Corrie: Proteas depth no worry

2010-10-20 08:11
Corrie van Zyl (File)
Eduan Roos

Johannesburg - South Africa have the players to fill the boots of proven match-winners such as Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, no matter what John Buchanan says.

And on Friday in Benoni “rookies” Colin Ingram and Rusty Theron will have the opportunity to prove it, says Proteas coach Corrie van Zyl.

Buchanan, a former coach of the Australian cricket team that won the World Cup twice, said this week that the Proteas would struggle against the top sides in the world without Kallis and Steyn.

Kallis and Steyn missed the Twenty20 and ODI series - of which the final match will be played at Willowmoore Park on Friday - against Zimbabwe.

“Several young players already showed in the series that we have more than enough depth in key positions,” Van Zyl said on Tuesday.

“Of course it’s not easy to replace players such as Jacques and Dale, but a few guys have already stepped forward.”

Van Zyl believes it’s a “blessing in disguise” that Kallis, Steyn and Morné Morkel will only return when the Proteas play Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates at the end of the month.

“It gave us an opportunity to see what players like Colin, Rusty and David (Miller) can offer. And with the World Cup just around the corner, it gives us peace of mind.”

Ingram became the first South African to score a century on debut in Friday’s first one-day game against Zimbabwe. Theron took a fifer in Potchefstroom two days later to lead the Proteas to the series victory.

The red-headed seamer was only brought in last Wednesday as a replacement for the injured Morkel after not being in the initial squad.  Ingram also only got his opportunity after it was decided not to risk Kallis.

“Colin and Rusty grabbed their opportunity with both hands and it’s excellent for South African cricket that there is strong competition for places,” said Van Zyl.

Van Zyl added that the team’s fielding is still a concern. It’s an aspect of the game in which the South Africans were the best in the world for a long time.

“We are still some way off from where we should be.”


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