• Five takeaways from SA’s win in Durban

    Five talking points from South Africa’s five-wicket win over Pakistan in Tuesday’s second ODI at Kingsmead in Durban, according to JONHENRY WILSON

    • Tabraiz Shamsi is fine for now, but not the World Cup

    Shamsi is a solid enough option for South Africa’s bilateral series in the buildup to the ODI showpiece, but shouldn’t go to the United Kingdom – and must not be falsely strung along. The 15-man squad won’t allow space for two wrist spinners – and the experience of Imran Tahir counts foremost in favour. Tailender Hasan Ali bossed Shamsi at Kingsmead – and stronger World Cup opposition won’t allow him to dictate proceedings either.

    • Andile Phehlukwayo isn’t quite there yet

    The Proteas continue to search for a genuinely viable option for that long-lost all-rounder’s role. Phehlukwayo did a great job by separating himself with twin career bests at Kingsmead from other pretenders such as Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris, but needs a couple more big performances to truly justify the faith shown in him.

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    The latest issue of SA Cricket magazine (Jan-Mar 2019) is on shelf now. Proteas star spinner Imran Tahir is at the top of his game as the Proteas head into key series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, at the same time gearing up for their greatest challenge: Mission Cricket World Cup 2019. ‘It is not easy to play at the highest level for so long,’ says Tahir. ‘People don’t see the hard work behind the scenes … I still get up every morning feeling like I want to do well for my country.’ Also in the new issue: #cricket #imrantahir #TabraizShamsi #HeinrichKlaasen #ChloeTryon #AndilePhehlukwayo #BenStokes #DaleSteyn #BasilDoliveira #Worcestershirecricketclub #GraemePollock #JPDuminy #HDAckerman #DonovanMiller #MickeyArthur #KenosiMashwabi #MohammadAbbas #muhammadabbas #MarcoMarais #AnrichNortje #JonathanBird @imrantahir.sa @shamsi90 @heinie45 @chloetryon25 @andile_phehlukwayo @stokesy @dalesteyn @jpduminy @hdackerman @doncricket2004 @MickeyArthur @kenosibridge @muhammadabbas310

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    • Dane Paterson is still worth investment

    The seamer went without a wicket and proved expensive in Durban, but remains a plausible alternative for South Africa’s plans for the remainder of this series, and indeed the World Cup. Touted as a fine ‘death’ bowling tactician, Paterson is going to have to find those pinpoint yorkers and other dot-ball options far more frequently than he does currently.

    • Rassie van der Dussen is obliging, entirely

    The hard-hitting right-hander came into the ODI XI weighted with plenty of expectation. He had impressed in a couple of T20Is, the Caribbean Premier League prior and the Mzansi Super League after. Now, he has duly delivered in the intermediate format of the international game too, leaving other middle-order contenders such as Christiaan Jonker in his wake.

    • Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn’s return will signal a turn

    The wicketkeeper-batsman and fast bowler’s return to the XI for the rest of the series, perhaps for the third ODI, if not the fourth, will usher in South Africa’s first-choice ODI XI – or as close as dammit. Who will feature and who’ll be sidelined, will yield increasing intrigue as the World Cup draws closer.

    Photo: Gallo

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