Coach Russell Domingo is appreciative of the improvement shown by the under-fire Wayne Parnell, as South Africa prepare for a tough World Cup campaign.
Parnell was named in the squad for the limited-overs showpiece in Australasia ahead of fellow all-rounder Ryan McLaren – but was unable to gain selection for the first-choice ODI XI against the West Indies this month.
The decision to rest Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, though, afforded the left-arm seamer plenty of opportunity to impress in the closing fixtures of the five-match series.
While ineffective in the first, the 25-year-old secured telling figures of four for 42 in the second, as the Proteas sealed a convincing four-one series triumph.
‘Wayne has really worked hard the last couple weeks and he is a talented cricketer. He has now got 64 wickets in 40 games, which is one and a half wickets a game, which is really good. If you’re doing that in ODI cricket, you are doing exceptionally well,’ said Domingo.
Parnell and the rest of the seamers have been working alongside bowling coach Allan Donald and consultant Charl Langeveldt, in a bid to improve the collective approach of the attack through the closing throes of the innings. Right-armer Kyle Abbott is bowling much-needed yorkers regularly, while Parnell remains inconsistent.
‘It’s common knowledge over the last period of time that we’ve really tried to work a lot on our back-end bowling and that’s why we brought a guy like Langeveldt into the mix to try and save us 10 runs at the backend of an innings,’ added Domingo.
‘It is such a difficult thing with only four fielders out of the ring. Many teams are struggling to deal with it. It’s something we are trying to address.’
The South Africans have been pooled with India, Pakistan, West Indies, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe and Ireland at the World Cup. Their first fixture will be against the Zimbabweans at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 15 February.