Herschelle Gibbs believes that Reeza Hendricks would have been the ideal No 3 batsman for the Proteas at the upcoming World Cup, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
Building up to the World Cup, there was an ongoing debate over who should partner Quinton de Kock at the top of the order. Proteas veteran Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram were all mentioned as strong candidates.
In the end, the Proteas opted to include both Markram and Amla in the 15-man World Cup squad, with Hendricks missing out. Gibbs has highlighted his concerns over Amla’s self-confidence after a lean run of form, and said he would have loved to see Hendricks in the top three.
‘Rassie [van der Dussen] has made a great start. The composure he showed under pressure was good. But I have an issue when I compare when we chase to when we bat first. Shifting through the gears in the initial part of his innings when batting first is a little subdued for me,’ Gibbs told SACricketmag.com.
‘If you compare that to Reeza, who is an opening batsman, he is able to maintain a tempo throughout the innings, and I would have liked to see him in the No 3 position and keep that opener’s approach and keep the momentum going.
‘When you have Faf du Plessis coming in at No 4, he can stabilise and then push on in the latter part of the innings. Obviously Markram, because of his weight of runs in domestic cricket over the last couple of months, he is the in-form top-order batsman. I feel a little disappointment for Reeza, but those are my reasons.’
Gibbs continued by raising his concerns with the Proteas’ bowling unit, particularly the absence of a left-arm seamer.
‘It’s a sad state of affairs that in the last four years we couldn’t find a left-arm quick. Every other nation in the world has at least one or two, which adds variety to the attack,’ Gibbs continued.
‘All our quicks are right-armers, so preparing for our attack is easy picking. Yes, they have the slower ball and some have pace, but we have no variety, so from that point of view it’s predictable. But you have to go with faith that they will do the trick.’
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