• Three positives from SA’s batting blunders

    South Africa’s poor display with the bat in Wednesday’s second ODI against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein, at least, yielded a few positives, writes JONHENRY WILSON.

    Christiaan Jonker has been found out…

    …and must not be included in the squad for the World Cup. Selection convenor Linda Zondi’s so-called ‘Vision 2019’, which is giving fringe players the opportunity to impress ahead of the 2019 ODI showcase in the United Kingdom, opened the door for Jonker.

    The batsman has quickly closed it, though, after a second shoddy stroke to get out to leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta showed temperament is severely lacking. Jonker can continue to contribute to the T20I unit, but time is short before the World Cup – and the Proteas need batsmen with far more cool, calm and collection than the rash right-hander is prepared to offer in ODI cricket.

    JP Duminy is a banker…

    …and must be commended for walking the talk, despite falling for just five in Bloemfontein. Duminy eluded to some additional experimentation at the toss. At 26 for three, Duminy might have been tempted to step to the crease. But, no, he fixed himself in at seven in the order – and trusted Khaya Zondo and Jonker would oblige his trust.

    Unfortunately, neither did – but this illustration is not about them, rather Duminy. He has the most experience by a veritable country mile in the current batting order – and won’t blame the absence of Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and David Miller for the shortcomings in Bloemfontein.

    Andile Phehlukwayo is more reliable than many think…

    …and recently stated a burning ambition to make bigger contributions with the bat. He is evidently, for the foreseeable future, the ODI XI’s first-choice seaming all-rounder.

    Dwaine Pretorius is seemingly out of favour, Chris Morris is on the comeback trail after a stint on the sidelines due to a back injury and Wiaan Mulder is nursing a hurt ankle. Opportunities are often limited down the order, when quick runs are in high demand, but Wednesday gave Phehlukwayo plenty of time to establish an innings. He dutifully obliged, until unfortunately getting snaffled down the leg-side.

    Image: Gallo

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    Jonhenry Wilson