Durban - Proteas spinner Robin Peterson has backed the national team’s one-day rotation policy despite their recent inconsistencies in the 50-over format.
South Africa have steadily slipped down the world rankings over the past few months after five defeats in their last nine matches, and 10 in total over the past year.
For the ongoing series against Pakistan, they are without rested all-rounder Jacques Kallis, but the selectors have regularly given players a break in recent months - the likes of Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel have missed out - even though the introduction of new faces has not been as prominent as it has in the national Twenty20 side.
“The one-day team has changed a lot over the past 12 months, from giving guys a break and due to injuries,” Peterson said on Tuesday.
“It’s easy to be settled in the Test team because it’s been pretty much the same 15 together for the past two years.
“Both policies have merits. I think the next two years are going to be important for South Africa in one-day cricket. You need to know what you have in reserve, and it’s an opportunity for players to come up and gain that experience.
“So personally I think we’re doing it right at the moment.”
The Proteas, who lead the tourists 2-1 ahead of the fourth game of their five-match ODI series in Durban on Thursday, were dealt a blow after news that T20 captain Faf du Plessis would be out for six weeks due to lower back problems.
“Obviously when you miss key players like Faf in an important game, it’s a big loss,” Peterson said.
“It tests your depth as a squad, which is probably very important going forward to the Champions Trophy in England.
“Only time will tell, but we’ve all got complete confidence in anyone who comes in to the team."
Young wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been drafted in as Du Plessis’s replacement and is expected to contest for a batting spot with David Miller.
“We have someone like Miller, a local boy and the spare batter in the team,” Peterson said.
“He’s done well in the past and knows the conditions, so we’ll back him 100 percent if he gets that opportunity in front of his home crowd.”
The slow left-arm bowler also defended South Africa’s recent one-day inconsistencies.
“It’s obviously something that we’ve looked at and we’re keen to improve on it," Peterson said.
"I think Thursday is an opportunity to show we have the ability to be consistent in this format.
“There are a lot of new faces that are in, and people are starting to gel."