Proteas still in search of the ‘perfect game’

2017-02-21 13:14
Neil McKenzie (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas are still searching for the ‘perfect game’, despite their record-equalling run of 12 consecutive One-Day International (ODI) wins.

The Proteas head into the second ODI against New Zealand in Christchurch on Wednesday one win away from setting a new South African record, but have placed more attention to the areas that have brought them success over the last six months, instead of the milestone.

“The big view for us is that we have certain blueprints that we are trying to impose on our game,” Proteas batting coach, Neil McKenzie said to the media in Christchurch on Tuesday.

“We have a certain game plan that we want to achieve, and the 12 wins in a row have shown that what we have been doing over the last year has worked.

“We have to try and play that perfect game, hopefully that game comes in a semi-final or a final,” he explained.

“That blueprint has to be honed in and used in every game that you play. The numbers are a nice goal to have at the back of the head, (assurance) that something we have done is working, that the game plans are working, so we must keep going with that. We haven’t played the perfect game, hopefully that perfect game is a big build up in the next couple of months.”

The only experience the Proteas have of the 18 000-seater Hagley Oval are the two warm-up matches played against Sri Lanka and New Zealand during the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015. The conditions are unlikely to resemble the rank turner produced for the first ODI in Hamilton, but early assessment and adaption will be key regardless. 

“I’m not too sure,” McKenzie said of the conditions.

“I know they played two warm-up matches in the World Cup, I wasn’t with South Africa then. We have a good squad; we have all of our bases covered in terms of the extra spinner, the all-rounders who tend to lengthen the batting, something we haven’t had in the last year or two. We also have some youngsters, someone like Dane Paterson who is on his first full tour with the one-day squad. It looks like there is a bit of grass at this stage but I’m sure the mower will be getting out there soon.”

Dane Paterson has been added to the ODI squad for the remainder of the series and David Miller has passed a fitness test and is available for selection for the match.

Read more on:    proteas  |  neil mckenzie  |  cricket


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