• 5 lessons learnt in build-up

    Five lessons learnt from South Africa’s World Cup warm-up matches, which brought triumph over Sri Lanka and defeat to New Zealand.

    Perhaps five in the order isn’t for David Miller after all
    The debate was a lengthy one, with Miller’s promotion from the depths of six or seven a long time coming. The success achieved against the West Indies at five, including a maiden ODI century, though, has somewhat been undone by twin failures against substantially stronger opposition in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

    Ryan McLaren’s absence could be a moot point
    While much of the public’s consternation centred around the selection of Wayne Parnell ahead of Ryan McLaren for the trip to Australasia, Vernon Philander has quickly shown there is another all-rounder of substance ready to score some late runs if the top- through middle-order can’t oblige enough.

    The Black Cap bogey continues
    ‘In my perfect world, I would like to play New Zealand in the semi-final and have that same situation arise again. But this time it will be the other way around. We’ll be the team that’s on top – and we can do the same to them,’ said Faf du Plessis in January, referencing 2011’s heartbreaking choke. The Proteas’ quest for reprisal, however, is not going according to plan.

    Perhaps there is a need for Farhaan Behardien after all
    Not afforded the chance to recover from a shaky opening spell, Behardien was arguably under-bowled against Sri Lanka – and didn’t play against New Zealand due to a slight back injury. A limited-overs team that has become quite used to accommodating Behardien, therefore, seemed a tad unbalanced this week. Perhaps it’s time doubters start cutting him some slack…

    Kyle Abbott must play every game
    Test selection is a different matter, but Abbott must become a first-choice player in the ODI XI. Backed by Allan Donald and Charl Langeveldt as a key death bowler, too, Abbott is a key first-change bowler – and proved very economical against the Kiwis and Sri Lankans. January’s time spent on the bench during the Windies series is a thing of the past.