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Ken Borland

Maharaj is not going to agonize over SA’s poor ODI record in England

Posted on August 22, 2022 by Ken

Stand-in Proteas captain Keshav Maharaj is a cool, laidback customer and so he is not going to agonize over South Africa’s poor record in ODIs in England as they left for a three-match series starting on July 19.

The Proteas have played England in 26 ODIs on their home soil and have won just eight of them, losing 16 and two matches being washed out. In the last decade, South Africa have won just three of the last 10 matches against the reigning world champions.

“I’ve only personally played two ODIs in England, so it’s difficult for me to give deep insights,” Maharaj said on the eve of their departure on Thursday. “Maybe we have been a bit slow to adapt.

“That series I played in we lost 2-1 and we only really found our rhythm in the last game. England have done really well lately with their new coaches’ fresh philosophies.

“But it’s important for us to just play according to our game-plan, to focus on what we want to do and do the basics well. It’s going to be a good test and we always want to try and beat the best.

“I can’t really isolate facets of our game that haven’t worked, we just need to trust our process and execute much better. I’m sure the lots of hard work we have put in will bear fruit,” Maharaj calmly stated.

With the next 50-over World Cup now just 15 months away, Maharaj is hoping the desire to be in the squad for that showpiece tournament in India will provide the ignition for his side to make Jos Buttler’s first series in charge of England a torrid one.

“Obviously in our ODI performances over the last year or two we have not shown the execution we’ve wanted,” Maharaj said. “But we’ve picked a squad to suit various needs and combinations.

“I’m sure the game-plan will now come to fruition with the different combinations we have tried. World Cup time obviously causes selection problems because all the players want to put their hands up.

“As captain, you want to create space for everyone to thrive, but they also need to align with the game-plan. You want to give individuals the platform to shine within the team game-plan.

“It might be good to start the tours with the ODIs, we are so used to playing the Tests first and then filtering into the white-ball games. But now the guys are fresh and hungry to showcase their talent,” Maharaj, standing in for the injured Temba Bavuma, said.

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