Mahatlane satisfied with learnings taken from India tour

2019-03-12 16:46
HEAD HONCHO: Coach Lawrence Mahatlane is confident his team can win. (Ashley Vlotman, Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa under-19s head coach Lawrence Mahatlane is content with the gradual improvement he saw from the players throughout their near month-long tour of Trivandrum in India.

The youngsters played in two Youth Test matches and four Quadrangular One-Day Internationals (ODI) against India under-19s, India 'B' and Afghanistan between February 16 and March 12.

Mahatlane was impressed with the way the players developed after each match, considering the demanding conditions they were faced with in the subcontinent. Despite the results early in the tour, he saw a lot of positives emanating from the 26 days of cricket.

"It's been another interesting tour with the under-19s, touring to the subcontinent is never easy, especially at this time of year where it's their end-of-season," the coach said.

"I thought the boys got better and better with time, once they started adapting and adjusting to the conditions and what was required."

Following a disappointing two-nil series defeat in the longer format and a loss in the first ODI against India U19s, South Africa bounced back with an impressive display in a match narrowly lost by a single run to India 'B' before claiming two convincing victories against Afghanistan. The consecutive wins against their fellow visitors helped seal third-place in the quadrangular series.

Mahatlane sees the tour in its entirety and some of the substandard results as a platform for the players to learn and grow as cricketers. With more than half of the current squad eligible for the upcoming U19 tours and next year's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, he believes that this experience will benefit the team in the future.

"A couple of tough lessons were learnt," Mahatlane admitted. "The key for me is to see these lessons taken on board and see growth taking place throughout their careers. We were completely outplayed in the Test series. We had an opportunity against India B, the eventual champions, and then beat Afghanistan in the two matches, so there were a lot of good things.

"There are nine guys who are still available for the under-19s," he continued. "There's a tour coming up in three months and we’ll see those lessons learnt here, stand the team in good stead as we go forward."

Although the overall results did not go South Africa's way, Mahatlane was pleased by a few of the quality individual showings within the squad.

Bryce Parsons grabbed a fine six-wicket haul and a half-century in the first Youth Test. Andile Mogakane ended the quadrangular series as the leading run-scorer with 140 runs, including a high score of 64 and an average of 35. Marco Jansen walked away as the top wicket-taker with eight wickets at 6.62, including two four-wicket hauls in the two matches he played in.

"There were a lot of good performances from individuals and that for me is the most exciting thing, to see the growth of different players. In our six games, we had three 'player of the matches' and we could have easily had more. So, I am very excited about what the future holds," Mahatlane concluded.

Read more on:    sa u-19  |  lawrence mahatlane  |  cricket


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