Proteas

AB: No need to panic over top-order batting woes

2017-03-02 22:08
JP Duminy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas skipper AB de Villiers has defended his top order batsmen for their performance during the ODI series in New Zealand.

The Proteas top-order have had a poor performance with the bat, as the tourists have lost six wickets to Black Cap bowlers in all four games.

Only three Proteas batsmen have scored more than a 100 runs thus far in New Zealand - De Villiers ( 239 runs), Quinton de Kock (194) and Faf du Plessis (128).

Opening batsman Hashim Amla has had a disappointing ODI campaign, scoring only 92 runs in four games at an average of 29.

The form of JP Duminy has been questionable, as the all-rounder has only made 94 runs thus far and hasn’t scored a half-century since October last year.

David Miller has also failed to live up to his specialist batting position at No 6 and has only contributed 32 runs in three games.

The Proteas have had to rely on their lower order batsmen, as Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo and Wayne Parnell had to produce blistering performances with the bat to get the Proteas over the line.

De Villiers, however, is confident that his batting attack has the ability to bounce back and secure the Proteas a series victory in the fifth and final ODI in Eden Park on Saturday.

"I know they are world class players and they'll come back to the party when it matters most, which is hopefully in the next game," De Villiers told reporters after the Proteas lost in Hamilton.

"We all go through patches some time - it's just one of those tours - but luckily we bat deep.

"We've posted really good scores this series so far, so there's no need to panic at all. I believe in the guys and our top order is the best in the world.

"Going into the next game, there's no reason to not be confident with our batting."

The Proteas losing in the fourth ODI was bad news for them in terms of the ICC ODI rankings, as they surrendered their No 1 spot to Australia.

The fifth and final deciding ODI will take place in Auckland on Saturday, starting at 03:00 (SA time).

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