Proteas

Miller, Morris add clout for SA

2012-12-13 14:10
David Miller (Gallo)
Cape Town – The Proteas appear to be making a more conscious effort to enhance their lower-order batting strike power in Twenty20 cricket.

That much can be deduced from examining a much-altered squad, announced on Thursday, for the three-match T20 home series against New Zealand shortly.

South Africa have almost always featured a strong specialist batting line-up in this format – and also in the more extended form of one-day competition – but tended to rather “peter out” in recent times as far as momentum down the order is concerned.

Of course there are plenty of occasions when players lower in the order aren’t required to any significant extent anyway in the T20 arena, but just as often they do have a key role to play in keeping the scoring rate rosy right to the finish.

Here the Proteas have fatally laboured at times in recent years, since potential “fireworks” players like Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock, Johan van der Wath and even Nicky Boje have no longer been available in limited-overs batting slots from No 7 downwards.

It is why the presence in the latest T20 squad of names like David Miller and Chris Morris can be considered significant.

All-rounder Albie Morkel, who has too often struggled to reproduce his stellar Indian Premier League long-handle form for his country, has ostensibly not been considered for the Black Caps’ challenge because of injury, but the now 31-year-old had been producing fairly patchy performances anyway for the Titans in the 50-over One-Day Cup competition and may battle to regain his place.

Miller is a rather different beast to Morkel, because although he is every bit as accomplished as a clean, big-distance striker of the ball, he does not offer the bowling option Morkel does.

But if the Proteas can somehow rebalance their side to still have enough depth and variety to their bowling arsenal, the KwaZulu-Natalian may have the chance now to re-establish his credentials as an X-factor batsman down the order.

The 23-year-old has also not set the world alight with the willow in the One-Day Cup, it must be said, but in the last English county season he was a leading light for Yorkshire in the T20 environment (they want him back in 2013) and the national selectors clearly hope he can find that mojo in a green and gold shirt.

If South Africa manage to find places for both Morris and Miller against New Zealand, they certainly ought to be fielding teams with appropriate “oomph” in the lower-order positions.

Lions favourite Morris, the 25-year-old son of lanky former Northern Transvaal left-arm spinner Willie, is more renowned as a slippery, skilful pace bowler of promise, but also goes about his batting duties with urgency and gusto.

Having suitable depth to the T20 batting order may be important for the Proteas, because of the sensible decision to rest their rock-like top-order figures in all formats, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla, from this particular series; it does leave the side much lighter on battle-hardened experience.

The selectors have sent out a healthy signal that players both young and older can earn first-time recognition through inspired or consistent displays for their franchises – good examples of this are the 19-year-old left-handed batting and wicketkeeping phenomenon Quinton de Kock and Stellenbosch-born journeyman batsman Henry Davids.

The last-named player turns 33 in January but he has produced some highly influential innings for the Titans in the One-Day Cup and his ability to score at a rollicking rate when the mood grabs him in the T20 format is well documented.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  david miller  |  chris morris  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Prince plays down race row

2014-09-19 22:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Fixtures
21 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 00:01
24 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 00:01
27 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Hamilton 00:01
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.