Ottis Gibson has position advertised for a World Cup all-rounder

18 January 2019 - 13:08
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
SA senior men's national cricket team head coach Ottis Gibson in a discussion with the players during the Proteas training session.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix SA senior men's national cricket team head coach Ottis Gibson in a discussion with the players during the Proteas training session.

It is just over four months before the Proteas start their ICC World Cup campaign against hosts England at Kennington Oval in London on May 30 and Gibson has not made up his mind on who is going to be his team’s all-rounder.

Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Chris Morris‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder are in the frame to start at the tournament and all of them will get an opportunity in this series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka next month.

“The main position is the No 7 batting all-rounder. In the past we have gone with a bowling all-rounder but we feel that a batting all-rounder gives us an opportunity to play three fast bowlers and a spinner‚” Gibson said.

The coach said the only thing he is certain about is that the Proteas will play with four bowlers who can take wickets‚ but the No 7 spot is giving him a good headache‚ and he is evaluating a number of players.

“There are a lot of guys in the country who we are thinking of. We have spoken to Andile and told him to improve his batting and there is also Wiaan‚ Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius‚” he said.

“Those are the four that we have used and we will see who best suits to No 7. The only thing that we are sure about is that we want to play with four bowlers who can take wickets.”

Phehlukwayo and Pretorius are in the squad for the first two matches against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth and Durban and Morris and Mulder are expected to be recalled to the team for the last three matches in Centurion‚ Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Morris and Mulder are currently playing each other in the CSA Four-Day match in Benoni after recovering from respective injuries.

While Gibson has a tough decision to make regarding the No 7 spot‚ he has no such problems elsewhere as Quinton de Kock‚ Hashim Amla‚ Reeza Hendricks‚ Faf du Plessis‚ JP Duminy‚ David Miller are expected to make up the top six.

With ball in hand‚ Kagiso Rabada‚ Dale Steyn‚ Lungi Ngidi and Imraan Tahir are almost certainties to lead the bowling attack.