Proteas coach Russell Domingo says that there is plenty of confidence in Wayne Parnell ahead of the World Cup match against West Indies in Sydney on Friday.
Domingo reckoned that the South African public was ‘fickle’ and that Parnell ‘bowled well’ in the heavy defeat to India, but conceded that, ‘he wasn’t at his best in the last three overs and he knows that’.
With Vernon Philander ruled out of the two matches against West Indies and Ireland and serious concern about an injury to JP Duminy, the Proteas will be needing to regroup against a West Indies side that struck form with the bat in their victory against Zimbabwe.
Parnell was heavily criticised for his bowling spell, which cost 85 runs from his nine overs, but Domingo says it could have been so much different. ‘Wayne didn’t have much luck. He had [Shikhar] Dharwan put down and had that catch been taken, at a stage when he was bowling well, things would have been different.
‘He’s an important part of the group and we have every confidence in him performing well for the remainder of the tournament. Sport is a game of margins and things didn’t go his way against India. The South African public was quick to jump on his back, which is a pity,’ Domingo added.
AB de Villiers says either Kyle Abbott or Wayne Parnell will come in for the injured Vernon Philander when South Africa take on the West Indies in a World Cup pool match in Sydney on Friday.
De Villiers said at his pre-match press conference that there was no real confusion around the team selection following the loss against India.
‘We’ve just got to make a few tough calls,’ De Villiers said. ‘It’s obviously between the extra seam bowlers that we’ve got. Either Parny [Parnell] stays in or Kyle Abbott gets a chance, I’m not going to make that. I’m not going to say what’s going to happen now, but it’s not confusing. It’s one of the two. I’m very comfortable with both of the players, and we’ll make the decision on Thursday tonight.’
Both players bring something different to the table, and De Villiers expanded on the skills they bring to the team.
‘Yeah, it depends which player we go for with whoever comes in,’ he said.
‘I think if Abbott comes in he’s a bit less of a batter than Parny, and we might have to go for the seven batters then. If Parny plays, it’s a different story.’
The Proteas line-up still remains uncertain, though, with Domingo revealing that there were injury concerns over another player, who he refused to name. However, that player is known to be Duminy.
‘We’ve got one or two injury concerns that we will need to look at and make the call tomorrow [Friday] morning. We can’t say too much about it at the moment but we are worried.’
De Villiers also revealed that the team have spoken about the slow over-rate against India which, if it happens again, will see De Villiers be suspended for one match.
‘We’ve spoken about it at length. I think all the captains are under pressure in this tournament. They’re very strict with that in this particular tournament you get one warning and then you’re suspended. They’re a little bit more lenient with normal cricket series around the world, which is understandable.
‘There is nothing else you can do about it except just get it right. It’s one of those things you’ve just got to get the intensity for 50 overs, which is not easy. It’s easier said than done, believe me. But we have the guys and obviously the part-time bowlers will have to help in that. The seamers need time. They need time to get the marks and get the fields right. And those longer run-ups they get tired. So it’s understandable for a seamer to waste a bit more time, but the fielders have got to get the intensity up. We’ve spoken about it in length, and I believe the boys will react.’
There has been suggestions of De Villiers relinquishing the captaincy to avoid a possible suspension, but it won’t work.
‘I can [give the captain’s armband away], but it won’t work. We’ve already spoken about it. I actually asked about it, and I’m the nominated captain for the tournament, so I still get the ban.’