Cape Town - Finding good finishing batsmen will be a priority for the national selectors when they
cast their eye over performances during the 1 Day Cup competition which starts
around the country this week.
important sub-plot will be the opportunity for AB de Villiers to get back in
the middle after his hand injury ahead of the Test series against Australia. He
will have the injury re-X-rayed on Thursday and, if he gets the necessary
medical clearance, he will play for the Titans on Sunday.
ODI series against Australia confirmed the performance of the Proteas' Test squad during the 2011 ICC World Cup: that the team is strong in most
areas of batting and bowling but that they lack the finishing power that the
likes of Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener provided in the golden era of the
late 1990s and more recently by Albie Morkel.
rankings confirm the overall health of the squad. Hashim Amla and AB
de Villiers are ranked No 1 and No 2 among the batsmen with Jacques Kallis
also in the top 10 and JP Duminy and Graeme Smith just outside the top 20.
Morkel has dropped off the No 1 ranking he held last week but he, Dale Steyn
and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are all in the top 11 while Johan Botha’s form against
Australia has also got him back into the top 20.
Morkel was not selected for the World Cup and he will no doubt be keen to make
an early statement. His franchise, the Titans, play the opening match on
Wednesday (15:00) against the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park.
four franchises will open their campaigns on Friday while all six franchises
will be in action on Sunday. This means that all the franchises will have
played two matches by the end of the weekend.
this competition will be particularly relevant to the national selectors as the
playing conditions are identical to those used for ODIs.
franchises players will have to get used to two new balls neither of which gets
used for more than 25 overs. There are also changed conditions to the taking of
the power plays while the banning of runners for batsmen will put a premium on
one important change to the qualification for the knock-out stage. The
franchise that tops the log goes automatically to the final while the second
and third placed teams will play off in a single semi-final.
for this week:Wednesday:
Titans v Highveld Lions, SuperSport Park, 15:00
Warriors v Knights, Buffalo Park, 15:00
Dolphins v Cape Cobras, Kingsmead, 15:00
Dolphins v Warriors, Pietermaritzburg Oval, 10:00
Highveld Lions v Cape Cobras, Wanderers Stadium, 10:00
Titans v Knights, Willowmoore Park, 10:00
Note: No extra
time is allowed in the event of bad weather and overs will be discounted
immediately for playing time lost.