South Africa’s impressive victory at Centurion could be a turning point for them in the series but they must remain wary of England.
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla were outstanding on Tuesday night and their 239-run partnership was the main reason why South Africa won the game so comfortably.
The Proteas haven’t been playing well lately, but they can turn things around because the seven-wicket victory would have given them a lot of confidence for the rest of the series.
The main issue for the Proteas is that they don’t have a proper all-rounder. Farhaan Behardien is not an all-rounder, he is a batter and very part-time bowler. David Wiese was brought in, and that is understandable and correct, considering the fifth bowler was an issue, however, I feel they should not have done so at the expense of Rilee Rossouw.
Behardien is not a better batsman than Rossouw or David Miller so he shouldn’t be selected ahead of them. The fifth bowler has been a problem for them. In my opinion South Africa would benefit from selecting a bowling all-rounder. Wiese, Chris Morris and Wayne Parnell are the three candidates, with Morris being part of the current squad.
Neil McKenzie’s appointment as batting coach is an interesting one. While he should be commended for a fantastic career, he doesn’t have any coaching experience. I believe batting coaches are more needed at franchise level than international level.
Neil will most likely come into the set up and just have a look around, and be part of the squad, but won’t change much – you can’t really change much with one of the most powerful batting line-ups in the world. So the question is, what impact will he have – we will have to wait and see. One thing for sure, he knows how to operate in a set-up.
I was reliably informed that Cricket South Africa asked Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, among others, to become the batting coach but all of them declined the job, and it was then between McKenzie and Ashwell Prince.
Ashwell is a wonderful tactician of the game and a hardened international performer for South Africa, so I think they would have benefited from his playing and mental experience.
Getting a mental coach would have made more sense, as the players at that level need to be up for it mentally more than technically. In the past the Proteas used Paddy Upton, and he did a wonderful job helping us climb to the top of the world. As a batsman I remember having long chats with Paddy, especially when I was out of form, and he helped me a lot getting in the right mental zone.