Dean Elgar should play in the final ODI against India and open the batting.
A few things stood out in South Africa’s loss to India by 35 runs on Thursday as the Proteas again failed to win back-to-back matches.
The biggest problem for me was the tail. With JP Duminy out injured South Africa had a hell of a tail and we really lacked an extra batsman. The number of games we lose after we’ve won the previous game is a concern and very disappointing.
I thought bringing Elgar in for Duminy was the best route to go, but the selectors opted for Chris Morris instead, which gave us a very long tail. It also meant David Miller, who opened the batting in the third game, moved back to No 5, where he struggled again. I’m not a fan of fiddling around with batting orders.
If there is one thing most batsmen should know it’s that you don’t sweep across the ball on a low, slow, turning wicket. Miller attempts too many risk shots to be consistently good for the team and I would prefer to see Rilee Rossouw in his place when he is fit again and ready.
South Africa also rely way too much on AB de Villiers, who played a fantastic knock. It puts him under a lot of pressure as he can’t take too many chances because he can’t afford to get out.
Hashim Amla’s form is also a problem and I am concerned about whether he should continue to open the batting.
If Morne Morkel is not fit for the final game, I would keep Morris and leave out Aaron Phangiso. It’s seems strange that Albie Morkel is not an option because he should absolutely be there to add depth to the batting order.
So for Sunday’s decider I would have Elgar open the batting with Quinton de Kock. That should shift everyone down one spot which means Miller can bat at No 6 and Farhaan Behardien at No 7 which already shortens the tail.
Hopefully South Africa can pull this one through and clinch the series.