The ODI series against West Indies and Australia is a great opportunity to give some fringe players an extended run.
The tri-nations series is a great opportunity for several players to nail down a spot in the side in the future. Conditions for spin in the Caribbean are generally helpful, so there will be plenty of competition for the spinners in the squad to put themselves at the top of the pecking order. Aaron Phangiso had an excellent finish to the World T20 and this could be a chance for him to get an extended run, but the inclusion of Tabraiz Shamsi, who enjoyed a good Caribbean Premier League stint last year, will be worth a look.
If you go back to the statements I made about Shamsi back in 2010/11, while I was captaining him at the Lions, I predicted he will play for SA. He’s got the mentality and skill to do well at that level. He deserves his selection.
Farhaan Behardien has been given another chance in the squad, but management must be clearer on his role in the team. Is he a batter? Then he must compete with all the batters. Is he an all-rounder? Then he must compete with the all-rounders for a spot in the side. He needs a good series to show he belongs at international level. I also think it will be a big tournament for Wayne Parnell and Rilee Rossouw. They need to show they belong in this squad.
Everyone knows David Miller is a destructive batsman, and I’m sure he will be back in the squad as soon as he gets some form. Dale Steyn’s situation is a little more complicated. It’s always better to call a spade a spade, and I’m not sure if the Proteas management decided to give Dale a break from international cricket to focus on Test cricket, or if they left him out. Whichever reason, signing for Glamorgan is just an opportunity to get overs under his belt and tick over. He is certainly the Proteas’ No 1 weapon in Test cricket, and in order to prolong that, it might be best to select certain white-ball series to play in, or sit out.
Playing in a series means you either practise or play almost every single day on tour with a few rest days in between, whereas, while he is playing for Glamorgan, he will play one T20 game a week. So it’s not so hard on the body and mentally he can also have a decent break while still getting to bowl in a competitive game.
Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix