Cape Town - The Proteas’ spin arsenal has identified areas of improvement ahead of their second Tri-Nation One-Day International (ODI) series match against Australia in Guyana on Tuesday.
The conducive conditions at the Guyana National Stadium have made spin the talking point after the opening match on Friday where the spinners collected 12 of the 16 wickets to fall.
Proteas left-arm spinner, Aaron Phangiso, is hoping to better his performance against a powerful Australian outfit, and will be fine-tuning his strategy to try and curb an onslaught similar to that of Kieron Pollard in their four-wicket loss to the West Indies on Friday. Pollard, who finished unbeaten on 67 off 67 balls, dented Phangiso’s career-best figures of 3/40 with three big sixes en route to his match-winning innings.
“The surface was dry, definitely not one that you get back in South Africa often,” Phangiso said of the pitch in Guyana. “It was very helpful to the spinners, we saw Narine taking a six-for for the West Indies and our spinners picked up six wickets between us.
“I’m quite pleased with my performance but there is still a lot of improvement to be done,” he said. “We can maybe try a different approach when a player like Pollard is on the attack, perhaps change up the lengths a little bit. It’s something that we will need to work on with Claude Henderson (spin bowling coach), how to counter a situation when a batsman is being positive and on the attack.
“It’s great to play games back-to-back,” he added. “It gives you a lot of confidence going forward, hopefully I can continue to get some game time and keep putting in worthy performances for the Proteas.”
Phangiso admits it was a challenge defending a below par score, even in the helpful conditions, but gave credit to man-of-the-match Sunil Narine, a spin mastermind he hopes to pick up valuable tips from during the series. Phangiso and Narine recently faced the challenge of remodelling their actions, but have both made successful comebacks to international cricket which is a credit to their determination and skill.
“It was tough defending a low total,” he admitted. “Even with the conditions, we are expected to do a job and I thought we bowled quite well. We were probably 20 runs short, it was one of those surfaces that was always going to be tough for batsmen coming in. You’ve have to give credit to Narine, he bowled really well.
"He is a great bowler,” he said of Narine. “He has had consistent performances in the IPL and for the West Indies over the years so you can always learn from a player like that. The way he bowled on Friday showed the skill he has, you could see by the lengths and the strategy that he had in place.”