South African cricket fans need to start backing the players who are actually in the World Cup squad, writes Kobus Pretorius.
Ever since the Proteas’ first pool match against Zimbabwe in the World Cup, there have been consistent calls for players outside of the squad of 15 to be flown over to strengthen the side.
Albie Morkel and David Wiese have been the most consistent names mentioned, while Marchant de Lange’s name was recently added to the list.
It’s ridiculous. Wayne Parnell has come under a lot of scrutiny from fans, while Kyle Abbott is also not rated in some quarters.
When Steyn got sick between the Zimbabwe and India games, people wanted Wiese or Morkel to be flown over for cover. When Vernon Philander suffered a hamstring injury, the same thing happened.
JP Duminy is the latest member of the squad who has question marks surrounding his fitness.
The truth is, South Africa can only get permission to fly a player over for cover should one of the existing players in the World Cup squad be ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
Fans need to accept that a squad has been chosen, and they need to back them at the World Cup. It serves no purpose crying over spilled milk.
There is no guarantee that another player would do any better or that one player will make such a huge difference to the outcome of matches.
South Africa have a strong squad at the World Cup. The top six batsmen are world class, as are the three frontline bowlers in Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
South Africa’s weakness is at number 7, where they haven’t coped well since Jacques Kallis retired.
But if the batsmen and the bowlers, including spinner Imran Tahir do well, then South Africa should be successful at the tournament.
South Africa have the players. They just haven’t been playing particularly well. Admittedly, the quality of depth in the squad isn’t great, but if the first-choice players do their part, that shouldn’t be a problem.
It’s time for AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis to deliver with the bat, while Steyn and Morkel need to show why they are part of one of the best bowling attacks in the world.
Forget about who’s not there. Let’s back the players who are.