South Africa need to think long and hard about the balance of the side, said former Proteas captain Kepler Wessels, commenting on Supersport
Reviewing the match after South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 62 runs, he said the No 7 position was still a major concern, particularly in terms of the bowling strength.
South Africa lost four wickets for 83, but were rescued by brilliant centuries from David Miller (138) and JP Duminy (115), posting a total of 339-4. Zimbabwe responded well, putting on 137 for the loss of just one wicket. They took the score to 191 before the third wicket fell, and thereafter the innings crumbled.
‘That No 7 position has to change,’ said Wessels. ‘Either they go with Rilee Rossouw, which means that Duminy will have to bowl 10 overs, or they have to go with an out-and-out bowler, either Kyle Abbott or Wayne Parnell.
‘If South Africa had been in that position against an established side, with two top order batsmen well set, they would have come under a lot of pressure. If the match had got away the way it did, against a stronger side, we really would have been in trouble. [Farhaan] Behardien is not going to cut it as the fifth bowler, and that’s why we need to look at it carefully. Given the start they had with the bat, if the fifth bowler has to come in at that stage, we need to keep up the pressure.’
‘There were some good individual performances, but collectively, they they were not so good,’ he added. ‘At four for 83 after 20 overs, if they had had another seamer to come in and bowl well, we would have been under a lot of pressure.’
Looking at the performance of Dale Steyn, who went for 64 runs off nine overs, conceding more than seven an over, Wessels said he was not too concerned. ‘I don’t think he has bowled enough lately. The more he bowls, the better he gets, so I am not worried about that. He will be all right. But we need to look that the fifth bowler and get the balance right.’