punjab Stadium against the Netherlands.
“Lonwabo has been one of our top bowlers for the past six months and it’s a pity that someone had to sit out to accommodate three spinners,” he said.
“We are expecting a lot more pace and bounce from the wicket than was the case in Delhi. Conditions will be very different because it’s a day match and dew will not play a role.”
Barnes says the South Africans are still getting used to the luxury of three spinners after until recently still having to rely on their seamers to take wickets.
“I have not seen much of Imran until recently, but I was able to spend plenty of time with him in the recent series against India. He is definitely a breath of fresh air and became part of the team very quickly.”
The new addition, as well as the encouraging form of Botha and Peterson, has also eased the burden on the seamers.
Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and Jacques Kallis bowled a combined total of just over 18 overs against the Windies and not one completed his allotted quota of 10 overs.
“Imran’s success in the match did not surprise me because he’s in the team for his ability to take wickets,” said Barnes.
“He also keeps the run rate low because he takes wickets and puts the batsmen under pressure.”
Barnes issued a warning that the Proteas’ impressive performance against the Windies will “count for nothing” when they take on Ryan ten Doeschate’s team.
The South African-born player’s excellent century for the Netherlands in their first group match almost led to a major upset against England.
Meanwhile, Steyn and Duminy have reached their career-best positions on the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings.
Steyn is now fourth on the bowling list, while Duminy is No 15 among the batsmen.
South Africa have also dethroned Sri Lanka as the No 3 side and are behind Australia and India.