• McLaren’s CWC absence will be felt

    The omission of Ryan McLaren from the World Cup squad is a bad choice. He has been good over a long time.

    They need him, he is one of the main bowlers. He is handy with the bat and has made some important runs down the order. It’s a pity he is not there, the Proteas are going to miss him.
    Not a lot has been said about why he is not in the squad, it has just been accepted, though. I don’t think South African conditions are very different to those in Australia. The extra bounce and pace is an advantage as a bowler, yes. But batting-wise, when he has faced short bowling, he has looked a bit suspect, so that probably counted against him. But half of South Africa’s World Cup games will be played in New Zealand, where pitches can be lower and slower, so it’s an intriguing omission – that of McLaren.

    I’m not a big fan of Wayne Parnell. He has come to light with the bat recently, but in the past not so much. If you look over a period of time, he has gone for plenty of runs. The thing about left-handers, because of the angle of the delivery, unless they around the wicket and into the pads, they tend to travel for plenty of runs. He won’t do as a good a job as McLaren.

    One of the specialist spinners – Aaron Phangiso or Imran Tahir – could have been left out of the World Cup squad. To that end, Tahir is still the better bet. He does bowl a lot of bad balls, yes, but the variations he bowls are good for him. A lot of the batsmen at the top level are still having problems reading him, so he can get away with the bad balls.

    Otherwise, JP Duminy – bowling from around wicket to the left-handers – is a good option in the spin department. And here’s hoping Quinton de Kock is fit in time. De Kock and AB de Villiers will be the most key for us during the World Cup.

    Our limited-overs cricket, meanwhile, against the West Indies this month, has been of a major concern.

    It’s a pity that Kyle Abbott has been getting it so wrong, as we are effectively backing him as our chief death bowler at the moment. If you’re trying to bowl yorkers, you can get it wrong to a degree, but a slew of full tosses is not good.

    When Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn come back, though, things should change. But if one of the key guys gets injured – or has a bad day – we will have to rely on one of the others, which is a bit of a problem at the moment.

    Click here for South Africa’s World Cup squad

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    Graeme Pollock