• Proteas face selection headache

    Team selections will be the biggest talking point surrounding South Africa as they prepare for their quarter-final next Wednesday at the SCG.

    South Africa beat the UAE by 146 runs on Thursday to end second in pool B, where they are likely to stay until all the matches have been completed.

    It wasn’t at all a clinical performance, but the Proteas should take the win and move on.

    ‘It was a good performance,’ said captain AB de Villiers at the post-match press conference.

    ‘These games are always tricky. They bowled well upfront. I had to work hard for my runs, but I am very happy that Farhaan [Behardien] and Quinny [De Kock] got some runs.

    ‘All the bowlers got a good run as well as the part time bowlers. With both Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan getting runs, it gives us a good headache. It will be a difficult call to make, and a call we’ll make closer to the time.’

    De Villiers admitted there were other selection permutations facing the selectors before a probable showdown with Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.

    De Kock played a test innings, scoring 26 runs of 45 deliveries, while Behardien came in for Faf du Plessis who missed out due to a back injury.

    ‘We’ll have some difficult calls to make if everyone is fit for the play-offs,’ said De Villiers.

    ‘It will probably come down to Farhaan or Rilee. We’ll discuss the team selection going forward. There are different possibilities.

    ‘Quinton is a match winner. I would hate to see him go. For now he is still my first pick. When the heat is on I believe he will come good for us.’

    It is therefore highly unlikely that De Kock will be dropped for the next game, something that De Villiers strongly hinted towards when he admitted that he didn’t want to be the wicketkeeper.

    ‘I don’t want to keep. It puts a lot of pressure on me as captain. Quinny was prepared to fight it out today. It will be a big call to leave him out,’ said De Villiers.

    He also admitted that it was tough decision to leave Aaron Phangiso out of the team.

    ‘Aaron is a big match player who can win you a match when it matters most. He’s in a good space and will be ready should he be called on.’

    Vernon Philander returned from a hamstring injury which forced him to miss the last three games, and replaced Kyle Abbott.

    ‘It was difficult to leave Abbott out,’ admitted De Villiers.’It was important to give Vernon a go. I don’t think both will play at the same time, except if there are injuries. It’s a nice problem to have.’