Proteas skipper Farhaan Behardien has hinted at a No 3 spot for AB de Villiers, while a promotion up the order for David Miller is expected too.
Sri Lanka’s last-gasp victory at the Wanderers on Sunday means the series will go down to a decider at Newlands on Wednesday, and it also means there’s no room for the Proteas to play around with the lineup.
There is, of course, room for De Villiers to make his much-anticipated return to the setup, and is set to don national clothing for the first time since the Tri-Nation series clash against West Indies in June last year. This, after blasting an unbeaten 134 for Northerns on Sunday.
Where he fits in to the side and who he replaces remains to be seen, but Behardien did hint at a No 3 opening. ‘High up … possibly three,’ Behardien told media at the pre-match press conference at Newlands. ‘He’s one of the best T20 players in the world and one of the best batters in the world,’ the captain added of De Villiers capabilities.
One of the openers, Heino Kuhn or Jon Jon Smuts, is likely to make way for De Villiers, and Behardien provided the potential piece to that puzzle with an elevated role for Miller. ‘We’re looking to give David Miller a go,’ he confirmed. ‘He’s been batting No 4 for our side. We want to give the best batters the most balls to face. If they face anywhere between 30-50 balls they’ll be striking close to 200.’
There’s little to choose between Kuhn and Smuts, and whoever makes way, will consider himself unlucky. Kuhn looked more assured for his 29 in Joburg and showed great urgency despite batsmen falling around him. But Smuts must surely be seen as a better long-term option and provides back-up in the bowling department.
‘We’ll have to have a final little look at that pitch come tomorrow and then finalise the team,’ Behardien concluded.
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