Pakistan v SA

Proteas aim for 10 in a row

2010-10-28 14:08
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Gallo)

Abu Dhabi - The Proteas Standard Bank ODI squad will be attempting to make it 10 wins in a row when they face Pakistan in the first of five ODIs at Abu Dhabi on Friday (13:00 start CAT).

The Proteas started their current winning run in the final match of the ODI series in India and have since had clean sweep series wins against both the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

It represents a good turnaround in their fortunes after their disappointing early exit from last year's ICC Champions' Trophy tournament as well as the ODI series defeat against England. Both these latter events were held in South Africa.

It is unlikely the Proteas will be at full strength until midway through the Pakistan series when Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn should make their return to both physical and cricketing fitness following injury breaks.

This means there will be further opportunities for the recent young additions to both the limited overs squads to continue to put impressive performances on their respective CVs.

Rusty Theron's recent form has seen him take 11 wickets in his first three ODIs, including a five-wicket haul, and he performed equally impressively in Pro20 matches and has now been rewarded with his addition to the ODI squad for the Pakistan series.

The summer's other new cap, Colin Ingram, has made just as spectacular a start to his career. Against Zimbabwe he became the first South African and the sixth player of all time to make a century on ODI debut while he played decisive innings in both Pro20 matches against Pakistan earlier this week.

David Miller and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are two other relatively recent Proteas' debutants who have been making names for themselves. Miller has already posted career strike rates of 146 in ODIs and 137 in Pro20s respectively and his average in both formats is in excess of 50.

In addition, he has revealed a penchant for direct hits in the field.

Tsotsobe took 5 wickets in the two-match Pro20 series against Pakistan and it was this ability to take early wickets to put the opposition on the back foot that played a big role in the series.

An interesting feature of the Pro20 series against Pakistan was the Proteas fielded only one player (Loots Bosman) over the age of 30.

The experience of the likes of Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn will give the ODI team a more mature look against Pakistan that will be invaluable in an ICC World Cup summer but it is also evident that a new youthful era is being launched to take the Proteas through the next decade.


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