Faf du Plessis says the Proteas will not be fixated on only the best XI, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
It is quite clear that the Proteas have struggled to settle on a first XI. There has been a shoot out at No 3 and at No 6 with all candidates putting up their hands. They have also tested the waters with the two all-rounder system that has seen Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder pair up with Andile Phehlukwayo.
Mulder has been called up for the final ODI against Pakistan and it seems likely that the youngster will start despite making his return after a lengthy injury layoff.
Du Plessis addressed the issue of Mulder’s call-up when speaking to the media ahead of the series decider at Newlands.
‘If we had the bowling attack we would like then it’s easy to go with the seven batsmen. Because we don’t have the bowling attack with the one injury [Lungi Ngidi], we feel like we need to add a little bit more batting,’ said Du Plessis.
‘That takes us to the team where we play two all-rounders and that’s obviously why we brought him [Wiaan Mulder] in. We have to make a decision, thinking forward, on one of the all-rounders over the next six games so it’s one more tomorrow [Wednesday] and then five against Sri Lanka, so the time’s getting a bit shorter now for making sure we pick whoever that’s going to be.
‘We are trying to see how we can fit him in and obviously, balance is an important question there because Dwaine [Pretorius] has been in with the squad and Andile [Phehlukwayo] has also done relatively well.’
Du Plessis also made it clear that the Proteas need to be flexible when it comes to selection, instead of being fixated on only the best XI.
‘We have to be flexible,’ he continued. ‘The plan was to have all three fast bowlers fit and then that almost determines the balance of the team.
‘In the first game, we played the two all-rounders together because we felt that we needed another bowling option. We tried that with Patto and with Beuran coming in.
‘But obviously now it seems like your batting is a bit light because we don’t have that potent bowling attack we had in Australia where we bowled them out three times in a row on flat wickets with three attacking fast bowlers, so certainly what I have seen is that we have to be flexible.
‘We have to see what happens – who’s fit and who’s injured – and then play it from there. If you set your mind on something and then one injury or something else happens it changes the whole balance of our squad.’
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