Johannesburg - Ray Jennings doesn’t expect new Proteas coach Ottis Gibson to learn much about his team from the series against Bangladesh.
The Proteas have already dispatched the Bangladeshis by 333 runs and an innings, and 254 runs in the recently completed two Tests.
Sunday's One Day International (ODI) in Kimberley is the first of three (the others are in Paarl and East London), with two T20 internationals to conclude the tour.
Get relationships going
But Jennings, a former Proteas coach, doesn’t believe Gibson will have learned much from his first series in charge: “What the series will do is create a happy and good team environment because a winning team is a happy one. But it won’t expose whatever cracks are there and, as a result, he won’t learn much or be able to make any changes.
"He’ll be happy with the environment presented to him. The scrutiny and criticism only come when you start losing.
“I don’t think he’ll know much about the team from now until when India get here".
Jennings said while Gibson may have helped plot the Proteas’ downfall as England’s assistant coach in their recent tour of that country, it won’t necessarily have given him an understanding of where the cracks are.
“He was doing that from the outside looking in, which is not the same,” Jennings explained.
“He still needs to get his own staff and get relationships going with players, so I can’t see him being aware of any internal issues, having been in the England team".
Find bowling unit
After the thumping in the Test series, Jennings said he didn’t see the Tigers getting significantly better in the ODIs, regardless of their reputation as fighters outside Bangladesh in the shorter format of the game.
“They are better players in ODIs than in Tests, but the Proteas’ dominance should still be great,” said Jennings.
“The wickets are bouncier than they’re used to and that will concern them. The intensity with which the Proteas play at home will overpower them. I don’t think it’ll be a contest".
Looking at the Proteas, Jennings said they had a fair bit to do: “They need to find a bowling unit so that they don’t have to rely on (Kagiso) Rabada, and they still haven’t sorted out the allrounder question".
On AB de Villiers and Temba Bavuma’s inclusion in the squad, he cast doubts on how long the former’s renewed commitment to play all formats for South Africa would last.
“We’ve got a World Cup coming in two years, AB is a big player and you need big players. He’s had his break, but after playing against India and Australia early next year, he’ll probably need another one in April.
"He’s just at that age where he’s having kids and real life is taking over".
One of many players
Bavuma scored a century on debut as an opening batsman against Ireland last season.
Jennings wasn’t particularly sure about the role he had been selected to fulfil, especially with De Villiers available.
“To me you have to have a look at the roles of players,” he explained.
“Can you replace a player like Bavuma? Yes, he is one of many players who will come good once in eight innings, whereas an AB will come good once in four innings.
“Timing and the opposition are everything in introducing a player to international cricket. You have to give Bavuma an easy series and a hard season to play in and see what you’ve got after that.”