Proteas batsmen need to step up in Australia
Now that South Africa’s bowling attack has more than reinforced their well-known abilities‚ it’s the batting lineup that needs to state its intentions in the next two ODIs.
Adelaide (Friday) and Hobart (Sunday)‚ the next destinations in the short Australian limited overs junket‚ should be better than the green Perth Stadium springboard of a surface that unsettled Australia’s creaky batting order.
The small chase put the difficult conditions out of the game and the bright start between Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock ended the game quite early as a contest. However‚ they weren’t tested.
Surety isn't something South Africa’s various batting units have provided since AB de Villiers’s retirement.
While the Sri Lankan ODI series was a qualified success‚ 300 was only crossed once even though the chasing was convincing in the first two ODIs.
The Zimbabwe series‚ played on unseasonably spicy early-season tracks‚ provided no answers from a batting perspective and only served to reinforce South Africa’s superior bowling.
Ottis Gibson’s bowling headache looks one that’s resolved and it’s just a case of the various contenders remaining injury free.
The batting has been less convincing even though Hashim Amla’s injury-enforced unavailability has given the lesser batting lights an opportunity to stake their claim.
Hendricks in particular was solid and not spectacular while Aiden Markram also wasted a start.
The joy of this series is that Australia are using their best bowling resources‚ ones that are carrying an unrealistic burden because of their weak batting.
Even though the surfaces in England for next year’s World Cup will be different as compared to Australia’s pitches‚ Australia’s pace-men will provide a different test that only England and India can throw at South Africa from a bowling perspective.
Australia are also undecided from a spin perspective‚ which also throws South Africa’s batting test into some difficulty as spin will play a huge role in the World Cup.
However‚ a test is a test either way and it’s time for South Africa’s batting to answer the questions that lie in front of them as the next ODI engagements will only be in January against Pakistan.
By then‚ Gibson will have to have settled on what works from a batting unit and the strategy reserve that may need to be called upon in the showpiece event.
The immediate matter is for the remaining two ODIs to be used as a notice where the batsman start to assert themselves.