Town - Proteas coach Ottis
Gibson insists that he has learnt a lot from his side's
recent dominance against Zimbabwe, but the next step on the road to the 2019 World Cup is
a three-match ODI series in Australia next month.
The squad for that series is yet
to be named, but the news coming out of the Proteas camp on Sunday after the
third T20I against Zimbabwe in Benoni was washed out was that Hashim Amla is
still injured and will miss the Australian tour.
Amla has been suffering from a
finger injury that he picked up on Caribbean Premier League duty last month and
he was initially expected to recover by the Australian tour, the decision has
instead been taken to give him a prolonged rest.
Now 35-years-old, Amla is
expected to open the batting at next year's World Cup alongside Quinton de
Kock. Together, they form one of the most respected and feared opening
partnerships in ODI cricket.
De Kock, though, was also rested
for the Zimbabwe ODIs which allowed Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks to get a
chance at the top of the order.
With Amla out, one of those two is
now likely to be given the chance to open alongside De Kock in the first ODI
against the Aussies on November 4 in Perth.
"We know that Quinton and
Hashim have been a fantastic opening pair for the Proteas for a long time, and
we also know that Reeza Hendricks and Markram have also been very good in
franchise cricket. We wanted to see how they go," Gibson said on Sunday,
looking back on the Zimbabwe series.
"We know where we are with
those two and we know that they are both very good players."
The window is closing on South
Africa's wiggle room when it comes to experimentation ahead of the World Cup,
and this tour of Australia is likely to be the last time that Gibson tries new
combinations before he begins to settle on his squad and prepare for the global
"There are a lot of guys
that will be in our thoughts when choosing that squad to Australia. Hashim is
injured and out of that tour ... we've discussed that with him already,"
"We're going to give him as
much time as we can to get him ready for the next cricket that he has coming
up, so he's not going to be considered.
"For the past 12 months
we've been looking at players and in the next couple of months the window is
"We're getting closer and
closer to the guys that we want on the journey. In the next couple of series -
Pakistan and Sri Lanka - we really want to be focusing on 17 or 18 players that
we will be looking at."
In the end, Gibson and the brains
trust must settle on 15 names to make up their World Cup squad.
The tournament starts on May